Fast Database Emerges from MIT Class, GPUs and Student’s Invention
Todd Mostak’s first tangle with big data didn’t go well. As a master’s student at the Center of Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard in 2012, he was mapping tweets for his thesis project on Egyptian politics during the Arab Spring uprising. It was taking hours or even days to process the 40 million tweets he was analyzing.
Mostak saw immediately the value in geolocated tweets for socio-economic research, but he did not have access to a system that would allow him to map the large dataset quickly for interactive analysis.