Libraries receives NC State University Foundation grant

Hunt Library Dataspace

The Libraries has been awarded an NC State University Foundation grant to augment the new Dataspace at the Hunt Library. The grant award of $20,000 will help build a specialized, securable workstation, allowing students in all disciplines to work with large data sets that cannot be managed on public lab computers. Through the Foundation’s support, this high-technology space will further student success by both providing convenient access to advanced hardware for data-intensive computational jobs and in prototyping a service that will help the Libraries plan for the Hill Library’s Data Experience Lab, opening in Fall 2020.

Opened last August on Hunt’s third floor, the Dataspace is a community space for students, faculty, and researchers to work, collaborate, and learn about data science. Outfitted with specialized hardware and software and staffed with knowledgeable consultants, the Dataspace provides access to the tools and training needed to develop critical data science and visualization skills, explore big data, and use NC State’s research computing capacity. By drop-in or appointment, the Data Science Consultant staff is ready to provide consultations and training on tools for data cleaning and modeling, visualization design, statistical analysis, geospatial data, and visualization for the web.

“As research becomes more data intensive, the skills our students need and the work they need to do is changing,” says the Libraries’ Karen Ciccone, Department Head of Data & Visualization Services. “Research and course projects now often require students to complete computationally intensive tasks that require more memory, storage, and processing power than is available on a typical laptop.”

“This grant will allow us to provide a secure, high-powered workstation for working with large datasets and for running time-consuming, compute-intensive jobs, helping make advanced computing accessible to all NC State students and preparing them for data science jobs after graduation.”

The Foundation awarded ten grants this month that total $140,000 for numerous colleges and units across campus.

“The Libraries is grateful for our partnership with the Foundation, which has helped us to pilot some of our most transformative spaces and services,” says Leia Droll, Libraries Executive Director of Development. “This grant shows the strong commitment of the NC State University Foundation to student success and workforce preparedness, and will make an enormous difference in our continued ability to respond to student needs.”