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.


avatar for Sitharthan Kamalakaran

Sitharthan Kamalakaran

Columbia University
Director of Bioinformatics, Institute for Genomic Medicine

SITHARTHAN (SID) KAMALAKARAN is the Director of Bioinformatics at the Institute for Genomic Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. He received his Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2004, and a B.Tech. in Industrial Biotechnology from Anna University, Chennai, India.


His current work involves developing up scalable storage and computing systems for the analyses of population scale DNA sequencing data. He is broadly interested in how genomic data can be compactly represented, organized and analyzed in parallel. Towards this he is exploring areas of distributed databases and in-memory computing technologies. His research interests ultimately involve the development of statistical and machine learning techniques for understanding human genetic variation and their contribution to human health and disease.


Prior to his engagement with the IGM and Columbia University, Sid worked in the Healthcare and Diagnostics industries building methods for analysis of DNA sequencing data. As a senior research investigator at Philips Research North America, he led the design and development of technologies that use phylogenetic information gleaned from microbial DNA sequencing to identify and track hospital acquired infections.