Friday, January 28, 2011

IBM Watson: Humans vs. Machine - Who Will Win?


Date: February 16, 2011, 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Location: CUNY Grad Center, Rooms C198 and C197 ; 365 5th Avenue, NY, NY 10016

Students and staff from CUNY and NYU attended the final Jeopardy! show that featured Watson (artificial intelligence software).

The NYU STEP (Science & Technology Entry Program) group:

Some NYU students who attended the event:

Thank you for joining us to witness history being made as a machine once more takes on human intelligence. We found out who wins!

Jeopardy! The IBM Challenge promises was an epic battle.

6:00-6:15pm : Registration and Networking
6:15-7:00pm : Welcome and Opening Remarks
7:00-7:30pm : Jeopardy! The IBM Challenge - on TV
7:30-8:30pm : Q&A and Networking

Speakers included Wlodek Zadrozny.

We look forward to seeing you at this exciting event.

Photos from Columbia Watch Event on Feb 15, 2011

Photos from CCNY Watch Event on Feb 15, 2011

More Information

IBM cordially invites you to join us for a special event: Jeopardy! The IBM Challenge. Come hear from IBM, and get an insider’s view of Watson and what it means to our future. Watson, named after IBM founder Thomas J. Watson, has been developed over the past four years by a team of IBM Research scientists who set out to accomplish a grand challenge: build a computing system that rivals a human’s ability to answer questions posed in natural language with speed, accuracy and confidence.

Watson makes its debut as the first non-human contestant to appear on the award-winning quiz show Jeopardy. Watson takes on all-time champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter in a bid to become a new breed of champion. The format of Jeopardy! provides the ultimate challenge for a computing system. It must have an unlimited range of subject matter at its fingertips. Watson has been trained to understand clues with subtle meaning, irony, riddles, and other complexities in which humans excel and computers traditionally do not. But this is more than just a game. Watson's ability to process this kind of data represents a major leap forward in natural language processing, systems design and deep analytics – innovations with the potential to transform industries.





Internships and Jobs at IBM

Please follow these links:

The Answer to one of the Jeopardy! Questions

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Movies are in 3-D, why not our Data?

On September 29 Julia Grace gave a talk entitled "Movies are in 3-D, why not our Data? - Taking Web 2.0 into the 3-D World"

Here is some more information:

Movies, televisions, video games: flat is out and 3-D is in. We often talk about how Web 2.0 impacts different industries (such as healthcare, journalism or government); now it's time to turn the tables and ask: how is the 3-D movement changing Web 2.0? How can we visualize and interact with our data in three dimensions? From social networking sites to tweeting buses and trains: why it's important that geotagged information generated in our 3-D world be shown in 3-D

You can find the charts for the talk here. You can find out more about Web 2.0 at the O'Reilly Web 2.0 event in NY where Julia also presented.

The attendees were varied (students, IBMers - and there were representatives from a hospital and a bank). The discussion was animated, e.g., whether a sphere is the most appropriate surface to display data, whether other surfaces are possible, applying HD TV ideas on a spherical or other kinds of surfaces. (I dreamt of cerulean spheres last night)

You can contact Julia on twitter


There was an example of an IBM Think sign in the room.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

NYU Open Source Club Visit

The NYU Open Source Club visited IBM 11 Madison. Andy Smith of IBM talked about Apache Shindig and OpenSocial - and how to start contributing:

- Contributing Code Examples:

Here are some links related to some earlier work we did on OpenSocial:

- Build a pureXML and JSON application, Part 1: Store and query JSON with DB2 pureXMLAdopt a simple JSON-to-XML mapping

- Build a pureXML and JSON application, Part 2: Create Universal Services for pureXML that expose JSON Configure, deploy, and test JSON Universal Services on a JSONx store

- Build a pureXML and JSON application, Part 3: Create OpenSocial gadgets for pureXML Define, deploy, and test OpenSocial gadgets to interact with JSON Universal Services

Here are some links for finding internships at IBM:
* Jobs at IBM (you can search by country)
* Extreme Blue at IBM

One of the visiting students had already had a 6 month internship at IBM in Beijing working on the systems for the Olympics. He said that the offices in IBM 11 Madison looked like IBM in Beijing.

We also discussed the database classes at NYU and ate Liquorice Allsorts. One of the students ate Bertie Bassett

Monday, November 9, 2009

NYU WinC Group Visit to IBM at 11 Madison - Nov 20,2009


Meeting time: 3:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Meeting location: 11 Madison Ave (at 24th Street), 18th Floor, Room 18006

About 40 students, mostly Masters, about 6 PhDs and a couple of undergrads, attended the talks and an informal panel.

The feeback was very positive and included:

- I am a research person with a PhD and enjoyed both talks. But I loved the work that Claudia's group is doing. Thanks for inviting us.
- Very interesting presentation on data mining.
- I loved both talks. Nearing towards the end of my PhD in machine learning. I imagine how difficult it is to mine data. Thank you for the talks.
- The idea of Watson is crazy but I find it is exciting and amazing.
- Watson is crazy cool. I wish I could have heard more on the algorithms.
- Great discussion and presentation, eclectic and informative.
- Although I signed up late for this activity, but I'm lucky to be here and having a great afternoon.
- The presentations were fantastic and opened our eyes on the most cutting-edge research in IBM. And the panel session really gave us a comprehensive big picture in so many aspects of IBM. Our students were quite excited and become more interested in IBM after the trip.


Join IBM colleagues to hear about exciting new technology and initiatives, e.g., the Jeopardy challenge, hear from those working in various divisions of IBM about their work, and network with local IBMers over refreshments.

Please notify Angjoo Kim and Jillian Elizabeth Kozyra at NYU by Tuesday Nov 17 if you plan to attend - as names have to be supplied to security in advance. Places are limited.



3:00-3:30 Arrive and network and have refreshments
3:30-4:00 Building Watson: A Brief Overview of the DeepQA Project by Jennifer Chu-Carroll
4:00-4:30 Data Mining at IBM Research: Combining Customers, Competitions and Science by Claudia Perlich
4:30-5:00 Informal Careers panel
- Very Special Guest Janet Butler: Vice President Software Sales at IBM for New York and New Jersey
- Very Special Guest Warren Lucas: Sales Executive at IBM running the Information Management software sales business in New York and New Jersey

- Panelist Caroline Benveniste: Working with Hardware
- Panelist Marina Greenstein: Working in Sales
- Panelist Anshu Kak: Being a Distinguished Engineer
- Panelist Keith McAuliffe: Being a Distinguished Engineer
- Panelist Claudia Perlich: Working in Research - Internships in IBM Research
5:00-5:30 Networking and Refreshments

Talk Descriptions

Building Watson: A Brief Overview of the DeepQA Project

Jennifer Chu-Carroll will present an overview the DeepQA project, an effort that integrates NLP (Natural Language Processing), IR (Information Retrieval), KR&R (Knowledge Representation and Reasoning), and ML (Machine Learning) technologies to advance the state of the art in open-domain Question Answering. A key application of this technology is the development of "Watson", a computer system that can answer complex natural language questions and will compete with human contestants on the game of Jeopardy! This talk will be a high-level overview of IBM’s development efforts so far, the key research and engineering challenges, and IBM's evaluation methodology -- what it takes to win the game

Jennifer Chu-Carroll is a Research Staff Member and manager at IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. She is currently working on the DeepQA project, where IBM develops and leverages technologies in Natural Language Processing, Information Retrieval, Machine Learning, and Knowledge Representation and Reasoning for advanced open-domain Question Answering. Prior to joining IBM in 2001, Jennifer spent 5 years as a Member of Technical Staff at Lucent Technologies Bell Laboratories where she worked on spoken dialogue management.

Jennifer is currently serving on the editorial board of the Journal of Dialogue Systems. In the recent past, she was on the executive board of the North American Chapter of the ACL (2007-2008), and was program co-chair of the HLT/NAACL 2006 Conference and program committee area chair for EMNLP/HLT 2005. She also served on the editorial board of the Computational Linguistics Journal, and as secretary and scientific advisory board member of the ACL/ISCA special interest group on discourse and dialogue (SIGDIAL).

Data Mining at IBM Research: Combining Customers, Competitions and Science

IBM Research is housing one of the largest community of data mining experts. IBM's work spans a variety of activities:
1) customer-initiates applied projects to provide analytical solutions for day-to-day business problems,
2) participating, winning and organizing data mining competitions and
3) theoretical data mining and machine learning research to be published in conferences and journals.
Claudia Perlich will give an overview of a number of these activities and discuss some of the necessary skills and experiences.

Claudia Perlich has received her Master in Computer Science from Colorado University at Boulder, Diplom in Computer Science from Technische Universitaet in Darmstadt, and her Ph.D. in Information Systems from Stern School of Business, New York University. Her Ph.D. thesis concentrated on probability estimation in multi-relational domains that capture information of multiple entity types and relationships between them. Claudia joined the Data Analytics Research group as a Research Staff Member in October 2004. Her research interests are in machine learning for complex real-world domains including marketing, finance and medicine. She and her team have been very successful in data mining competitions. Her recent wins include KDD CUP 2007, 2008 and 2009.


Panelist Bios

Caroline Benveniste is a Senior Technical Staff Member in the Systems Group Technology RAS and Architecture Department. She is currently leading a project in the area of High Availability and Resiliency. Caroline has an undergraduate degree in Physics and a PhD in Electrical Engineering. After working for two failed start-ups, she joined IBM in 1996 where she worked on many aspects of computer architecture, including interconnection networks and memory. She is an expert in main memory compression and previous to her current position worked on edge of network computing. She has also led projects in virtualization, simulation and performance analysis.

Marina Greenstein is an Executive IT Specialist with the IBM Data Servers and Application Development Team. She is an IBM Certified Solutions Expert and has experience in database application architecture and development. Joined IBM in 1995, in the past 14 years Marina has assisted customers in their migrations from Microsoft SQL Server®, Sybase, and Oracle databases to DB2. She has presented migration methodology at numerous DB2 technical conferences and at SHARE. She is also the author of multiple articles and tutorial about DB2 application development.

Anshu Kak is a Distinguished Engineer in IBM Software Group leading the Worldwide Software IT Architect Community. Anshu is recognized as a leader in the deployment of architecture and the design of complex end-to-end client solutions, leveraging her deep technical expertise in Enterprise Architecture, WebSphere, SOA and Master Data Management. Anshu is TOGAF (The Open Group Architecture Framework) Certified Enterprise Architect. Anshu is focused on strengthening the skills of the Software IT Architect community and has a particular passion for developing the architecture skills of key growth markets including Russia, India, South Africa and China. In addition Anshu is currently leading very important initiatives for the Software Technical Professionals: the Software Deployment initiative where she has authored a book also called "Guidance to Successful Software Deployment". Anshu is a tenacious advocate of technical vitality both inside and outside of IBM. She has twice received the Women In Color Technology "All Star Award" from a national level publication magazine. She is a member of Open Group, ACM and Women in Technology consortium. She is an IBM Ambassador to New York University New York.

Keith McAuliffe is a Distinguished Engineer in IBM Global Financial Services Sector. Mr. McAuliffe supports the Morgan Stanley Integrated Account. As a Distinguished Engineer, Mr. McAuliffe has developed a breadth of experience and a proven track record of delivering successful engagements. Mr. McAuliffe has provided leadership in all aspects of application development including project management, design, and implementation. His expertise includes enterprise resource planning implementations, enterprise architecture assessments, middleware solutions, e-business application development, and client/server programming


Logistics for Nov 20

11 Madison is on 24th Street between Madison and Park Avenues. You can enter on either of the avenues. Please check in at the IBM security desk in the middle of the lobby (not the Credit Suisse desk on the side). You will need to show a photo ID, such as a driver’s license. The meeting is on the 18th floor. Enter on the side of the floor where the receptionist sits, and you will be directed to room 18006

View Larger Map

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

NYU WinC Group Visit to IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, Hawthorne - 14 November 2008

About 33 students from NYU visited IBM Hawthorne on 14 November 2008. NYU alumni at IBM and some of the IBM Manhattan Technical Vitality Community (associated with the IBM Academy of Technology) attended the event - as well as the speakers. Here is the agenda for the day:

  • 09:30-11:00am : Bus from NYU
  • 11:00-11:50am : IBM Research Overview - Joanna Batstone
  • 12:00-12:30pm : Services Research - Robert Morris
  • 12:30-1:00pm : Stream Processing - Lisa Amini
  • 01:00-2:30pm : Lunch with Alumni Visits to offices etc
  • 02:30-3:00pm : The Promise, the Limits, and the Beauty of Software - Grady Booch in Second Life with help from David Levine
  • 03:00-3:30pm : The Genographic Project - Laxmi Parida
  • 03:30-5:00pm : Bus to NYU

Some Feedback from the Students

  • Great to talk to IBM employees
  • Lunch with NYU alumni was so great
  • Nice to see how open the office is
  • It would have been even better if we had some more time to do everything in detail and not rush.
  • Great opportunity to meet up with NYU Alumni
  • Interesting to see so many Macs
  • Thank you so much to everyone at IBM and WinC - it has been excellent.
  • Lunch was great, the interaction superb. (Coffee)
  • More information on job hiring process would have been good.
  • Thanks a lot. Excellent work. Interacting with the employees over lunch was so special and informative. A little more time would have been great.
  • A great experience. It is really a privilege to have listened to people like Grady Booch and other accomplished employees of IBM.
  • Thank you very much for organizing the IBM trip. It's really a fantastic experience of meeting those outstanding people and listening to their talks! WinC IS doing something unusual!

Lunch with the NYU Alumni

A small accident with the spaghetti :)

Speaker Bios

Joanna Batstone

Joanna L. Batstone, Ph.D. is the Director for Distributed Computing in IBM Research, with worldwide strategy responsibility for Distributed Computing. Previously she was the Program Director, Development, for IBM’s Sensors & Actuators business unit and a Senior Technical Staff Member, IBM Software Group. She spent 5 years as a Senior Manager for Solutions Development in IBM's Healthcare & Life Sciences Business Unit with development responsibilities for IBM's Life Sciences solutions for Pharma and Biotech. Under her leadership, IBM launched industry solutions for data integration, regulatory compliance, clinical trials management and information lifecycle management. Before joining the IBM Healthcare & Life Sciences team, Batstone spent 11 years in IBM's T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, NY, in the Physical Sciences and Computer Sciences departments.

She has published over 80 papers and organized many industry conference symposia. Her professional activities include: BIO IT Coalition Advisory Board, Indiana University Science Informatics Advisory Board, invited speaker on "Turning Genomics into Medicine" at the 2003 MIT Emerging Technologies conference, sponsored by the Technology Review, featured speaker at the Bio IT World webcast - IT Solutions for Proteomics, (Nov ’02), scientific advisory board for the Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s Data Visualization and Interpretation Conference, (’03) and invited speaker in ’02, an invited speaker on "The Future of the Biotechnology Industry: Opportunities for Small Businesses", at the NY Solutions 2002 Conference.

Batstone received a B.Sc., in Chemical Physics and a Ph.D., in Physics from The University of Bristol, UK, followed by postdoctoral work at AT&T Bell Laboratories, NJ, and a Lectureship in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Liverpool, UK, before joining IBM Research. She received the ’95 Burton Medal from the Microscopy Society of America, the '91 Robert Lansing Hardy Gold Medal from The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society and the '89 Cosslett Award from the Microbeam Analysis Society.

Batstone takes a leadership role in promoting opportunities for Women in Technology with regular presentations on careers and survival skills. Batstone chaired the American Physical Society’s Committee on Careers and Professional Development and was an elected Member at Large on the Executive Committee for the Forum for Industrial and Applied Physics. She represents IBM at the New York Academy of Sciences Womens' Investigators Network Diversity Leadership Initiative, she was an invited Panelist at the 1st Annual Conference on Non-Traditional Careers, sponsored by Trendsetters Network, 21st Century Careers for Girls in NYC, a keynote speaker at the 14th Annual Conference on Women in Engineering, Kingston, Ontario and a keynote speaker for the Committee on the Status of Women in Physics, American Physical Society March meeting, in Montreal, Canada.

Robert Morris

Dr. Robert Morris is Vice President, Services Research, IBM Research, where he is responsible for IBM's worldwide research efforts in services. IBM's revenue is now more than 50% from services, and recently IBM Research has introduced this major new area of services research at labs in New York, California, Austin, Haifa, Zurich, Tokyo, Beijing, New Delhi and Bangalore. Representative projects include policy and risk management, human resource optimization, data systems management, business mining and insights, model-driven business designs, services software engineering, etc. IBM is also an early proponent of Services Science, Management and Engineering (SSME). SSME draws heavily on information and computer sciences, mathematics, management and social sciences, etc., and combines them in new ways to create global wealth and solve social problems.

From 2004-2006 he was VP, Assets Innovation, IBM Global Services. In this position his mission was to drive innovation in IBM's services through four main activities: the creation and commercialization of intellectual assets (typically technology) that can be used to improve service effectiveness; the creation and management of services methods and tools; knowledge management tools; and talent (professions, communities, etc).

From 1999-2004, he was the director of the IBM Almaden Research Center where he oversaw scientists and engineers doing exploratory and applied research in hardware and software areas such as nanotechnology, materials science, storage systems, data management, web technologies and user interfaces. Robert was also vice president for personal systems and storage research, managing this worldwide research work within IBM. During this period he managed the creation of variety of new initiatives, including a joint research institute with Stanford on spintronics, a startup business on webscale knowledge mining and discovery, new technologies for distributed storage and client management, and a focused “services science” research effort. Previously, Robert was a director at the IBM T.J. Watson Research lab in New York, where he led teams in personal systems research and was the executive responsible for the Deep Blue chess machine. He began his employment with IBM at Almaden working on storage and data management technologies. Originally from Australia, he began his career at Bell Laboratories where he was involved in developing a number of networking and computing technologies.

Robert was chairman of the Bay Area Science and Innovation Consortium (BASIC) from 2002-2005, an organization consisting of the heads of major research institutions in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area. He represented IBM on the Government University Industry Research Roundtable (run by the National Academies) from 2001-2006. He has published more than fifty articles in computer science, electrical engineering, and mathematics literature and has received eleven patents. He holds a PhD in computer science from the University of California, Los Angeles, and is a member of the IBM Academy of Technology, and a Fellow of the IEEE. He was an Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Computers from 1986-1991 and is on a variety of advisory boards for leading universities.

Lisa Amini

Lisa Amini is a Distinguished Engineer and Senior Manager of the Exploratory Stream Processing Research Group at the IBM TJ Watson Research Center. She is the Engineering Lead for the System S project, led the design and development of its stream processing core, and is now architect for the recently announced InfoSphere Streams product, which is based on System S technology . Lisa has worked at IBM the areas of stream processing systems and algorithms, distributed systems, networking, and multimedia for over 15 years. Lisa received her PhD degree in Computer Science from Columbia University.

Grady Booch

Grady Booch's Bio

Laxmi Parida

Laxmi Parida's Bio

Laxmi Parida is a Research Staff Member of the Computational Biology Center at the IBM T, J. Watson and a visiting professor at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York. She received her Ph.D. in the area of Computational Genomics from New York University; she received the Janet Fabri Award for an outstanding thesis in computer science. She is also a recipient of the Sandra Blestein award for notable achievement in mathematical and computer science by a woman. She has authored over seventy-five research papers, and holds several patents related to her algorithmic work.

Some Group Photos

Final Farewells

Handy Links

NYU Contacts : Yi Ke, Christine Lee, Sana' Odeh,
IBM Contacts : Arcadia Kocybala, Susan Malaika