BigData@UGent in practice

4 May 2015

The interest of many researchers both within and outside Ghent University to the analysis of "Big Data" is booming. Maybe you wonder about the purpose and usefulness of Big Data analytics, or can't decide which software solution to pick for your project? Maybe you are stuck and would like a few pointers from other researchers? Or, you just want to know what the fuss is all about?


The purpose of this workshop is to bring together all researchers within the Ghent University network that are engaging in Big Data projects, irrespective of their scientific background, with the specific goals to:

  • establish a Big Data community at UGent, and beyond
  • learn more about the subject, for experienced researchers as well as beginners
  • offer a (first) opportunity to exchange experiences, discuss problems, showcase applications
  • enable participants to perform a Big Data analysis on the central UGent supercomputing infrastructure in a hands-on session.


The workshop features a scientific morning session with speakers from various research groups at UGent. In the hands-on session in the afternoon, participants can actively perform a Big Data analysis on the central UGent supercomputing infrastructure.

Scientific session
09:00 - 09:45

Yvan Saeys

A gentle introduction to Big Data


09:45 - 10:15

Jan Fostier

Introduction to MapReduce and its Application to Post-Sequencing Analysis


10:15 - 10:25

Ewald Pauwels

Big Data on the central UGent supercomputing infrastructure


10:25 - 10:50 Coffee break
10:50 - 11:20

Dirk Van den Poel

Spark: The New Kid on the Block


11:20 - 11:40

Hiep Luong

From 15 MPixel images to 10 GPixel image data: big data in image
and video processing


11:40 - 12:00

Frederik Coppens

Data integration in life sciences: big data applications in plant research?


12:00 - 12:20

Veronique Hoste

How can Language Technology benefit from a supercomputing infrastructure?


Free sandwich lunch
12:20 - 13:30
Hands-on session on the UGent supercomputing infrastructure
13:30 - 14:00

Demo and presentation of Big Data applications in practice


All examples and code are available via github

14:00 - 17:00 Opportunity for participants to experiment on the infrastructure


UGent-VIB Research Building FSVM, Technologiepark 927, B-9052 Zwijnaarde

  • Scientific session: auditorium Schell (200 participants max)
  • Hands-on session: small cafetaria (60 participants max)

Route description

Practical aspects

  • All presentations, hands-on notes and other teaching material will be distributed to all participants
  • Participants are invited to bring their own laptop computer for the hands-on session
  • Participants can obtain a certificate of attendance upon request


Completely free of charge

Registration via the EventManager.

Steering Committee

  • Frederik Coppens - Department of Plant Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Faculty of Sciences & Department of Plant Systems Biology, VIB
  • Jan Fostier - Department of Information technology, Faculty of Engineering and Architecture
  • Els Goetghebeur - Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, Faculty of Sciences
  • Veronique Hoste - Department of Translation, Interpreting and Communication, Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
  • Steven Maere - Department of Plant Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Faculty of Sciences & Department of Plant Systems Biology, VIB
  • Ewald Pauwels - Direction of Information and Communication Technology (DICT)
  • Yvan Saeys - Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences & Inflammation Research Center, VIB
  • Dirk Van den Poel - Department of Marketing, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration

Contact Information

All question, comments or remarks welcome at


Supported by the Flemish Government