A Research Agenda and Vision for Data Science

Monday, 15 December 2014: 2:25 PM
Chris A Mattmann, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, United States
Big Data has emerged as a first-class citizen in the research community spanning disciplines in the domain sciences - Astronomy is pushing velocity with new ground-based instruments such as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) and its unprecedented data rates (700 TB/sec!); Earth-science is pushing the boundaries of volume with increasing experiments in the international Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and climate modeling and remote sensing communities increasing the size of the total archives into the Exabytes scale; airborne missions from NASA such as the JPL Airborne Snow Observatory (ASO) is increasing both its velocity and decreasing the overall turnaround time required to receive products and to make them available to water managers and decision makers. Proteomics and the computational biology community are sequencing genomes and providing near real time answers to clinicians, researchers, and ultimately to patients, helping to process and understand and create diagnoses. Data complexity is on the rise, and the norm is no longer 100s of metadata attributes, but thousands to hundreds of thousands, including complex interrelationships between data and metadata and knowledge.

I published a vision for data science in Nature 2013 that encapsulates four thrust areas and foci that I believe the computer science, Big Data, and data science communities need to attack over the next decade to make fundamental progress in the data volume, velocity and complexity challenges arising from the domain sciences such as those described above. These areas include: (1) rapid and unobtrusive algorithm integration; (2) intelligent and automatic data movement; (3) automated and rapid extraction text, metadata and language from heterogeneous file formats; and (4) participation and people power via open source communities.

In this talk I will revisit these four areas and describe current progress; future work and challenges ahead as we move forward in this exciting age of Data Science.