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Distinguished Lecture | Women in Computing

Provenance and Scientific Workflows

Susan DavidsonProfessor & Distinguished LecturerUniversity of Pennsylvania

Abstract – We live in a world where data, information, and knowledge can be quickly and easily created, and the justification for its existence as quickly and easily forgotten. Nowhere is this more problematic than in e-Science, where the development of high-throughput technologies and the ability to rapidly perform ‘in-silico’ experiments using scientific workflows has led to a tidal wave of data whose provenance is unknown.
In this talk, I will discuss challenges in managing and querying the provenance of data through scientific workflows and some emerging solutions to efficiently answering provenance queries, focusing user attention on meaningful provenance, and understanding the difference in provenance.

Biography – Dr. Davidson received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Cornell University and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from Princeton University in 1980 and 1982. She joined the faculty of Penn Engineering in the Department of Computer and Information Science in 1982. Dr. Davidson’s research interests include database and web-based systems, and bioinformatics. Dr. Davidson was the founding co-director of the Penn Center for Bioinformatics (PCBI) from 1997-2000, and interim director from 2000-2003. Dr. Davidson holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Genetics, is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, received the Lenore Rowe Williams Award in 2002, and was a Fulbright Scholar, recipient of a Hitachi Chair in 2004, and she was named the George A. Weiss Professor of Computer and Information Science in 2004.

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