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Keynote Address

"It's not a Data Deluge - It's Worse than That"

Craig Stewart, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Pervasive Technology Institute; Associate Dean, Research Technologies; Adjunct Professor (Informatics Division, IU School of Informatics; Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics, IU School of Medicine; Department of Biology, College of Arts and Sciences, IUB)

Abstract: IU was among the many organizations that developed the phrase ‘data deluge’ to describe the prodigious capabilities of digital instruments to produce data. A deluge calls to mind an extremely heavy rain, or maybe being drenched by a large wave. Unfortunately the situation we have is worse than that. The new capabilities of next-generation sequencing machines, digital video, and the capability of scientists to put high-output devices in remote locations makes the data issue far more challenging that it has ever been. In this talk I will focus on two general areas of handling data issues: wide area filesystems and movement of data across long distances; and the challenges of data management when data production rates simply exceed the capabilities of the network connecting source to analysis facilities. Examples will be drawn from use of the IU Data Capacitor, now the most widely used globally-accessible file system in the history of the TeraGrid; and field studies with data sources ranging from the Antarctic ice cap to African villages to telescopes on remote mountains. Some successes and many emerging challenges will be discussed.

Bio: Craig Stewart leads the Pervasive Technology Institute (PTI), IU's main research, development, and delivery organization in advanced IT research. The mission of the Pervasive Technology Institute is to invent, develop, deploy, and when appropriate deliver new and innovative applications of information technology - and in so doing improve the quality of life in Indiana and the world as a whole. In tandem, Stewart leads the Research Technologies (RT) division of University Information Technology Services (UITS), which serves the research and scholarship missions of Indiana University. Research Technologies seeks to enhance the quality and quantity of IU research by providing the best possible computation, storage, and visualization facilities and support for IU researchers. The division pioneers the frontiers of advanced computing as a research and development endeavor, and supports research and development through purposeful university/government/industry partnerships and extramural grants. Stewart has had a long career in IT at Indiana University, with extensive experience in leading and managing services to support researchers at IU, including past appointments as Director of the Center for Statistical and Mathematical Computing, Research and Academic Computing, Indiana Genomics Initiative Information Technology Core; and Special Assistant for the Life Sciences, IU Office of the Vice President for Research. Stewart is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Informatics, and also holds adjunct appointments in the Department of Medical Genetics (IU School of Medicine) and Biology (IU Bloomington). Stewart has served as a Visiting Faculty Member in Computer Science, University of Stuttgart, and as a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the Technische Universitaet Dresden (Germany). He has a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Indiana University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics and Biology from Wittenburg University.