Accelerating Data Discovery for Better Health

Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - 17:30
LIB 121
Laura Haas (IBM)

The volumes of healthcare data are sky-rocketing, and new sources and types of patient, biology, medical and contextual information are proliferating; we can now get more data on patients and disease than ever before. But that data is only valuable for the insight that can be gained from it – insights that let us better address both medical and business challenges, for example, improving treatments, understanding the basic science of disease, or reducing incidence of outbreaks. There is a real opportunity to harness this data and dramatically change the practice of medicine, but to do so, we must do more than capture information. We must correlate and align information across sources, extract meaning from it, derive models and leverage those models to create value. This talk will describe some of the challenges of “big data science” and how we are addressing them. We will highlight some successful applications of these technologies, to challenges ranging from radiology to cancer treatment to food safety, as well as interesting directions for future research.


Laura Haas is an IBM Fellow and Director of IBM Research’s Accelerated Discovery Lab. She was Director of Computer Science at IBM’s Almaden Research Center from 2005 to 2011, and had worldwide responsibility for IBM Research’s exploratory science program from 2009 through 2013. From 2001-2005, she led the Information Integration Solutions architecture and development teams in IBM's Software Group. Previously, Dr. Haas was a research staff member and manager at Almaden. She is best known for her work on the Starburst query processor, from which DB2 LUW was developed, on Garlic, a system which allowed integration of heterogeneous data sources, and on Clio, the first semi-automatic tool for heterogeneous schema mapping. She has received several IBM awards for Outstanding Innovation and Technical Achievement, an IBM Corporate Award for information integration technology, the Anita Borg Institute Technical Leadership Award, and the ACM SIGMOD Codd Innovation Award. Dr. Haas was Vice President of the VLDB Endowment Board of Trustees from 2004-2009, and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the IBM Academy of Technology, an ACM Fellow, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Vice Chair of the board of the Computing Research Association.