Data Intensive Discoveries in Science: the Fourth Paradigm and Beyond

Colloquia
Cray Distinguished Speaker Series
December 7, 2015 -
11:15am to 12:15pm
Presenter: 
Affiliation: 
Johns Hopkins University
Location: 
RM 3-180 Keller Hall
Host: 
David Du

ABSTRACT: The talk will describe how science is changing as a result of the vast amounts of data we are collecting from gene sequencers to telescopes and supercomputers. This “Fourth Paradigm of Science”, predicted by Jim Gray, is moving at full speed, and is transforming one scientific area after another. The talk will present various examples on the similarities of the emerging new challenges and how this vision is realized by the scientific community. Scientists are increasingly limited by their ability to analyze the large amounts of complex data available. These data sets are generated not only by instruments but also computational experiments; the sizes of the largest numerical simulations are on par with data collected by instruments, crossing the petabyte threshold this year. The importance of large synthetic data sets is increasingly important, as scientists compare their experiments to reference simulations. All disciplines need a new “instrument for data” that can deal not only with large data sets but the cross product of large and diverse data sets. There are several multi-faceted challenges related to this conversion, e.g. how to move, visualize, analyze and in general interact with Petabytes of data.

BIO: Alexander Szalay is Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at the Johns Hopkins University, in the Departments of Physics and Astronomy, and Computer Science. He is the Director of the JHU Institute for Data Intensive Science. He is a cosmologist, working on the statistical measures of the spatial distribution of galaxies and galaxy formation. He is a Corresponding Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2004 he received an Alexander Von Humboldt Award in Physical Sciences, in 2007 the Microsoft Jim Gray Award. In 2008 he became Doctor Honoris Causa of the Eotvos University, Budapest. He enjoys playing with Big Data.

Schedule