Xinming Li, a doctoral candidate in the Computer and Information Sciences PhD program, led a team to win First Place in the Graduate Student Division of the 2020 Arkansas Bioinformatics Consortium (AR-BIC) poster contest. The team included Ting Li, a doctoral candidate in the Bioinformatics program and faculty advisor Dr. John R. Talburt, Acxiom Chair of Information Quality at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The AR-BIC Conference is an annual event sponsored by the Arkansas Research Alliance, and this year’s event was held on February 10-11, 2020 at the Wyndham Riverfront Little Rock. The winning poster titled “ReferenceToVec: Teach the Machine to Read People References” was in line with the conference theme focused on artificial intelligence (AI) research and applications in Arkansas.
The poster described a new method for embedding textual references to persons such as customers, patients, students, into numeric vectors suitable for machine learning models for entity resolution. The entity resolution process determines whether two references are referring to the same person, or to different persons. Entity resolution is a key factor in determining the accuracy of data integration and data analytical processes, and is still a new area for the application of AI and machine learning.
The Arkansas Bioinformatics Consortium (AR-BIC) is comprised of the major research universities in Arkansas (including Arkansas State University, University of Arkansas, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, and University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff) plus the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR) near Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
AR-BIC 2020 keynote and workshop speakers addressed the basic concepts and methodologies of AI, along with describing their advanced applications in biomedical research, food safety, drug discovery and development, and clinical settings. In addition, the consortium provided a networking and collaboration platform for the participants wanting to learn more about AI. A video of the poster competition can be found at Vimeo.
The Information Science Department at the University of Arkansas Little Rock offers graduate certificates in data science and information quality, and master of science and doctoral degrees in both information quality and information science. All of these programs are offered online and on-campus. The MS in IQ and in IS were ranked 19th best in the nation by US News and World Report.