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Organizing the World's Scientific Knowledge to make it Universally Accessible and Powerful:

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Published on May 7, 2013

Google Tech Talk
April 30, 2013
(more info below)
Presented by: Gully Burns

ABSTRACT

Not all information is created equal. Accurate, innovative scientific knowledge generally has an enormous impact on humanity. It is the source of our ability to make predictions about our environment. It is the source of new technology (with all its attendent consequences, both positive and negative). It is also a continuous source of wonder and fascination. In general, the value and power of scientific knowledge is not reflected in the scale and structure of the information infrastructure used to house, store and share this knowledge. Many scientists use spreadsheets as the most sophisticated data management tool and only publish their data as PDF files in the literature. In this high-level talk, we describe a powerful, new knowledge engineering framework for describing scientific observations within a broader strategic model of the scientific process. We describe general open-source tools for scientists to model and manage their data in an attempt to accelerate discovery. Using examples focussed on the high-value challenge problem: finding a cure for Parkinson's Disease, we present a high-level strategic approach that is both in-keeping with Google's vision and values and could also provide a viable new research that would benefit from Google's massively scalable technology. Ultimately, we present an informatics research initiative for the 21st century: 'Building a Breakthrough Machine".

Speaker Info

Gully Burns develops pragmatic biomedical knowledge engineering systems for scientists that (a) provide directly useful functionality in their everyday use and (b) is based on innovative, cutting edge computer science that subtlely transforms our ability to use knowledge. He was originally trained as a physicist at Imperial College in London before switching to do a Ph.D. in neuroscience at Oxford. He came to work at USC in 1997, developing the 'NeuroScholar' project in Larry Swanson's lab before joining the Information Sciences Institute in 2006. He is now works as project leader in ISI's Information Integration Group, as well as a Research Assistant Professor of neurobiology at USC's College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. He maintains a personal blog called 'Ars-Veritatis, the art of truth', and is very interested in seeing how his research in developing systems for scientists could translate to helping and supporting understanding and our use of knowledge in everyday life.

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