Renata Rawlings-Goss, Co-Executive Director

Kendra Lewis-Strickland, Program Manager

Srinivas Aluru, Lead Investigator


Georgia Tech, along with the University of North Carolina’s Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI), co-directs the South Big Data Regional Innovation Hub that serves 16 Southern states and the District of Columbia. It is part of the National Science Foundation’s four Regional Innovation Hubs, created to build innovative public-private partnerships addressing regional challenges from data analysis and research to data science workforce development. The Georgia Tech location is operationally run as a center of the Institute for Data Science and Engineering.

The South Big Data Hub is designed to facilitate collaboration among its nearly 900 members in academia, industry and the nonprofit sectors, to tackle large-scale challenges facing many Southern states. Each hub engages businesses and research organizations in their region to develop common big data goals that would be impossible for individual members to achieve alone. The hubs operate using community-driven governance structures as well as “spoke projects” based on regional priorities and partnerships.

The South Hub both creates and promotes data science educational opportunities in Atlanta and throughout a 16-state southern region. Its website lists several hub-run educational programs for data science education, available to students at many experience levels and institution types. There are a number of diversity-promoting programs available. To keep its members informed, the South Hub also publishes a newsletter and announcements containing data science educational and employment opportunities to its extensive network of more than 900 students, faculty, government, nonprofit, and industry data science practitioners across the South. This enormous network of talent is a major asset to our members and partners. Visit the hub website or contact Georgia Tech's South Hub Program Manager Kendra Lewis-Strickland at for more information. Becoming a member is free. Becoming a partner is as simple as getting started on a mutually beneficial data science activity or program.

The South Hub is open to all data science topics, although it does have some areas of emphasis that have emerged to match the important problems of our time—from solving disparities in health care to understanding the risks of coastal storms and floods. Such big problems involve making sense of massive amounts of data. The hubs also promote access and the use of open data for the public good.

The South BD Hub primarily serves the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. However, not all partners need be from these regions.

The regional emphasis areas of the South BD Hub aim to apply big data analysis to scientific and social issues in five areas:

  • Health Care, including disparities in health, access to health care, and health outcomes, precision medicine, and health analytics.
  • Coastal Hazards, including understanding and mitigating the consequences of natural and manmade disasters.
  • Industrial Big Data, including cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things, data-driven management of physical infrastructure, and power generation, transmission, and distribution from a variety of sources.
  • Materials and Manufacturing, including data-driven contributions to the materials genome initiative and bridging the gap between materials science and manufacturing practice.
  • Smart Cities and other habitat planning, including urban infrastructure, transportation, rural-urban infrastructure, and wildlife habitat and conservation.

Georgia Tech is hosting national data repositories and providing big data transfer capabilities through Southern Crossroads (SoX), a non-profit founded by Georgia Tech and partners and recognized as one the highest-bandwidth Internet gateways in the South—connecting 21 member institutions and universities. 

Initial NSF funding for the South BD Hub is $1.5 million over three years. In addition to the South BD Hub, the NSF has funded Hubs in the Northeast, Midwest, and Western U.S., which are managed by universities in those regions.


Visit the South Big Data Hub website or contact Georgia Tech's Hub Program Manager Kendra Lewis-Strickland at for more information.

Sign up for the South Hub newsletter and contacts list.

View the newsletter archive.

Join the hub google group.

Submit an event to publish online or in our newsletter

Follow us on Twitter: @southbigdatahub