Friday, January 12, 2007

Catching up: IIT Kanpur workshop on Streams

Sumit Ganguly and Manindra Agrawal conceived of running a workshop on data streams at IIT, Kanpur. Sudipto Guha and I helped put the workshop program together. It was an intense 3-days meeting sponsored by N. Murthy, the founder of Infosys. Yossi Matias provided an overview and some history behind the genesis of data synopses. Divesh Srivastava spoke about the database perspective. In addition, there were talks on data stream algorithms in Matrix Algebra, Geometry and Graphs, as well as on lower bounds, new models and connections to Compressed Sensing. The talk slides and videos (!) are on the program site. Alas, my (our) body language and hand gestures of captured there, better than youtube-quality. Excellent organization and execution!

There were many students. Their feedback: will be good to have more public technical discussions; are there interesting problems left in stream algorithms?; how to get internships. Yes, the workshop schedule should have more time for technical debates on the stage. Plenty. Almost every talk had a bunch of open problems, and whole new directions are just emerging, e.g., connections to automata, statistics, machine learning and compressed sensing. About internships, make connection with researchers on a technical level, try to converge on a technical problem or two, and followup with resumes.


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