2nd IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Big Data Computing
December 10, 2015 -- St. Raphael Resort, Limassol, Cyprus

Keynote, Ian T. Foster

Title: Accelerating discovery via science services

Abstract.We have made much progress over the past decade toward harnessing the collective power of IT resources distributed across the globe. In big-science projects in high-energy physics, astronomy, and climate, thousands work daily within virtual computing systems with global scope. But we now face a far greater challenge: Exploding data volumes and powerful simulation tools mean that many more--ultimately most?--researchers will soon require capabilities not so different from those used by such big-science teams. How are we to meet these needs? Must every lab be filled with computers and every researcher become an IT specialist? Perhaps the solution is rather to move research IT out of the lab entirely: to develop suites of science services to which researchers can dispatch mundane but time-consuming tasks, and thus to achieve economies of scale and reduce cognitive load. I explore the past, current, and potential future of large-scale outsourcing and automation for science, and suggest opportunities and challenges for today’s researchers. I use examples from Globus and other projects to demonstrate what can be achieved.

Ian T. Foster Biography. Ian Foster is the Director of the Computation Institute, a joint institute of the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory. He is also an Argonne Senior Scientist and Distinguished Fellow and the Arthur Holly Compton Distinguished Service Professor of Computer Science at the University of Chicago.

Ian received a BSc (Hons I) degree from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, and a PhD from Imperial College, United Kingdom, both in computer science. His research deals with distributed, parallel, and data-intensive computing technologies, and innovative applications of those technologies to scientific problems in such domains as climate change and biomedicine. Methods and software developed under his leadership underpin many large national and international cyberinfrastructures.

Dr. Foster is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association for Computing Machinery, and the British Computer Society. His awards include the Global Information Infrastructure (GII) Next Generation award, the British Computer Society's Lovelace Medal, R&D Magazine's Innovator of the Year, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. He was a co-founder of Univa UD, Inc., a company established to deliver grid and cloud computing solutions.