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University Wins NSF Grant for Big Data Research

The National Science Foundation has awarded a $4 million grant to UNC Charlotte researchers to develop a multidisciplinary research program called Virtual Information Fabric Infrastructure (VIFI) that will create new ways to manage, use and share Big Data and analytic results.

Ashit Talukder, director of the Charlotte Data Visualization Center and the Bank of America Endowed Chair in Information Technology in the College of Computing and Informatics, is the principal investigator for the grant. The award was made under the NSF-CISE/ACI-Data Infrastructure Building Blocks (DIBBS) solicitation.

"Under this large-scale research program, a novel Virtual Information Fabric Infrastructure (VIFI) will be created, allowing scientists to search, access, manipulate and evaluate fragmented, distributed data in the information 'fabric' (the infrastructure to facilitate data sharing) without directly accessing or moving large amounts of data," said Talukder.

Rare Roman Coin Found at Mount Zion Dig

UNC Charlotte's team that has conducted archaeological excavations on Mount Zion in Jerusalem announced the discovery of a rare gold coin bearing the image of the Roman Emperor Nero.

"The coin is exceptional, because this is the first time that a coin of this kind has turned up in Jerusalem in a scientific dig. Coins of this type are usually only found in private collections, where we don’t have clear evidence as to place of origin," said Shimon Gibson, co-director of the excavation and a visiting professor at UNC Charlotte.

The gold coin (aureus) bears the bare-headed portrait of the young Nero as Caesar. The lettering around the edge of the coin reads "NERO CAESAR AVG IMP." On the reverse of the coin is a depiction of an oak wreath containing the letters "EX S C," with the surrounding inscription "PONTIF MAX TR P III." Importantly, these inscriptions help to work out the date when the coin was struck as 56/57 A.D. Identification of the coin was made by the historian and numismatist David Jacobson from London.