I am extremely honored and humbled to be amongst so many scientists who have contributed to the book entitled “The Fourth Paradigm: Data-Intensive Scientific Discovery“.
I met Jim Gray back at the end of 2003 and since then he’s been an inspiration to me. He was amongst the best Computer Scientists but also such a great mentor to so many. He continued to give me advice and even offered to be my mentor after I joined Microsoft. His technical contributions to our industry were tremendous and his influence on people extraordinary. As a personal goal in my career, I’d be very happy if I manage to achieve a fraction of what Jim did in his. I try my best to also be a good educator and help others in every opportunity.
Amongst the many things that Jim talked about was the “Fourth Paradigm in Science”, the fact that scientific research has transitioned from “experimental” (thousands of years go), to “theoretical” (few hundreds years ago), to “computational” (last few decades), to “data-intensive” (today). Data-intensive scientific research has been at the essence of what eScience is all about, as shown by Tony Hey’s extremely successful research program in the UK, the Cyberinfrastructure-related research activities in the US, and so many others around the world.
When Tony Hey told me about his plans to collect a series of essays to celebrate Jim’s work and views on the subject, I thought it was a fantastic idea. When he asked me to also contribute, I was extremely surprised, happy, and scared at the same time… but I never say “no” to a challenge :-)
Tony asked me to capture my views on the impact that “semantic computing” might have on the research infrastructure of the future. How could researchers benefit from the promise of “semantic computing”? I called my essay “A platform for all that we know: creating a knowledge-driven research infrastructure“.
“The Fourth Paradigm: Data-Intensive Scientific Discovery” is now available. You can read the chapters separately or download the entire book (6MB PDF). The actual printed book is of fantastic quality. I am waiting for mine to be signed by Tony Hey :-) I also can’t wait to read what the other great scientists have written. Just have a look at the names. They are amongst the best in their fields. What a collection of people/essays!!!