Friday, September 28, 2007

IBM Workshop at NYU - 12 October 2007

When: Friday, October 12th - 10am – 4pm
Where: Courant Room 109
The Schedule:

Summary of the Day
Everything went according to plan - Hurrah! About 40 students attended the sessions through the day - with a maximum of about 18-20 students at any one time. The attendees were mostly from NYU Courant, with one or two from the Stern Business School, from Columbia, from Rutgers, and from CUNY. About 8 students remained all day - and some came in for individual sessions, e.g., the approximation algorithms session. All the sessions were very well received. The students were divided between whether future events should be presented in one day - or on a weekly basis. The students who attended from other universities prefer the single day format. The Stern students said many more Stern students would be interested in the morning sessions - as well as Msis - Master of Science in Information Systems students.

Many thanks to the NYU hosts Shaila Musharoff, and others from the NYU WinC group. Special thanks also to Sana' Odeh of NYU - and of course all the IBM speakers.

The students are very interested in SOA and ask Steve Schaffer a lot of questions.

A student shows off a DB2 CD.

Brenda Dietrich tells us about research topics in mathematics.

Claudia Perlich listens to Brenda Dietrich before she presents - Claudia tells us about her entry to a NetFlix competion which won a prize.

Yuan-Chi Chang prepares to present.

Konstantin Makarychev tells us about approximation algorithms.

Rama Akkiraju tells us about Services Science.


Undergraduate Students Become part of a community, write articles, books, become DB2 certified, and become a student ambassador

10:00-10:45 SOA in 45 minutes
10:45-11:45 DB2, pureXML, Web Services and Web 2.0
11:45-12:15 Using DB2 in Business
12:15-12:30 Getting Lunch
12:30-13:25 Lunch and Talk with Brenda Dietrich and She's Got Their Number!

Graduate Students Get ideas of research topics suitable for Masters projects (or possibly part of your PhD) that may be of interest to IBM or to IBM customers

13:30-14:00 Research topics for Data Management
14:00-14:30 Research topics for KDD (Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining)
14:30-15:00 Approximation Algorithms for Unique Games
15:00-15:30 Research topics for Service Science
15:30-15:45 Final Remarks

The Topics and their speakers

• Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA): Steve Schaffer – Wall St SOA Architect, Certified SOA Solution Architect and Software IT Architect
• DB2, pureXML, Web Services and Web 2.0: Susan Malaika – Senior Technical Staff Member in IBM's Software Group
• Using DB2 in Business: Vernaliz Co
• Data Management: Yuan-Chi Chang - Chair of the IBM Data Management Professional Interest Community
• Knowledge Discovery: Claudia Perlich – Research Staff Member in the Data Analytics Research group
• Approximation Algorithms for Unique Games: Konstantin Makarychev – IBM Researcher whose area is in approximation algorithms
• Service Science: Rama Akkiraju - Senior Technical Staff Member; Chair of the Service Science Professional Interest Community

Also on the agenda
- Lunch with Brenda Dietrich

- Meeting with Faculty at 4:15pm

Location: Warren Weaver Hall

Room 109
Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences
New York University
251 Mercer Street
New York, N.Y. 10012-1185

This is a large lecture hall on the ground floor which can has 190 seats, a podium at the front, and projector system with in-house support. Room is available from 9am for set up. Directions and map can be found here:

More Details of the Sessions

Services Oriented Architecture: This session provides an overview of the SOA concept, constructs and value as a Systems Integration strategy.
Speaker: Steve Schaffer is an Open Group Master IT Architect, Certified SOA Design Architect, and Designated Consulting SOA Architect to IBMs Wall Street Business Unit

DB2, pureXML, Web Services and Web 2.0 : This talk will introduce DB2 and its support for XML and will describe its uses in the industry. It will also outline how students can become DB2 certified.
Speaker: Susan Malaika is a senior technical staff member in IBM's Software Group. She specializes in XML and databases. She is a member of the IBM Academy of Technology.

Lunch with Brenda Dietrich

Data Management: This session will describe current research activities in the areas of XML, warehousing, integration, unstructured information management.
Speaker: Yuan-Chi Chang is the chair of the data management professional interest community in IBM Research and manages database research group at Watson Lab.

Knowledge Discovery: This session will provide a brief overview of a number of ongoing projects in the Data Analytics group and present in more detail the recent successful effort on modeling NETFLIX users in the KDD-CUP 2007.
Speaker: Claudia Perlich has received her Ph.D. in Information Systems from Stern School of Business, New York University. Claudia joined the Data Analytics Research group as a Research Staff Member in October 2004 and has been working on a number of research projects and customer engagements in the broad area of predictive modeling for business applications.

Approximation Algorithms for Unique Games: This talk will introduce the Unique Games Problem and Unique Games Conjecture. The Unique Games problem was introduced by Uriel Feige and Laszlo Lovasz. We are given a graph G, a set of labels [k] = {1,...,k}, and permutations pi_{uv} on the set [k] (for all edges (u,v)). Our goal is to find an assignment of labels to variables x(u) (for all vertices u) that maximizes the number of satisfied constraints x(v) = pi_{uv}(x(u)) (for edges (u,v)).
Given an instance where all constraints are satisfiable, it is easy to find such a satisfying assignment. However, if almost all constraints are satisfiable, the Unique Games Conjecture of Khot says, that it is hard to satisfy even a very small fraction of all constraints. This conjecture is interesting from the theoretical point of view, because it implies strong inapproximability results for many combinatorial optimization problems. Particularly, if the conjecture is true, many known approximation algorithms are optimal and cannot be improved.
The talk will describe SDP-based approximation algorithms for the Unique Games Problem and discuss their implications.
The talk is based on joint works with Moses Charikar, Eden Chlamtac and Yury Makarychev.
Speaker: Konstantin Makarychev is a researcher at IBM T.J. Watson Research Center. His area of research is approximation algorithms. Konstantin graduated from Princeton University in 2007.

Service Science is becoming a strategic area of scientific study at IBM Research. Historically, IBM has been a leader in applying mathematics, statistics, and operations research to traditional manufacturing problems such as supply chain management, transportation optimization and logistics management. While these concerns continue to be of importance to manufacturing companies, the shift towards service-based economies in certain parts of the world are bringing new business concerns to focus. Industry leaders need guidance on how to innovate, manage, evaluate and optimize their service businesses.
IBM Research is actively working with the world-wide research and academic communities to help define research directions for Service Science. These activities include new academic initiatives such as Service Science Management and Engineering (SSME) and sponsoring several conferences in this area to stimulate research and cross-disciplinary collaboration. In this session, we will introduce our perspectives on service science and outline interesting research topics in this area.
Speaker: Rama Akkiraju is a Senior Technical Staff Member at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center in Hawthorne, NY. She holds a masters degree in computer science and an MBA degree from Stern School of Business, New York University. Rama graduated at the top of the MBA class of 2004. Since joining IBM Research in 1995, she has worked on agent-based decision support systems, electronic market places and business process integration technologies. She is currently working on interesting problems such as valuation of business transformation projects, and business value networks. Rama is the chair of the Service Science Professional Interest Community for Watson Labs in New York.

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