Microsoft Research Blog

The Microsoft Research blog provides in-depth views and perspectives from our researchers, scientists and engineers, plus information about noteworthy events and conferences, scholarships, and fellowships designed for academic and scientific communities.

Celebrating eScience and the contributions of Paul Watson

October 21, 2014 | By Microsoft blog editor

Congratulations to Paul Watson—Winner of the 2014 Jim Gray eScience Award

In preparation for my recent trip to Guarujá, Brazil, I did what any tech savvy eight-year-old would do: I searched the web for information about my destination. One of the top search results was a site that offered “41 Things to Do in Guarujá.” But from my point of view, that website failed to mention the most meaningful thing to do in Guarujá: attend the Microsoft eScience Workshop 2014, October 20–22.

Held in conjunction with the 10th IEEE International Conference on e-Science, the workshop provides three days of thought-provoking discussions and presentations on dealing with data-driven scientific research. But perhaps the most significant moment of the event for me came this morning when I had the honor of presenting the eighth annual Jim Gray eScience Award to Paul Watson, an innovative computer scientist who has made ground-breaking contributions to the field of eScience.

Paul is professor of computer science and director of the Digital Institute at Newcastle University in the UK. His many contributions to eScience over the past 10 years include establishing a leading center in support of the UK e-Science Initiative. Since 2007, he has focused on the design of e-Science Central, a cloud-based, science-as-a-service platform that has become a main research vehicle in such areas as provenance, scalability, formal methods, and federated clouds. Paul’s 2011 paper, “A Multi-Level Security Model for Partitioning Workflows over Federated Clouds,” an incisive discussion of using federated clouds to meet the security requirements of applications,  won a Best Paper award at IEEE CloudCom 2011.

Additionally, Paul’s work since the 1980’s as a designer of the Alvey Flagship and the Esprit EDS systems, together with his research projects in scalable information management, embody the type innovation in eScience that Jim Gray would have appreciated—and are exactly the kinds of achievements that the Jim Gray eScience Award was created to recognize.

Well done, Paul.

—Harold Javid, Director, Microsoft Research

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