Human Dimensions Open Data Challenge

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CRSH_Wordmark_fCompute Canada and its partners are pleased to announce the two winning teams of the Human Dimensions Open Data Challenge.

oce_logo_Colour_withTagline-FrenchA research team from the University of Ottawa, led by Dr. Patrick McCurdy, won the top prize by creating a database of information and images to help Canadians better understand how public campaigns can influence their perception of energy development.

ThinkData-WorksDr. Rafat Alam led a research team at Grant MacEwan University to second place with a project that created a dashboard to understand the impact of energy development on society and the economy.

Compute Calcul Canada LogoThe Human Dimensions Open Data Challenge was a national competition organized by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Compute Canada, the Ontario Centres of Excellence, and ThinkData Works.

During the challenge, multi-disciplinary research teams – led by social sciences and humanities researchers – competed using open-data sets and developed systems, processes or fully functional technology applications that address the human dimensions of key challenges in the natural resource and energy sectors.

The research teams were judged on three main criteria: team strength, quality of the solution, potential impact. They were also assessed in terms of solution adoption.

Both winning teams were awarded $3,000, and, as part of the challenge, will be provided access to Compute Canada cloud resources for the remainder of the calendar year. The top team was awarded an additional $5,000 and given four tickets and an invitation to present at the High Performance Computing Symposium (HPCS) on June 5-9 in Kingston, Ontario.

HDOC Winners: Team Mediatoil from University of Ottawa

Team Mediatoil, a research team from the University of Ottawa, was led by Dr. Patrick McCurdy and won the top prize by creating a database of information and images on the Alberta oil sands. The goal of the project was to help Canadians better understand how public campaigns can influence their perception of energy development.

Mediatoil seeks to help the public navigate the maze of competing agendas and vested interests from multiple stakeholders framing the issue. In the midst of what it calls an “endless war” of public relations campaigns for and against future oil sands development, Team Mediatoil created a database of images, videos, articles and graphs to allow researchers, students, educators and interested Canadians to analyze existing data charting the oil sands debate.

As the winning team, Mediatoil will receive $8,000 to further develop their project. The Mediatoil Team members are:

  • Patrick McCurdy, associate professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Ottawa
  • Laura Nichol, International Development and Globalization and Communication, University of Ottawa
  • Sahil Saroop, Computer Science, University of Ottawa
  • Stephanie Seiler, Communication and Film Studies; recipient of a SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship
  • Adam Thomlison, Communication, University of Ottawa; recipient of a SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship
  • Dr. Herna Viktor, professor and associate director of Computer Science, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Ottawa

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