eScience Workshop 2011


Microsoft and IEEE to Co-Locate eScience Events

pgtitle_escience2011_270x180The Microsoft Research 2011 eScience Workshop was co-located with the IEEE International Conference on e-Science in Stockholm, Sweden, December 5 to 8, 2011. The theme of the 2011 workshop was eScience in Action. In addition to sessions on a variety of topics, we announced the winner of the Microsoft Research 2011 Jim Gray eScience Award at the workshop. Microsoft Research bestows this annual award on a researcher who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of data-intensive computing.

Jim Gray eScience Award Winners Announced

Mark Abbott was announced as the winner of the 2011 Jim Gray eScience Award at this year’s eScience workshop. Dean and professor in the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University, Mark is also serving a six-year term on the National Science Board, which oversees the National Science Foundation and provides scientific advice to the White House and to Congress. His career-long work has contributed to integrating biological and physical science, early innovations in data-intensive science, and educational leadership.

Also honored this year was Alex Szalay, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at The Johns Hopkins University. Alex was publicly recognized by Microsoft Research Corporate Vice President Tony Hey in 2007, but the award ceremony was put on hold when Jim Gray disappeared at sea. This year, Alex received the 2007 award for his foundational contributions to interdisciplinary advances in the field of astronomy and groundbreaking work with Jim Gray. Read the blog about the winners.

eScience in Action

For years, multidisciplinary researchers have been employing computational innovations to advance investigations in the sciences. New developments in the world of computation have changed the landscape and offer new capabilities to scientists interested in increasing their ability to process and understand huge amounts of data. Increasingly, information is stored in the cloud rather than locally, scientists are looking at new ways to interact with data, and computational advantages are being applied to an ever wider range of disciplines. Workshop topics will include:

  • eScience in the Cloud
  • New Advances in Digital Humanities
  • Semantics in Action
  • Environmental Informatics
  • Is NUI Natural for Scientists?

About the Workshop

escience2011_229x142Each year, 150 top researchers join with Microsoft Research to examine the successes and opportunities for research in the field of data-intensive science. The goal of this eighth annual cross-disciplinary workshop is to bring together scientists from diverse disciplines to share their research and discuss how computing is transforming their work. The event will also include the presentation of the fourth annual Jim Gray eScience Award to a researcher who has made an especially significant contribution to the field of data-intensive computing.

tonyhey_75x105Primary support for the workshop is provided by Microsoft Research Connections, headed by Corporate Vice President Tony Hey.

Agenda with Abstracts

Monday, December 5, 2011




Advancing Environmental Understanding; the Role of eScienceDan Fay, Microsoft Research

Our understanding of the world around us is evolving, and with evolution comes the need for adaptation. Environmental scientific research is increasingly having to adapt—from dealing with increasingly large and growing datasets, to trying to credibly inform the public and policy makers. There is a need to have new types of applications grounded in scientific research to move from raw discovery, to knowledge, to informing practical decisions. Understanding environmental changes from the levels of neighborhoods, to regions, to the globe is the focus of scientific study and policy decisions. Technology reinforced by computing is demonstrating the capacity to improve our environmental understanding. This talk contains examples of environmental changes and the challenges that are the focus of scientific investigation; it also identifies technologies and tools that can make an impact on these understandings.

The Pillar Hall
Norra Latin
Drottningatan 71B 11136 Stockholm
Coffee break
Breakout Sessions
Citizen Science on Windows Phone 7 Platform

Session Chair: Yan Xu, Microsoft Research

Citizen Science Using Windows Phone 7—Yong Liu, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Citizen science is the inclusion of citizens, who may not be scientists, in conducting large scale scientific experiments. Citizen scientists usually collect or validate data based on observations and measurements in the field. In the past few years, there has been growing interest in using information technology to enable easy collection, storage, and analysis of data. The ubiquitous presence of smart mobile devices, together with availability of sensors in such devices, enables scientists to deploy their experiments to a large number of citizen scientists who can collect observations in near real time, and with rich meta-data. In this session, authors will talk about challenges, opportunities, and lessons learned while using smart mobile platforms for large-scale citizen science experiments.

Listen-n-Feel: Participatory Emotion Detection Using Windows Phone 7—Na Yang, Rochester University

This talk will present an emotion sensor on Windows phones, named Listen-n-Feel, which listens to the phone user’s speech and tells whether the user is happy or sad, based on audio signal features. This phone application can be widely used in social networks, integrated in character-playing games, or used to monitor patients with mental problems or in other health care areas. Recorded audio data is processed on the cloud and signal features are extracted, both in the time domain and frequency domain. Machine learning method is applied to predict emotions on statistics of speech signal features, with the training data derived from a prosody database.

Room 351
Norra Latin Drottningatan 71B 11136 Stockholm
Scientific Programming for Biologists (and Everyone Else)

An Open Source Library for Bioinformatics—Simon Mercer, Microsoft Research

Microsoft has created a general-purpose library of useful functions for the assembly, comparison and manipulation of DNA, RNA and protein sequences. Built on the Microsoft .NET platform, this toolkit enables the scientific programmer to rapidly develop the applications needed by genomics scientists to cope with extracting knowledge from the increasing volumes of data common in the field of genomics research. Under development in Microsoft Research for the past three years, it contains a core of standard functions but also enables easy access to a wide range of other Microsoft technologies including Microsoft Silverlight, DeepZoom, and Microsoft Office as well as unique research tools such as Sho and PhyloD. The library is open source under the Apache 2 license, and is freely available for commercial and academic use. Developers are encouraged to adapt and extend the basic library, making their modifications available for others to use at Microsoft Biology Foundation.

Programming with Massive Data Sources Made Simple, Fast, and Error-FreeDon Syme, Microsoft Research

The F# 3.0 language is a breakthrough in productivity for programmers working with online data sources, databases, and ontologies. It combines three beautifully tuned features: F# 3.0 type providers, which give the programmer access to massive quantities of scientific data in an intuitive, strongly typed, and navigable way; F# units of measure, which let you attach unit annotations to numerical data; and F# functional programming, which lets you write succinct and efficient transformations of data with a low error rate. With the open source and highly interoperable nature of F#, these features work together to give the scientific programmer a uniquely powerful tool tuned to the needs of scientific programming in the 2010s and beyond.

Room 353
Norra Latin Drottningatan 71B 11136 Stockholm
Breakout Sessions
Community Capability Model for Data-Intensive Science

Session Chair: Alex Wade, Microsoft Research

Community Capability Model for Data Intensive Science OverviewKenji Takeda, Microsoft Research

Microsoft Research Connections and UKOLN, University of Bath, are working in partnership on an exciting and challenging new project to develop a Community Model for Data-Intensive Science, building upon and extending the principles described in The Fourth Paradigm. The speed at which any given discipline advances will depend on how well its researchers collaborate with one another as well as with others responsible for the computational infrastructure now presumed to be a core part of the research process. The model will include technological aspects such as common data infrastructure, standards, and ontologies. Social aspects such as collaborative approaches and opened and socio-legal issues will also be explored. This talk will introduce the draft model framework.

Community Capability Model (panel session)—Alex Wade, Microsoft Research

In this panel session, the draft community model will be opened up for discussion: experts in various domains who are helping influence research outcomes will speak, and the audience can provide feedback on areas of key importance in different disciplines and suggestions for improvements to the model. This session provides the opportunity to help guide the deep-dive discussion session.

Room 351
Norra Latin Drottningatan 71B 11136 Stockholm
VENUS-C: eScience in the Cloud

Cloud Computing for Research—a European Perspective—Fabrizio Gagliardi, Microsoft Research

Cloud computing promises to revolutionise how science and engineering can be carried out by industry, research organisations, and universities alike. To accelerate the adoption of this key technology, it is important that users are able to access cloud resources to best match their real-world applications to this new way of working. VENUS-C brings together end-users, developers, and cloud providers to create a seamless framework for cloud computing in Europe and globally. This talk will provide an overview of the VENUS-C project and how it is helping to democratise research.

VENUS-C and the Generic Worker Execution Environment—Götz Brasche, European Microsoft Innovation Center

In this presentation, we provide a technical overview to the VENUS-C project. VENUS-C delivers a set of services for researchers and scientists to run scientific applications in the cloud, such as services for data management and processing. In particular, this talk focuses on an implementation of the generic worker pattern, which supports data processing on hybrid clouds deployments, spanning public clouds (such as Windows Azure) and private on-premises deployments. This presentation will highlight implementation tradeoffs, and design and technology choices that were made to build a single extensible code base, which supports a broad variety of deployment models (such as PaaS, IaaS, and on-premises deployments) as well as a broad variety of storage systems.

Data Management in Venus-C—Ilja Livenson, Kungliga Tekniska Hoegeskolan

Data management for cloud applications is an important topic to realize usable services. In this talk, we describe work done in VENUS-C to provide an integration layer for data management facilities.

Room 353
Norra Latin
Drottningatan 71B 11136 Stockholm
Coffee break
Breakout Sessions
Developing Communication Maturity Models for Data-Intensive Science

Session Chair: Lee Dirks, Microsoft Research

Community Capability Model Deep Dive Interactive Discussion Session—Alex Wade, Microsoft Research

Participants will be involved in guided discussions in order to provide in-depth feedback on the development of the community capability model. This is of particular importance to identify how the model can be refined and finalized for use by the community. The ultimate aim is to provide a framework that is useful for researchers and funders in modeling a range of disciplinary and community behaviors with respect to the adoption, usage, development, and exploitation of cyber-infrastructure for data-intensive research.

Summary and Next Steps for Community Capability ModelKenji Takeda, Microsoft Research

The session will conclude with a summary of the day’s discussion and outline of the next steps for the project and how participants can continue to be involved.

Room 351
Norra Latin Drottningatan 71B 11136 Stockholm
Cloud Computing: Real-World Experiences

Drug Design Experiments in the Cloud—Simon Woodman, Newcastle University

This talk describes how VENUS-C is exploiting existing drug-discovery services and components to improve them by experimenting on large-scale infrastructures and ultimately deploying them for the benefit and engagement of pharmaceutical research and healthcare industry.

Green Prefab, Civil Engineering in Cloud Computing—Furio Barzon, Collaboratorio

This talk describes how Collaboratorio is working on the extension of their product GreenPreFab to exploit the VENUS-C platform extensively, as well as adding features and models that will allow civil engineers to simulate building structural behavior in the same integrated environment of the green building commercial value chain. For this scenario, Collaboratorio involves a pilot case building (“Manifattura Domani” in Rovereto, Italy) in order to apply the emerging platform to a real case simulation. We are also engaging with the community of architects, enabling them to approach the e-Infrastructure via specific tools for experimenting with new building solutions and models.

Panel Session – Supporting Scientific Users in the Cloud

Session Chair: Fabrizio Gagliardi, Microsoft Research

  • Götz Brasche, European Microsoft Innovation Center
  • Ignacio Blanquer, Universitat Politècnica de València
  • Andrea Manieri, Ingegneria Informatica SpA

While cloud computing promises to be a key enabling technology for eScience, its success relies not only on technical capabilities, but also on socio-economic factors. VENUS-C has been addressing a broad spectrum of areas: software architecture, cloud infrastructure, user scenarios, dissemination, cooperation, and training. In this panel session, we will discuss how all of these factors are suppport scientific users in using cloud computing. We will also highlight the most important issues from both end-user and service provider perspectives.

Room 353
Norra Latin Drottningatan 71B 11136 Stockholm
Travel break
Microsoft Research Banquet Clarion Hotel Sign
Östra Järnvägsgatan 35, Stockholm
Presentation of Jim Gray Award

Knowledge Ecosystems: Data-Intensive Science is More Than Speeds and Feeds—Mark Abbott, College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University

Data-intensive science is driven by both technology and the nature of our scientific questions. The relentless pace of technology in regards to computation, storage, and networking has enabled an array of new services and systems, ranging from the well-known improvements in high-performance computing to the proliferation of smart sensors in unexpected platforms. Science has also blossomed into new areas of complexity, driven by interdisciplinary questions, such as climate change and the treatment of cancer. In both science and information systems, old architectures and institutions are struggling with the disruptive forces of data-intensive science. This new knowledge ecosystem is characterized by radical personalization, rapidly assembling (and disassembling) collaborative networks, and intense real-time communications. Traditional networks of mainframes and clients or isolated desktop PCs are as out of place in this ecosystem as are the traditional networks of scientists working in isolation and publishing in obscure journals three to five years after collecting their data. An ecosystem concept that is far from equilibrium and uniformity and is characterized more by resilience and flexibility than by robustness and predictability may be a better model for both science and information technology. Jim Gray’s “laws” of data-intensive science can help guide us through this new conceptualization.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011



Opening of IEEE International eScience Conference
IEEE e-Science Conference Keynote 1
Coffee break
Breakout Sessions
Digital Humanities 1

Session Chair: Donald Brinkman, Microsoft Research

Big Archaeology: Creation, Integration, Analysis, and Dissemination of Archaeological Data—Graeme Earl, University of Southampton

This presentation will introduce the work of the Archaeological Computing Research Group at Southampton, tracing the archaeological data life-cycle from creation in the field and lab to public and academic dissemination. Our work at sites such as Portus, the Port of Imperial Rome, has demonstrated the potential of an integrated digital approach to archaeological practice on a large scale. In addition to the data processing and management needs implied by techniques such as laser scanning, three-dimensional geophysics, and reflectance transformation imaging, the use of digital technologies on site has a transformative role to play in interpretation and field practice. We are therefore exploring potentials for building wearable prototypes to blur the digital:physical research environments of laboratories and field sites, and examining their impact on the archaeological research process. In partnership with the Southampton μ-VIS Centre we have also begun to employ micro computed tomography on the imaging of archaeological materials, which presents considerable data visualisation and management tasks to be explored in the paper. Finally, having explored the production of these datasets, the paper will explore modes for integrated examination of rich, spatial information at micro and geographic scales, the construction of graphical simulations for analysis and dissemination, and methods for creating rich publications.

The Archive Without Walls—Jeffrey Schnapp, Harvard University

This presentation will focus on a metaLAB project entitled extraMUROS: an open-source HTML5 infrastructure built on public APIs that enables faculty, students, and the general public to view, annotate, and remix digital multimedia collections and to interconnect them with other high-quality digital repositories across the web. While books (in material and digital form alike) are vital to the future of libraries, we believe that in an increasingly audiovisual world of scholarship and public discourse, it is essential that libraries play a major role in preserving, making available, and providing innovative tools for interpreting and disseminating society’s audiovisual past, present, and future across media.

Room 351
Norra Latin Drottningatan 71B 11136 Stockholm
Semantics in Action with Data Enrichment

Session Chair: Evelyne Viegas, Microsoft Research

Machines are Users Too: Towards Computational Research Objects—David De Roure, University of Oxford

We are seeing the emergence of new sharable digital artifacts as the practice of data-intensive research evolves, and we can look at these as an alternative to the paper publications which underpin the traditional scholarly knowledge cycle. Unlike papers, these “research objects” may be interactive and executable for the human reader/author, and they facilitate reproducibility and reuse. But they also have a computational dimension, as they are processed, composed, validated, and curated by machine, perhaps autonomically or to assist the human user, for example, through recommendation. We achieve this by bringing semantic computing to Research Objects, in their expression as Linked Data and also through a programming language semantics approach to execution and composition. This talk will present a semantic computing perspective on Research Objects, drawing on our experience with the social website and the Wf4Ever digital preservation project, and suggest a future where machines better facilitate the practice of data-intensive research.

Publishing Open Government (Linked) Data in Brazil—Karin Breitman, Pontificia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro

The publication of Open Government Data (OGD) that conforms to W3C Linked Data standard requires that a myriad of public information datasets are converted to RDF triples. A major step in this process is deciding how to represent the database schema concepts in terms of RDF classes and properties. This is done by mapping database concepts to a vocabulary, to be used as the base for generating the RDF triples. Although the construction of this vocabulary is extremely important—because the more one reuses well known standards, the easier it will be to interlink the result to other existing datasets—most triplifying engines do not support this activity. The problem is aggravated when the original datasets are a language other than English. Because the vast majority of the de facto standard RDF vocabularies are in English (Dublin Core, SKOS, dCat, FOAF, Good Relations, and so forth), one needs to map and translate concepts from the original databases to the various vocabularies. In this talk, we explore the topic by describing our experience in publishing OGD data for the Brazilian government: problems, tooling, process, cloud infrastructure, translation, visualization, publication, LOD, challenges, and opportunities.

F# 3.0 Type Providers – How a Simple Change to Programming Languages Can Open the Floodgates to the Semantic WebDon Syme, Microsoft Research

The worlds of programming languages and the semantics web seem universes apart. However, in this talk we will show how a simple and intuitive change in programming language architecture can lead to a wonderful union between these two worlds, combining the simplicity and power of modern professional programming tools with the masses of organized data appearing through the structured, organized, schematized data sources now populating the web.

Room 353
Norra Latin Drottningatan 71B 11136 Stockholm
13:30–15:00  Breakout Sessions
Digital Humanities 2

Session Chair: Donald Brinkman, Microsoft Research

TextGrid – An Architecture to Store, Access and Manage Diverse Humanities Data—Andreas Witt, Institut für Deutsche Sprache, Zentrale Forschung

TextGrid is a virtual research environment for scholars in the humanities, currently focusing on German literature, art history, classics, linguistics, and musicology. TextGrid’s architecture includes a repository accessible via dedicated web service APIs. It consists of a storage component, which manages file access and replication and uses a storage grid as data backend, and another component that handles role-based access control. In addition to access rights, certain license policies must be enforced for published content. A TextGrid middleware component, called TG-license, has been designed for published content. For high scalability, these three TextGrid middleware components are designed to be distributed.

The presentation will give a general overview of the TextGrid architecture and the content of the TextGrid repository. It then will focus on license requirements and describe how the TG-license can handle licensing issues such as data that is:

  • Only publicly accessible 70 years after the death of the author
  • Only accessible if the user has acknowledged the license

The tool to solve these license issues is based on XACML policies that refer to attributes of the user and of the resources, information that is stored in a distributed LDAP directory.

Large-Scale Music Analysis in the Key of E-Science—Stephen Downie, University of Illinois – Urbana, Champaign

The use of eScience technologies in the digital arts and digital humanities research domains represents a fast-growing area of scholarly activity. The Structural Analysis of Large Amounts of Music Information (SALAMI) project is an excellent example of the fruitful union of classic musicology and eScience. SALAMI is a multinational (Canada, United Kingdom, and United States) and multidisciplinary (music theory, library science, and computer science) digital humanities research collaboration. Exploiting 250,000 hours of compute time donated by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois, the SALAMI project is conducting the structural analysis of some 20,000 hours (in other words, roughly 2.3 years) of music audio.

Thus, the SALAMI team is undertaking formal music analyses at a scale that no individual human scholar could ever hope to undertake. They will also contextualize the SALAMI project within the broader frameworks of the ongoing Networked Environment for Music Analysis (NEMA) and the Music Information Retrieval Evaluation eXchange (MIREX) projects. The motivations, goals, and developments of these three interrelated projects are presented to help illustrate the kinds of questions being explored by music informatics scholars and the roles that the eScience suite of tools—including HPC, semantic web, and Linked Data techniques—can play in answering those questions.

Room 351
Norra Latin Drottningatan 71B 11136 Stockholm
Semantics in Action via Services and Policies

Session Chair: Evelyne Viegas, Microsoft Research

Supporting the Virtual Physiological Human with Semantics and Services—Carlos Pedrinaci, Open University

The Virtual Physiological Human (VPH) is a methodological and technological framework that, once established, will enable collaborative investigation of the human body as a single complex system. The collective framework will make it possible to share resources and observations formed by institutions and organizations creating disparate, but integrated computer models of the mechanical, physical, and biochemical functions of a living human body. Over the last few years, we have been applying semantic and service technologies to support the above ambition. Recent work has focused in particular on service descriptions, with supporting tools, which can be represented as Linked Open Data.

Provenance in the Semantic Web—Steffen Staab, University of Koblenz-Landau

The Semantic Web has been developed in order to combine data from a broad range of underlying data sources. Once data sources are combined, the question follows how to identify the provenance of data contributed from these many sources and how to pursue the policies that are bound to such data. In this talk, we will present our approaches for tracking the provenance of RDF data and OWL axioms in SPARQL-based question answering and how to realize (privacy) policies concerning such data.

Making the Semantic Web Easier to Use for eScience Applications—Tim Finin, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Semantic Web technologies have the potential to support science by providing a web-based data representation that ties data to semantics models, facilitates data sharing and linking, supports provenance annotations, and can exploit a large and growing collection of background knowledge on the web. While the concepts and technologies are mature and supported by sound standards, their use within scientific communities remains relatively low. This talk will discuss current research aimed at reducing some of the barriers to wider adoption and use by both professional and citizen scientists. It will describe approaches to publishing and sharing scientific data on social media systems, techniques enabling scientists to generate Semantic Web data by using familiar software tools, and new approaches to querying large collections of Semantic Web data.

Room 353
Norra Latin Drottningatan 71B 11136 Stockholm
Coffee break
Software for Science

Session Chair: Yan Xu, Microsoft Research

European Union support for e-Science through e-InfrastructuresKirsti Ala-Mutka, European Commission

Predicting Where on Earth Life Is and Will Be – SDM 2.0—Greg Mclnerny, Microsoft Research, Cambridge

Predicting the future distribution of biodiversity on the planet is of paramount scientific, economic, governmental, and societal importance as we try to develop understanding and policy that addresses global environmental change. Downloadable software and data resources have enabled an immense research domain to develop in response to this research agenda, known as SDM (Species Distribution Modelling). Despite more than 20 years of intensive research activity in SDM and more than 20,000 published papers on this activity, significant methodological issues exist and its relationship between the software and science is highly controversial. Current modelling methods are almost entirely based on correlative statistical models that include a very small part of ecological knowledge, and use coarse binary information on species’ occurrence that are prone to measurement error. I will talk about our work to develop a framework for a new generation of methods: SDM 2.0. This framework goes beyond our novel methodological developments that address major sources of uncertainty in biodiversity predictions (for example, Bayesian modelling of measurement errors and biotic-interactions); we are also addressing novel techniques for uncertain spatial information all the way to understanding the sociology of the software that drives this scientific domain and that will inform our own development of new SDM software. This holistic approach aims to produce software that enables new kinds of policy relevant science.

Are We Losing Science Within Software? (panel session)

Panel Chair: Kenji Takeda, Microsoft Research; Jeremy Frey, University of Southampton; Alex Szalay, Johns Hopkins University

In this panel session, we will describe the sociology of scientific software development. We will then discuss key questions concerning how the scientific community can work together better to produce new tools, technologies, and platforms to accelerate the pace of scientific discovery

Room 351
Norra Latin
Drottningatan 71B 11136 Stockholm
Dinner at City Hall City Hall

Wednesday, December 7, 2011



IEEE e-Science Conference Keynote 2
Coffee break
Breakout Sessions
Open Data for Open Science – An Environmental Informatics Workshop (part 1)

Session Chair: Yan Xu, Microsoft Research

How to effectively share, discover, access, and consume data from heterogeneous sources is one of the outstanding challenges in today’s environmental research. Environmental informatics is about innovatively using computing technologies to solve the data problems and advance the transformation of environmental data to information, to knowledge, and to social impact. The presentations in this session will share various perspectives, scenarios, and demos in environmental data discovery, data process via HPC and/or cloud computing, and data visualization. Each presentation will end with one or more questions to encourage audience discussion. Please join us with your questions and contribute to an interactive experience at this workshop.


Open Data for Open Science –Environmental Informatics at Microsoft—Yan Xu, Microsoft Research

This talk presents the Microsoft Environmental Informatics Framework (EIF), which defines the role that Microsoft Research plays in contributing to the advancement of environmental research worldwide. EIF provides cutting-edge Microsoft technologies to researchers as well as successful examples of engaging the technologies with the most challenging current environmental research problems.

PivotViewer: a Living Infographic for Your Data—Bryan Kraus, Microsoft

PivotViewer takes data in any state of polish and construction and disassembles it into the visual and data elements that tell the true underlying story. This visualization tool provides a bridge from the unknown into the heart of what your results have to offer. Very simply, providing the right visualization and the right UI metaphors with which to immerse yourself in the data means that the value of the whole of the data becomes much greater than the sum of its parts. PivotViewer enables you to see previously invisible trends, which then enables you to iterate on various hypotheses rapidly until you see what your data actually will support; thereby reducing the barrier of entry into a world of interactive, fluid, and gracefully designed data driven experiences.

Data Integration in Environmental Observatory Networks—Ilya Zaslavsky, University of California, San Diego

Environmental observatories represent comprehensive, highly-instrumented observing systems, which are key components for the monitoring and studying of interdisciplinary terrestrial, aquatic, and meteorological processes across a range of temporal and spatial scales. Understanding the dynamics of complex environmental systems often requires cross-observatory comparison and data integration, and sophisticated information infrastructure to support data sharing. This presentation will review information infrastructure challenges and solutions from several large-scale environmental observatory projects, including the CUAHSI Hydrologic Information System, the Critical Zone Observatory, and the Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring Network. We will focus, in particular, on issues of semantic consistency, standard information models and services for information exchange, and advanced visualization techniques used to summarize and represent data within a network of observatories.

Visual Analytics Challenges in Environmental Informatics: The Case of Paleoclimatology—Roberto Therón, University of Salamanca (Spain)

Current efforts related to environmental research pose several challenges that can be summarized as the great difficulty to make sense of vast and heterogeneous datasets within an increasingly complex process that involves many different disciplines, institutions, and practices. Visual Analytics has emerged in the recent years as a field that provides tools and techniques to facilitate the analytical reasoning process through the creation of software that maximizes human capacity to perceive, understand, and reason about complex and dynamic data and situations.

In order to gain insights on environmental problems, all the available spatio-temporal data sources must be integrated, analyzed, and presented in a meaningful way; it is imperative that new tools and new methodologies are developed to help the experts extract the relevant information. In this talk, Roberto will present several visual analysis examples and lessons learned in his research within the field of Paleoclimatology.

Room 351
Norra Latin
Drottningatan 71B 11136 Stockholm
Is NUI “Natural” for Scientists?

Session Chairs: Kenji Takeda and Stewart Tansley, Microsoft Research

Speakers: Mark Abbott, Oregon State University; Hans-Christian Jetter, Univeristy of Konstanz; Madhusudhanan Srinivasan, KAUST; Anne Trefethen, University of Oxford

Natural user interface (NUI) technology has captured imaginations across industry, education, and entertainment with the release of groundbreaking new technologies for interacting with computer systems, such as Microsoft Surface and Kinect for Xbox 360. You don’t have to look far to realize that technology is becoming more natural and intuitive. People use touch and speech to interact with their phones, at the ATM, at the grocery store, and in their cars. The learning curve for working with computers is becoming less and less of a barrier, thanks to more natural ways to interact. How is this technology being used by scientists today, and what is its potential? This panel will explore best practices and new directions, ultimately seeking to present a slice through the current research agenda for NUI research in scientific applications.

Room 353
Norra Latin
Drottningatan 71B 11136 Stockholm
13:00–14:30 Breakout Sessions
Open Data for Open Science – An Environmental Informatics Workshop (part 2)

Session Chair: Yan Xu, Microsoft Research

Using the OData protocol in eScience—Chris Robinson, Microsoft

OData is a protocol for sharing, querying, and manipulating data that is ideal for use in eScience. In this talk, Alex will explain how an open simple standard for sharing data is vital and how OData solves common challenges you might face sharing your data. You’ll also hear about recent additions to OData that cover everything from spatial data to concepts like inheritance.

On the Processing of Sensing Data in eScience—Antônio Loureiro, Federal University of Minas Gerais

Future eScience applications will strongly rely on sensing technologies to obtain a diversity of data. This creates new challenges to scientists who are involved in those eScience applications that are being studied by computer scientists. In this talk, we will discuss the different problems of sensing data processing in eScience and how the information technology and communication—in other words, software, hardware, and data communication—can help eScientists in solving those problems. We will present some case studies that support these points.

Advancing Digital Urban Informatics for Innovative Environmental and Water Resources Management—Yong Liu, University of Illinois – Urbana, Champaign

Continuing urbanization and regional climate change will increase the likelihood of extreme hydrological events such as storms and drought in the coming decades. Data from heterogeneous environmental sensor networks as well as social web, such as Twitter, provide an opportunity for us to develop data-driven participatory science, while at the same time increasingly higher resolution physics-based models continue to provide predictive understanding of the natural environment. The “Digital Urban Informatics” project at NCSA, in collaboration with Microsoft Research, has begun to develop a new computational framework that can harmonize both data-driven computing and physics-modeling approach for science-based innovative environmental and water resources decision support. Currently, we focus on two science use cases: long-term drought risk analysis in Arizona and short-term flooding situational awareness in South Florida. In this presentation, we will report our progress on three informatics tools development and their associated applications:

  • Development of mobile-plus-cloud technology that can support real-time citizen sensing and visualization using Window Phone 7 and NCSA streaming data services on the Windows Azure Cloud for localized situational awareness
  • On-demand “dropbox”-style ensemble run services on Windows Azure for groundwater risk analysis
  • Interoperability study using Linked Open Data approach for provenance-aware data mash-up across multiple domains

Preliminary results of this project have already attracted great interest in the environmental community and we will discuss our future plans to extend these services to the broad community.

Room 351
Norra Latin
Drottningatan 71B 11136 Stockholm
14:30–15:00 Coffee break
15:00–16:00 IEEE Workshops
16:15–17:15 IEEE e-Science Conference Keynote 3
18:30–22:00 Gala dinner at Stockholm venue

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Visit the IEEE International Conference on e-Science website for information about Thursday’s program.


Mark Abbott

Mamarkrabbott_75x90rk R. Abbott is dean and professor in the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University (OSU). He received his B.S. in Conservation of Natural Resources from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1974, and his Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of California, Davis, in 1978. He has been at OSU since 1988 and has been dean of the College since 2001. Prior to coming to OSU, he was a member of the technical staff at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a research oceanographer at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. His research focuses on the interaction of biological and physical processes in the upper ocean and relies on both remote sensing and field observations. His work led to the inclusion of chlorophyll fluorescence bands in MODIS (the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on NASA’s EOS Terra and Aqua satellites) to support next-generation ocean primary productivity algorithms that used these fluorescence data to estimate the physiological health of upper ocean phytoplankton. He is funded by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) to explore advanced computer architectures for use in undersea platforms. He is serving a six-year term on the National Science Board, which oversees the National Science Foundation and provides scientific advice to the White House and to Congress. He is vice chair of the Oregon Global Warming Commission, which is leading the state’s efforts in mitigation and adaptation strategies in response to climate change. He is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Consortium for Ocean Leadership as well as the Board of Trustees for the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. He is president-elect of The Oceanography Society.

Kirsti Ala-Mutka

Dr. Kikam_75x90rsti Ala-Mutka works as a scientific/technical project officer at the GEANT and e-Infrastructures unit of the European Commission DG Information Society and Media. Previously, she has worked as a researcher at Tampere University of Technology and as scientific officer at the Information Society unit of EC Joint Research Center IPTS. She has developed several studies and reports addressing the challenges and opportunities of the information society, focusing on the impacts of new technologies and their applications on lifelong learning, inclusion, and innovation. Currently, her work concentrates on policies and projects to provide European e-infrastructures to support the development of eScience approaches and virtual research communities.

Furio Barzon

Ffuriobarzon_75x90urio Barzon is founder and CEO of Collaboratorio, a private incubator producing research for innovative business in building industry. Collaboratorio is partner of VENUS-C project and it’s based in Venice, Italy. Furio founded and has been the editorial director of the Internet portal for 10 years. The web station is a reference point for a large group of young innovative architects in Italy and it promotes new emerging values in architecture. Furio recently founded Green Prefab, a digital platform involving international stakeholders in green buildings, based on industrial processes led by software lifecycle management facilities and factory production. Furio is focused specifically on new trends in architecture, having expertise with digital tools for architecture. He has produced a number of books and articles on contemporary architecture and, in addition, has held lessons in Italian at foreign universities.

Ignacio Blanquer

Igignacioblanquer_75x90nacio Blanquer Espert is professor of the Computer Systems Department (DSIC) of the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) since 1999 and he is currently a member of the Institute of Instrumentation for Medical Imaging (I3M). He obtained his BSc degree in Computer Science in 1993 and the Ph.D. in parallel computing for medical imaging in 2003. He has participated in more than 30 European and national projects related with the application of parallel and distributed computing to different scientific areas, especially biomedicine. He is currently the user community manager for the VENUS-C European project, and he is also member of the coordinating body of the Spanish National Grid Initiative, coordinator of the application area of the Spanish Network for e-Science and member of the Board of Directors of the HealthGrid association.

Götz Brasche

Dr.gotz-brasche75x90 Götz Philip Brasche, head of Cloud Computing Initiative for Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) at Microsoft, co-founded the European Microsoft Innovation Center (EMIC) in 2003. In his current role at EMIC, he is responsible for Microsoft’s cloud computing research engagements in EMEA. As a member of the executive committee, technical lead, and Microsoft’s representative in the Project Management Board, he drives Microsoft’s contribution to the FP7 (7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development ) project, VENUS-C. He is also member of the Roadmap Editorial Board of the FP7 support action SIENA, the Standards and Interoperability for e-Infrastructure Implementation Initiative, and actively contributes to the future e-infrastructure roadmap. Dr. Brasche holds a master’s degree in Computer Science with a minor in Business Administration and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering.

Karin Breitman

Karin Brkarinbreitman_75x80eitman is an assistant professor at PUC-Rio and former Computer Engineering Program coordinator. Her research focuses on Software Engineering and its applications in Knowledge Representation, Requirements Engineering, Semantic Web and Cloud Computing. She is the publications director of the Brazilian Computer Society, and IFIP’s TC-1 secretary. In 2009, she was the PC chair of two IEEE conferences (ICECCS’09 and SEW’09), two workshops (IEEE ECBS-LARC’09 and WIT), and FME’s sponsored ICFEM’09. Author of more than 70 research papers in conference proceedings and journals, she received numerous research grants from public institutions and private industry, including NASA, CNRS, IBM and, more recently, Hewlett Packard. Her new book, Video Processing in the Cloud (Springer Verlag) is coming out in October 2011. She actively collaborates with SBC in their gender equity initiative and received the Google Brazil Women in Information Technology award for her contribution in promoting the importance of gender related issues in her country. She was recently awarded the Software Engineering Foundation Innovation Award for her work in cloud computing conceptual modeling. Learn more.

David De Roure

David Ddavidderoure_75x90e Roure is professor of e-Research in the Oxford e-Research Centre and the UK National Strategic Director for Digital Social Research. He has been closely involved in the UK e-Science program and has worked with multiple disciplines including social sciences, musicology, chemistry, bioinformatics, environmental science, and psychology. His projects include the development of “datascopes” to help understand data and “ramps” to support incremental engagement with new computational capabilities, and he has made extensive use of use of Web 2.0, Semantic Web, and scientific workflow technologies. David advocates the primacy of method in data-centric research and the co-creation of new sharable digital artifacts or “computational research objects.” He has an extensive background in distributed systems, Web and Linked Data, runs the social website, and is a Web Science champion for the Web Science Trust.

Lee Dirks

Lee Dirkdirkss is the director for Portfolio Strategy in Microsoft Research Connections, the team within Microsoft Research responsible for working closely with academia and research organizations helping to solve some of the world’s most challenging scientific and social problems. A veteran with more than 20 years of experience across multiple information management fields, Dirks holds a Master of Library Science degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a post-master’s degree in Preservation Administration from Columbia University. In addition to past positions at Columbia University and at OCLC, he has held a variety of roles at Microsoft since joining the company in 1996, initially as corporate archivist, then corporate librarian, and senior manager in the corporate market research organization.

Stephen Downie

jstephendownie_75x90J. Stephen Downie is a professor and associate dean for research at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). He has been actively working at the intersection of large-scale music analysis and eScience through his leadership of the Networked Environment for Music Analysis (NEMA) project and the Structural Analysis of Large Amounts of Music Information (SALAMI) project. Professor Downie is currently serving as the founding president of the International Society for Music Information Retrieval (ISMIR). Dr. Downie studied music theory and composition for his B.A. (1988) and then earned his MLIS (1993) and Ph.D.(1999) in Library and Information Science, all from The University of Western Ontario, in London, Ontario, Canada.

Graeme Earl

Dr. Graeme graemeearl_75x90Earl is a senior lecturer in the Archaeological Computing Research Group at the University of Southampton. He works at the interface between cultural heritage and computation. He is particularly concerned with the development and implementation of digital data capture techniques and multimedia resources for archaeology, including the uses of computer graphics, virtual reality, linked data, and other techniques for the interpretation of archaeological sites and for providing access to dispersed data. He is chair of the University Strategic Research Group (USRG) for the Digital Economy. His research is currently funded by grants from the AHRC, British Academy, Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, EPSRC, JISC, and University of Southampton. His research includes projects focussed on reflectance transformation imaging for archaeology and ancient documents; mixed reality and archaeological fieldwork; archaeological data management and scholarly communications; the excavation and simulation of Portus, the port of Imperial Rome; and computer graphic interpretation of Çatalhöyük in Turkey.

Dan Fay

Dan Faydanfay75x90 is director of the Earth, Energy, and Environment effort at Microsoft Research Connections and works with academic scientists on related topics. Previously, he handled North America as part of the Technical Computing Initiative. Dan serves as a member of the Purdue University Computer and Information Technology Industrial advisory board. He is a graduate of Northeastern University.

Tim Finin

Tim Fitimfinin_75x90nin is a professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). He has more than 30 years of experience in applications of Artificial Intelligence to problems in information systems and intelligent interfaces. His current research is focused on the Semantic Web, mobile computing, analyzing and extracting information from text and online social media, and on developing new approaches to enhancing security and privacy in information systems. Finin received an S.B. degree in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has held full-time positions at UMBC, Unisys, the University of Pennsylvania, and the MIT AI Laboratory. Finin is the author of more than 340 refereed publications and has received research grants and contracts from a variety of sources. He is a former chair of the UMBC Computer Science Department, has served on the board of directors of the Computing Research Association, been a AAAI councilor, and chaired many major research conferences. He is currently on the editorial board of several journals and is an editor-in-chief of the Elsevier Journal of Web Semantics.

Jeremy Frey

Jeremy jeremyfrey_75x90Frey is a professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Southampton, UK. He is committed to a collaborative and interdisciplinary approach to chemical research. His interactions with physics, the Opto-Electronics Research Centre, and electronics and computer science have been particularly fruitful. His research is based on the use of laser spectroscopic techniques to probe molecular structure reactivity and dynamics and organization in a variety of environments from single molecules, molecular beam kinetics and photochemistry, to the study of interfaces and surfaces with interfacial non-linear spectroscopy. As part of his current research, he is involved with the UK e-Science programme as PI of the CombeChem project, looking at the ways in which eScience and Grid infrastructure can be developed to provide support for and carry out chemical research, for example, in Electronic Laboratory Notebooks (ELNs) with the Smart Tea Project, generating and applying a “Semantic Chemical Grid” and applying Web 2.0 and social network ideas with chemical blogs and related technologies. Fundamental to the ideas of “Publication @ Source” for scientific data is his work on the interaction of e-print repositories with chemistry in the work on the eBank and eCrystals projects. His most recent laser research, involving higher order non-linear effects, is as the PI of a basic technology project to generate a nanoscale ultra short pulse of x-ray source by using ultrashort-pulsed lasers and fibre technology aimed at probing the shape of single, large molecules of biological significance—such as enzymes—by using EUV and soft x-ray coherent diffraction imaging and x-ray spectroscopy. He was the chair of the UK e-Science User Group (2005–2007) and in 2005–2006 he held a visiting Fellowship at the Centre for Mathematics and its Applications at ANU, Canberra. Learn more.

Fabrizio Gagliardi

Fabrizifabriziogagliardi_75x105o Gagliardi is Europe, Middle East, and Africa Director for Microsoft Research Connections. He joined Microsoft in November 2005 after a long career at CERN, the world-leading laboratory for particle physics in Geneva, Switzerland. There he held several technical and managerial positions since 1975: director of the EU Grid project EGEE (2004–2005); director of the EU Data-Grid project (2001–2004); head of mass storage services (1997–2000); leader of the EU project GPMIMD2 (1993–1996).

Fabrizio Gagliardi has worked with four different Nobel Prize winners while at CERN. He has a Doctor degree in Computer Science, granted by the University of Pisa in 1974. Dr. Gagliardi has been consulting on computing and computing policy matters with the Commission of the European Union, several government and international bodies (among them NSF, DoE in the United States, CNRS and other research bodies in France, EPSRC in the United Kingdom, CNR and INFN in Italy, OECD, UN agencies).

Dr. Gagliardi is author and co-author of several publications and articles on real-time and distributed computing systems. Since 2009, he has been chair of the ACM Europe Council. Also in 2009, he was given the additional responsibility to drive the Cloud Computing Initiative of the Microsoft Extreme Computing Group in Europe. As part of that job, he played a major role in the incubation and successful negotiation of a new FP7 EU computing infrastructure project, named VENUS-C, which officially started in June 2010.

Hans-Christian Jetter

Christian is worhans-christianjetterking as a computer scientist and interaction designer in the Human-Computer Interaction Group of the University of Konstanz. His work focuses on the design, implementation, and evaluation of novel information management environments that use natural user interfaces (NUIs), for example, smart rooms equipped with Microsoft Surface, Kinect, or digital pen and paper. During different research projects, he joined the NanoPhotonics Lab of Jeremy Baumberg at the University of Cambridge and the Integrated Systems Group of Natasa Milic-Frayling at Microsoft Research Cambridge to explore the use of NUIs for eScience. Furthermore, his group is known for Surface-based solutions for retail environments and using Kinect as a navigational aid for the visually impaired.

Bryan Kraus

Bryan is thbryan-kraus75x90e senior software engineer on the Microsoft PivotViewer team, and member of the Windows Phone organization. He joined Microsoft Live Labs at the start of the PivotViewer project and has been working on it ever since. His work has been instrumental to the dynamic data and visualsfeatures of the current release as part of the Microsoft Silverlight 5 software development kit. Prior to joining Live Labs, Bryan worked on various small projects at Microsoft, and in Eastman Kodak Company’s Research Labs.

Yong Liu

Yong Liuyongliu_75x90 is a senior research scientist at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research interests are in eScience and computational informatics with an emphasis on developing integrated sensor web, computational methodologies, and information systems for solving both data-intensive and computationally-demanding scientific problems arising from interdisciplinary environmental sustainability study. He earned his Bachelor of Engineering and Master of Engineering degrees in Environmental Engineering in 1994 and 1997, respectively, from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China; his Master of Science in Computer Science and Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering with a specialization in Computational Science and Engineering (a joint program between Computer Science and Civil & Environmental Engineering) in 2001 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Ilja Livenson

Ilja Liiljalivenson_75x90venson joined PDC in 2010 as a Ph.D. student after receiving his M.Sc. in computer science at the University of Tartu, Estonia. At PDC, he works on data management issues in the VENUS-C project. Ilja has previous experience working as a developer, system administrator, and security analyst in several industry and academic projects. His project have included developing medical health system (eHL), helping to extend EGEE to the Baltics (EU FP6/7 BalticGrid I and II), supporting the CERN CMS user community, and working on the peer-to-peer virtual-world platform (EU FP7 VirtualLife).

Antônio Loureiro

Antantonioloureiro_75x90ônio Loureiro received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in computer science from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Brazil, and the Ph.D. degree in computer science from the University of British Columbia, Canada. Currently, he is a professor of computer science at UFMG, where he leads the research group in wireless sensor networks and ubiquitous computing. His main research areas are wireless sensor networks, urban sensing, ubiquitous computing, and distributed algorithms. In the last 15 years, he has published more than 100 papers in international conferences and journals related to those areas, and has also presented tutorials at international conferences. Since 1996, when he became a faculty member at UFMG, Professor Loureiro has received the Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award in Computer Science seven times. He is also a CNPq 1B researcher.

Andrea Manieri

Andrea Maniandreamanieri_75x90eri graduated in Computer Science 1998. In 2000, he joined EU projects as technical manager in the ECOLNET and in 2002, was appointed research & technological development coordinator at Engisanità SpA, an engineering group company operating in the healthcare market. In April 2003, he re-joined Engineering Labs with the responsibility of developing new business for grid technologies, setting up a unit dedicated to European research & development and contributing to several projects under the European Commission’s 6th Framework Programme. Andrea was exploitation manager of the Diligent project and project manager of the EC-funded ERINA Study. His current interests revolve around cloud computing, distributed infrastructures, and multi-core programming.

Greg McInerny

Greg Mcgregmcinerny_75x90Inerny is a postdoctoral researcher in the Computational Ecology and Environmental Science group at the Computational Science Laboratory at Microsoft Research, Cambridge, United Kingdom. By using computational tools, he is primarily focused on researching how the natural world will respond to climate change and how that research can cross the interface with policy. Greg’s work traverses many domains— from statistics and theory, to visualisation and design—and cultures in scientific practice and software development. His joined-up approach to research aims to maximize the impact of computational methods and software in science.

Simon Mercer

Simon Mercsimonmercer_75x105er has a background in Zoology and has worked in various aspects of bioinformatics over the years. Most recently, he was director of Bioinformatics and Strategic IT at the National Research Council of Canada’s Institute for Marine Biosciences, with responsibility for the Canadian Bioinformatics Resource, a national network dedicated to bioinformatics research support. He then worked as director of Software Engineering at Gene Codes Corporation before moving to Microsoft Research in 2005.

Carlos Pedrinaci

Dr. Carlcarlospedrinaci_75x90os Pedrinaci is a Research Fellow at the Knowledge Media Institute of The Open University. Dr. Pedrinaci has published more than 70 papers on semantic web services, knowledge-based systems, and business process management. He has worked on several international research projects related to services such as OBELIX, DIP, SUPER, NoTube, and SOA4All—during which he served as leader of the Fundamental and Integration Activity, and VPH Share. He is actively involved in the standardization of Semantic Web Services technologies, notably as a member of the W3C USDL Incubator Group and, previously, as a member of the SAWSDL Working Group. He serves on the program committee of several conferences, including ESWC 2012, for which he chairs the services track.

Chris Robinson

Chris is a senchrisrobinson_75x90ior developer in test on the Microsoft OData team and a member of the Business Platform Division. He joined Microsoft 10 years ago and worked on testing Microsoft .NET programmability with Microsoft Office. After three years, he moved to the Microsoft SQL Server team. Over the past seven years, he has worked on ADO.NET, Entity Framework, and WCF Data Services.

Arjmand Samuel

Arjmand Samsamueluel is a research program manager at Microsoft Research Connections. Arjmand is responsible for building academic research partnerships related to mobile computing and software engineering. Arjmand has a Ph.D. in Information Security from Purdue University. He has published in a variety of publications on topics of privacy and security in the healthcare domain and social media. He has published several patents and contributed to books on access control models. His recent research interests are in the areas of abuse-prevention and privacy in social media, and, cloud–enhanced mobile computing.

Jeffrey Schnapp

Before movinjeffreyschnapp_75x90g to Harvard in 2011, Jeffrey T. Schnapp occupied the Pierotti Chair of Italian Studies at Stanford, where he founded the Stanford Humanities Lab in 2000. A cultural historian with research interests extending from antiquity to the present, his most recent book is Speed Limits and The Electric Information Age Book (forthcoming). Also forthcoming in 2011 are Digital Humanities: Theory in Practice, a book co-written with Anne Burdick, Johanna Drucker, Peter Lunenfeld, and Todd Presner; Modernitalia, a collection of essays on twentieth-century Italian cultural history; and Italiamerica, co-edited with Emanuela Scarpellini. His pioneering work in the domains of digital humanities and digitally augmented approaches to cultural programming has included curatorial collaborations with the Triennale di Milano, the Cantor Center for the Visual Arts, the Wolfsonian-FIU, and the Canadian Center for Architecture. His Trento Tunnels project—a 6000 square meter pair of highway tunnels in northern Italy repurposed as a history museum—was featured in the Italian pavilion of the 2010 Venice Biennale and will be exhibited at the MAXXI in Rome in the upcoming Recycled Landscapes show (fall 2011). A fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, he is professor of Romance Languages & Literatures and Comparative Literature, and also on the teaching faculty at the Graduate School of Design. He is the faculty director of metaLAB (at) Harvard.

Madhusudhanan Srinivasan

Madmadhusrinivasanhu Srinivasan, Ph.D., works as a visualization and CG research scientist at the Visualization Laboratory at King Abdullah University in Saudi Arabia. Prior to this, he worked as an R&D technical director at LAIKA animation studios (Portland, Oregon), and as an R&D intern at Google Research (Mountain View, California). His interests include novel tools for content creation and interaction in virtual environments, controllable data-driven characters for 3-D environments, stereo content acquisition and display, and information visualization. He obtained his M.S and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from Oregon State University, United States, with Dr. Ronald A. Metoyer.

Steffen Staab

Stefsteffenstaab_75x90fen Staab is professor for databases and information systems at the University of Koblenz-Landau. He is director of the institute for Web Science and Technologies (WeST). His interests are related to many aspects of Web Science, such as Semantic Web, Web Retrieval, Social Web, Multimedia Web, Software Web and Interactive Web. Steffen held positions as researcher, project leader, and lecturer at the University of Freiburg, the University of Stuttgart/Fraunhofer Institute IAO, and the University of Karlsruhe and he is a co-founder of Ontoprise GmbH. Steffen has published more than 200 papers, including top conferences on the web, artificial intelligence, databases, and information systems. He is coordinator for the EU FP7 Integrated Project “ROBUST” on analyzing online communities, he is editor-in-chief for Elsevier’s Journal of Web Semantics, program chair for WWW 2012 and he has been general chair for ACM WebSci ’11, the third international conference on Web Science.

Don Syme

Don Symdonsyme_75x90e is a principal researcher at Microsoft Research Cambridge. He has been a major contributor to the design and implementation of Microsoft .NET, C# 2.0, and is the designer of the F# programming language. He has been quietly developing the programming foundations for a scientific programming revolution while participating in several of Microsoft’s science initiatives, including 2020 Science and the Technical Computing Initiative.

Kenji Takeda

Dr. Kenji Tkenjitakeda_75x90akeda is solutions architect and technical manager for the Microsoft Research Connections EMEA team. He has extensive experience in cloud computing, high-performance and high-productivity computing, data-intensive science, scientific workflows, scholarly communication, engineering, and educational outreach. He has a passion for developing novel computational approaches to tackle fundamental and applied problems in science and engineering. He was previously co-director of the Microsoft Institute for High Performance Computing, and senior lecturer in Aeronautics, at the University of Southampton, United Kingdom.

Stewart Tansley

Stewart is a tansleysenior research program manager at Microsoft Research Connections and acting product manager for the Kinect for Windows SDK from Microsoft Research. He is responsible for Microsoft’s academic research partnerships related to Natural User Interface (NUI), especially device-oriented, including Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS), robotics, and sensor networks. Before joining Microsoft in 2001, he spent 13 years in the telecommunications industry in software research and development, focusing on technology transfer. Stewart has a Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence applied to Engineering from Loughborough University, UK. He has published a variety of papers on robotics for education, artificial intelligence, and network management as well as several patents, and co-authored a book on software engineering for artificial intelligence applications. In 2009, he co-edited The Fourth Paradigm, a book that collates visionary essays on the emerging field of data-intensive science. His recent research interests have centered on multi-device NUI, social human-robot interaction, robotics as a context for computer science education, sensor networks, and ubiquitous computing.

Roberto Theron

Roberto robertotheron_75x90Therón received his doctoral degree from the Robotics Group at the Univerisidad de Salamanca, where his research focused on combining fields such as Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Statistics, Graphic Design, and Data Visualization as a means for understanding complex data. After completing his thesis, he spent time developing tools for the visualization of multidimensional data such as genetic or paeloclimatic data. Currently, he is the group manager of the Visual Analytics and Information Visualization Research Group (VisUsal), devoted to the development of advanced tools that help users in understanding complex datasets coming from a variety of fields.

Evelyne Viegas

Evelyne viegasViegas is the director of Semantic Computing at Microsoft Research, in Redmond, Washington. Semantic Computing is about interacting with data in rich, safe, and semantically meaningful ways to create the path from data to information, knowledge, and intelligence. In her current role, Evelyne is building initiatives that focus on information seen as an enabler of innovation, working in partnership with universities and government agencies worldwide. In particular, she is creating programs around computational intelligence research to drive open innovation and agile experimentation via cloud-based services, and projects to advance the state-of-the-art in knowledge representation and reasoning under uncertainty at web scale.

Prior to her present role, Evelyne worked as a technical lead at Microsoft delivering natural language processing components to projects for MSN, Office, and Windows. Before Microsoft, and after completing her Ph.D. in France, she worked as a principal investigator at the Computing Research Laboratory in New Mexico on an ontology-based machine translation project. Evelyne serves on international editorial, program, and award committees. Learn more.

Alex Wade

Alex Wadwadee is director for Scholarly Communication at Microsoft Research, where he oversees several projects and partnerships with academia that are related to researcher productivity, semantic information capture, and the interoperability of information systems. During his career at Microsoft, Alex has managed the corporate search and taxonomy management services, has shipped a SharePoint-based document and workflow management solution for Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, and served as senior program manager for Windows Search.

Andreas Witt

After andreaswitt_75x90graduating from Bielefeld University in 1996, Andreas Witt started at this university as a researcher and instructor in Computational Linguistics and Text Technology. He was heavily involved in the establishment of the Text Technology concentration within Bielefeld University’s Magister and B.A. program in 1999 and 2002, respectively. After completing his Ph.D. in 2002, he became an assistant lecturer with the Text Technology group in Bielefeld. In 2006, he moved to Tübingen University, where he was involved in a project on Sustainability of Linguistic Resources and in projects on the interoperability of language data. Since 2009, he has been a senior researcher at Institut für Deutsche Sprache (Institute for the German Language) in Mannheim, Germany. Witt is a member of numerous research organizations, including the TEI Special Interest Group, “TEI for Linguists.” Witt’s major research interests deal with questions on the use and limitations of markup languages for the linguistic description of language data.

Simon Woodman

Simosimonwoodman_75x90n Woodman is a research associate in the Scalable Information Management group. His interests include workflow enactment, especially those systems that allow distributed coordination; service description languages; data provenance; social networking; and collective intelligence. He is currently developing an eScience system to allow secure data sharing and workflow enactment for the scientific domain.

Yan Xu

Yan Xu ixus a senior research program manager in the Earth, Energy, and Environment group at Microsoft Research. Her research is focused on interdisciplinary computing to engage Microsoft technologies with sciences in the Earth, energy, and environmental research areas. Yan has also been driving the Transform Science effort, which aims at bridging the gaps between scientific research and science education. She joined Microsoft Research in March 2006. Prior to working at Microsoft Research, Yan was a senior software architect and worked for several start-up software companies for more than 10 years. Yan received her Ph.D. in Physics from McGill University, Canada.

Na Yang

Na Yanayang_75x90ng is a Ph.D. student from University of Rochester, supervised by Professor Wendi Heinzelman in the Wireless Communications and Networking Group. Her interests lie in the areas of mobile computing, signal processing, and multimedia wireless sensor networks. She has been working on topics ranging from energy-efficient wireless image transmissions to optimized camera and motion sensor placement to audio signal processing, and she has published on top-tier conferences such as IEEE Global Communications Conference (GLOBECOM) and IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC).

Ilya Zaslavsky

Ilya Zilyazaslavsky_75x90aslavsky is director of Spatial Information Systems Laboratory at the San Diego Supercomputer Center, University of California San Diego. His research focuses on distributed information management systems—in particular, on spatial and temporal data integration, geographic information systems, and spatial data analysis. Ilya has been leading design and technical development in several cyberinfrastructure projects, including the national-scale Hydrologic Information System, which develops standards, databases, and services for integration of hydrologic observations. He has also developed spatial data management infrastructure as part of several large projects, in domains ranging from neuroscience (digital brain atlases) to geology, disaster response (NIEHS Katrina portal), regional planning, and conservation. Ilya received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington (1995) for research on statistical analysis and reasoning models for geographic data. Previously, he received a Ph.D. equivalent from the Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Geography, for his work on urban simulation modeling and metropolitan evolution (1990).


View videos of the presentations from the December 2011 workshop. See the agenda for information about the presentations.