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Industry Talk

Time: Wednesday, May 9, 2007 (2:15-3:00pm)

Location: Theatre

Speaker: Rakesh Agrawal (Microsoft Research)

Title: Humane Data Mining


Data Mining has made tremendous strides in the last decade. It is time to take data mining to the next level of contributions, while continuing to innovate for the current mainstream market. We postulate that a fruitful future direction could be humane data mining: applications to benefit individuals. The potential applications include personal data mining (e.g. personal health), enable people to get a grip on their world (e.g. dealing with the long tail of search, enable people to become creative (e.g. inventions arising from linking non-interacting scientific literature), enable people to make contributions to society (e.g. education collaboration networks), data-driven science (e.g. study ecological disasters, brain disorders). Rooting our future work in these (and similar) applications, will lead to new data mining abstractions, algorithms, and systems.

Biographical Information:

Rakesh Agrawal is a Microsoft Technical Fellow at the newly founded Search Labs. He is the recipient of the ACM-SIGKDD First Innovation Award, ACM-SIGMOD Edgar F. Codd Innovations Award, ACM-SIGMOD Test of Time Award, VLDB 10-Yr Most Influential Paper Award, and the Computerworld First Horizon Award. He is a Member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of ACM, and a Fellow of IEEE. Scientific American named him to the list of 50 top scientists and technologists in 2003.

Prior to joining Microsoft in March 2006, Agrawal was an IBM Fellow and led the Quest group at the IBM Almaden Research Center. Earlier, he was with the Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill from 1983 to 1989. He also worked for 3 years at India's premier company, the Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. He received the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1983. He also holds a B.E. degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from IIT-Roorkee, and a two-year Post Graduate Diploma in Industrial Engineering from the National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE), Bombay.

Agrawal is well-known for developing fundamental data mining concepts and technologies and pioneering key concepts in data privacy, including Hippocratic Database, Sovereign Information Sharing, and Privacy-Preserving Data Mining. IBM's commercial data mining product, Intelligent Miner, grew out of his work. His research has been incorporated into other IBM products, including DB2 Mining Extender, DB2 OLAP Server and WebSphere Commerce Server, and has influenced several other commercial and academic products, prototypes and applications. His other technical contributions include Polyglot object-oriented type system, Alert active database system, Ode (Object database and environment), Alpha (extension of relational databases with generalized transitive closure), Nest distributed system, transaction management, and database machines.

Agrawal has been granted more than 55 patents. He has published more than 150 research papers, many of them considered seminal. He has written the 1st as well as 2nd highest cited of all papers in the fields of databases and data mining (14th and 16th most cited across all computer science as of August 2005 in CiteSeer). Wikipedia lists one of his papers as one of the three most influential database papers. His papers have been cited more than 6000 times, with more than 15 of them receiving more than 100 citations each. He is the most cited author in the field of database systems. His work has been featured in New York Times Year in Review, New York Times Science section, and several other publications.

Agrawal's new quest is to use Internet to bring the benefits of computing to the underserved.