Oracle Invests In Childhood Cancer Research In VR

Oracle Invests In Childhood Cancer Research In VR
November 30, 2016

Two big data PhD research projects have received an investment boost from Oracle, the company said.


The studies will look at new ways of using visual analytics to help better interpret data in the cancer treatment of children, and how the use of virtual and augmented reality can make large scale visual analytics more accessible.

The research projects will be conducted by Western Sydney University’s School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics.


“In today’s big data world, making data visual is a big part of making it understandable, especially when the interpretation is done by users who may not be skilled data scientists,” said Robert Spinks, Senior Director, Big Data, Integration and Analytics, Oracle.

“Rather than having users try to decipher reports or dashboards, visual analytics can add a new dimension and help users gain new and different insights from data more quickly. These research projects are both really exciting and we can’t wait to see their results,” Mr. Spinks added.


Headquartered in California, Oracle specializes in developing and marketing database software and technology, cloud engineered systems and enterprise software products.


The first tranche of funding will enable a two-year extension for existing research into ‘Enabling Effective Clinical Decisions with Visual Analytics’, which is currently supported by the Cancer Institute of NSW’s “Big Data, Big Impact” Grant.


“While the cure rates of childhood cancers have improved dramatically thanks to the growth of technologies and research, there is still a lot more that needs to be done,” said Dr. Quang Vinh Nguyen, Senior Lecturer with Western Sydney University’s School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics.


According to Dr. Nguyen, the human genome comprises thousands of genes containing information about individual patients and the biological mechanisms of their diseases. The research will seek to find new ways to battle childhood cancers by combining genetic information with clinical data and using data visualization techniques to breakdown that complexity.


The second initiative will investigate the use of virtual reality and augmented reality tools and techniques in the deployment of large scale visual analytics. The research will focus on how an immersive visual data analytics experience can be enabled by utilizing newly introduced technologies in the areas of virtual reality, augmented reality or both.


Interested PhD students can apply to take part in this project by reaching out to Professor Simeon Simoff, Dean, School of Computing, Engineering & Mathematics or Dr Quang Vinh Nguyen, Senior Lecturer in Visual Analysis, School of Computing, Engineering & Mathematics.

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