July 2, Wednesday, Keynote

Impact! The Challenge of Industrial Research in Computer Science in a web 2.0 world

Laura Haas
Distinguished Engineer and Director, Computer Science
Almaden Research Center, IBM


The IBM Almaden Research Center, located in San Jose, California, is one of eight IBM Research Division facilities worldwide and a premier industrial research laboratory. Currently, over 200 permanent members, postdoctoral scholars, and academic visitors pursue research in computer science and closely related fields. But pressures on industrial research in computer science are increasing. Labs need to be nimble to adapt and to continue to bring value to their company and its customers. In this talk, these pressures and the resulting demands on industrial labs are illustrated through an exploration of several research projects from Almaden's computer science department. We discuss how they are changing IBM's business, their disciplines, and maybe even the world, and the diverse mechanisms they employ to have impact. Projects will be drawn from five different areas in which Almaden specializes, including computer science theory, information management, health informatics, human-computer interaction and services science, and will illustrate a number of different approaches from traditional, academic-style research to "standard" industrial research directly influencing IBM's products to research in the marketplace (featuring work directly with customers, partners and standards bodies) to spin-outs to engagement with educators to influence curriculum formation.

Biographical Sketch

Laura Haas is an IBM Distinguished Engineer and Director of Computer Science at Almaden Research Center. She also leads information management research worldwide across IBM’s eight research labs. Most recently, she was responsible for Information Integration Solutions (IIS) architecture in IBM's Software Group, after leading the IIS development team through its first two years. Dr. Haas joined the development team in 2001 as manager of DB2 UDB Query Compiler development. Previously, Dr. Haas was a research staff member and manager at IBM's Almaden Research Center for nearly twenty years. In Research, she worked on and managed a number of exploratory projects in distributed database systems. She is best known for her work on the Starburst query processor (from which DB2 UDB was developed), on Garlic, a system which allowed federation of heterogeneous data sources, and on Clio, the first semi-automatic tool for heterogeneous schema mapping. Garlic technology married with DB2 UDB query processing is the basis for WebSphere Information Server's federation capabilities, while Clio capabilities are a core differentiator for the new Rational Data Architect. Dr. Haas is an active member of the database community, serving as vice chair of ACM SIGMOD from 1989-1997, and, currently, as Vice President of the VLDB Board of Trustees, as well as on many program committees for technical conferences. She has received several IBM awards for Outstanding Technical Achievement, and an IBM Corporate Award for her work on federated database technology. She is a member of the IBM Academy of Technology, an ACM Fellow, and a member of the board of the Computing Research Association.