Originally posted on TED Blog:
Just by living our plugged-in lives, each of us is producing a constant stream of data. Little snippets are left behind of what we search, what we buy, where we go, what we tweet … This endless flow of numbers is referred to as “big data,” data sets so large that they require sophisticated parsing to give them meaning. But big data has the potential to tell us a lot about ourselves — unearthing patterns in information flow, energy consumption, weather patterns, disease spread, education trends, and more.
At first glance, big data may not sound like a topic for teenagers. But TED speaker Rick Smolan is on a mission to make it not just accessible but fun. Smolan — who held a conference called The Human Face of Big Data in New York City a few weeks ago featuring TED alums Juan Enriquez, Deb Roy, Esther Dyson, Aaron Koblin and Jer Thorp — is asking students between the ages of 13 and 18 to become “Data Detectives.”