e-Science Central - Science as a Service

02/02/2010 - 14:00
02/02/2010 - 15:00
Seminar Topic: 
USYD Basser Seminar Series, School of Information Technologies
Speaker: 
Professor Paul Watson
Speaker: 
Professor of Computer Science, Newcastle University UK
Abstract: 
Scientists face many challenges in extracting value from the increasingly large volumes of data they generate. Based on our experiences working across a wide range of e-science projects, we have identified four key activities required by the scientists with whom we work, and designed an integrated system - e-Science Central - to provide them. This exploits three emerging technologies: Software as a Service to avoid the need for users to deploy and maintain any of their own software; Social Networking to allow users to collaborate by sharing data, services and workflows in a controlled manner; and Cloud Computing to provide scalable compute resources. The system can be used through any web browser, but also provides an API so applications can build on the core functionality. In this talk, we will describe the requirements and the design that flows from them. This includes data storage with in-built versioning and signing, an in-browser workflow editor, and a scheduling system that allows workflows to be run on clouds, including Microsoft Azure.
Speaker's biography: 
Paul Watson is Professor of Computer Science at Newcastle University, UK, Director of the Digital Institute, and Director of the North East Regional e-Science Centre. He also leads a $20M Digital Economy Hub on "Social Inclusion through the Digital Economy". He graduated in 1983 with a BSc in Computer Engineering from Manchester University, followed by a PhD in 1986. In the 80s, as a Lecturer at Manchester University, he was a designer of the Alvey Flagship and Esprit EDS parallel systems. During this time he began to collaborate closely with the computer company ICL, and in 1990 he moved to ICL High Performance Systems to work as system designer of a commercial product based on this research. The result - the ICL Goldrush MegaServer parallel database server - was released as a product in 1994. In August 1995 he moved to Newcastle University to research the next generation of information management systems. There, he has been an investigator on research projects totalling $50M. Paul Watson's main research interests are in data-intensive computing and his current work is on the design of scalable analysis systems that incorporate cloud computing and social networking. In total, he has over seventy refereed publications, and three patents. He is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the British Computer Society, and a member of the UK Computing Research Committee.
Location: 
The University of Sydney, School of IT Building
Location Details: 
Lecture Theatre (Room 123), Level 1