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The new Frontiers in Computing Systems group,  part of Columbia’s Data Science Institute, is hosting an inaugural full-day symposium, with leading speakers and panelists, to highlight the advances and grand challenges in Big Data infrastructure:  extreme-scale computing systems (hardware, parallel computing, software, databases) and their application to solve diverse cutting-edge problems in climate and ocean science, population-scale biomedical informatics, genomics, materials science, neuroscience, astrophysics and engineering.

The symposium includes an exciting keynote by Ruchir Puri, the chief architect of IBM’s Watson system, on "Engineering the Future of Cognitive Systems."  Other speakers include those developing state-of-art high-performance parallel computers and large-scale Python-based software platforms, as well as experts on computational problems in climate science, astrophysics, and protein folding simulation.

The event will include a keynote talk, lunch, two talk presentation sessions, a networking and poster session, and a panel of experts with audience participation.


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avatar for Sankar Basu

Sankar Basu

National Science Foundation (CISE/CCF)
Program Director

SANKAR BASU is a permanent Program Director at the NSF/CISE directorate. Prior to NSF, he was at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, and on the faculty of Stevens Institute of Technology. He has visited the Ruhr University, Bochum, Germany as an Alexander von Humboldt fellow, and the MIT Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems for extended periods. During 2012 he served as an Embassy Science Fellow at the US Embassy in Berlin, Germany on detail to the State Department.


At NSF, his primary responsibility includes Design Automation for Micro- and Nano-Electronic systems. Most recently, he co-chaired the OSTP Committee on Nanotechnology-Inspired Grand Challenge for Future Computing. During his tenure at NSF, he has been involved with several joint programs with the SRC including the Energy-Efficient Computing: from Devices to Architectures (E2CDA) program in response to the above OSTP Grand Challenge.


Dr. Basu's own research interests had been in the general area of nano-computing circuits, systems, and machine learning. He authored over one hundred refereed publications, a dozen patents, edited several volumes, and has given keynote talks at a number of international conferences. He served on editorial boards of about 10 journals, including as Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems, and he currently serves on the editorial board of Proceedings of the IEEE. He has organized and chaired several major conferences, including a NATO Advanced Study Institute on Statistical Learning and Applications, resulting in a co-edited book, "Advances in Learning Theory: Methods, Models, and Applications."   He is a Fellow of the IEEE, and a Fellow of the AAAS. In 2011, the SRC recognized him with an award for Enhancing its Mission through Collaboration.