Science in the Cloud


July 29, 2014


Hyunju Lee, Parker MacCready, Yan Xu, and Chunmiao Zheng


Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, University of Washington-Seattle, Beihang University, Peking University


The sciences are currently undergoing a fundamental transition due to the avalanche of data that is generated by instruments, simulations, on-line archives and social media. The impact of the data revolution is seen in every discipline. Cloud computing was invented to manage the big data challenges of Internet companies, but it is now seen as a critical tools for many research communities. Life Science, environmental science and geosciences have been early adopters of cloud technology because of easy by which the cloud can accrue data from many sources and make it available for analysis by large communities. This session illustrates work by academic researchers who have been awarded “Microsoft Azure for Research” cloud awards. We highlight four of our early project out of the 190 projects that we have awarded. We will also briefly discuss some new tools for machine learning and data analysis in the cloud that we will be making available to the community.


Hyunju Lee, Parker MacCready, Yan Xu, and Chunmiao Zheng

Professor Hyunju Lee is currently an associate professor at Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST). She received a B.S. degree from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Daejon, Korea, in 1997; an M.S. degree from Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea, in 1999; and a Ph.D. degree from the University of Southern California, United States, in 2006.

She served as a Full-Time Lecturer at the School of Information and Communications of GIST from 2007 to 2008 and as an Assistant Professor from 2008 to 2013. She has been an Associate Professor since 2013. Prior to joining GIST, she was a post-doctoral researcher at the Harvard Medical School from 2006 to 2007.

Her research interests include data mining, bioinformatics, cancer genetics, and text mining, and she has published highly-cited papers in international journals. She has been developing novel data mining methods for diverse area from the Internet to life science. Currently, she is building a search engine for cancer researchers and integrative algorithms for revealing new biomarkers for various diseases.

Dr. Parker MacCready is a Professor at the University of Washington School of Oceanography. His research focuses on the physics—and numerical simulation—of ocean circulation and biogeochemistry in coastal and estuarine regions. He recently spent four months as a Visiting Researcher at Microsoft Research Connections, and is working with the group to create a daily forecast model of Washington and Puget Sound waters, with the goal of making Ocean Acidification predictions that will be useful to shellfish growers.

Yan Xu has been a teacher in the school of Biological and Medical Engineering of Beihang University since July 2009. Also, Dr. Xu has worked at Microsoft Research Asia as a visiting researcher since March 2009. Dr. Xu received her PhD degree in the Department of Biomedical Engineering of Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, in 2009. From August 2007 to August 2008, as an exchange student supported by the Chinese government, she studied in the Computer and Electronic department of Iowa University. Her research areas include weakly supervised learning, deep learning, medical image analysis, medical language processing, and parallel algorithms for “big data.” She has published, as the first author or the corresponding author, more than 20 conference and journal papers.

Chunmiao Zheng currently holds the position of Chair Professor and Director of the Center for Water Research at Peking University. He has also been the George Lindahl III Endowed Professor at the University of Alabama. The primary areas of his academic research are hydrologic modeling, water management, and eco-hydrological processes. Zheng is developer of the MT3DMS contaminant transport model, and author or co-author of more than 150 papers and 5 books. Zheng has served as associate editor for leading water resources journals. Currently, Zheng is a member of the Standing Committee on Hydrologic Science of the U.S. National Research Council. For his outstanding contributions to the fields of hydrogeology and groundwater science, he was awarded the O.E. Meinzer award by the Geological Society of America and the M. King Hubbert award by the National Ground Water Association, both in 2013. Zheng received a Ph.D. in hydrogeology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.