IEEE Computer Society and GBC/ACM

7:00 PM, Thursday, 26 October 2017

MIT Room 32-G449 (Kiva)

Data Provenance: From Theory to Practice

Margo Seltzer

There seems to be wide spread agreement that data provenance, the history of how a digital artifact came to be in its present state, is important. There also seems to be a great deal of activity in the research community about data provenance: how to collect it, how to represent it, how to store it, and how to query it. Given this apparent meeting of he minds, why then do we not have seamlessly integrated provenance systems? I'll present a brief, and undoubtedly biased, history of what the research community has been up to in this domain and then talk about the obstacles to wide spread adoption. Finally, I'll wrap up with some suggestions about how we might bring theory and practice closer together in this important domain.

Margo I. Seltzer is Herchel Smith Professor of Computer Science and the Faculty Director for the Center for Research on Computation and Society in Harvard's John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Her research interests are in systems, construed quite broadly: systems for capturing and accessing provenance, file systems, databases, transaction processing systems, storage and analysis of graph-structured data, new architectures for parallelizing execution, and systems that apply technology to problems in healthcare.

She is the author of several widely-used software packages including database and transaction libraries and the 4.4BSD log-structured file system. Dr. Seltzer was a founder and CTO of Sleepycat Software, the makers of Berkeley DB, and is now an Architect at Oracle Corporation. She was the USENIX representative to the Computing Research Association Board of Directors and a past President of the USENIX Association. She is a Sloan Foundation Fellow in Computer Science, an ACM Fellow, a Bunting Fellow, and was the recipient of the 1996 Radcliffe Junior Faculty Fellowship. She is recognized as an outstanding teacher and mentor, having received the Phi Beta Kappa teaching award in 1996, the Abrahmson Teaching Award in 1999, and the Capers and Marion McDonald Award for Excellence in Mentoring and Advising in 2010. Margo_Seltzer.jpg

Dr. Seltzer received an A.B. degree in Applied Mathematics from Harvard/Radcliffe College in 1983 and a Ph. D. in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1992.

This joint meeting of the Boston Chapter of the IEEE Computer Society and GBC/ACM will be held in MIT Room 32-G449 (the Kiva conference room on the 4th floor of the Stata Center, buildng 32 on MIT maps) .  You can see it on this map of the MIT campus.

We will attempt to live stream this talk on youtube channel <> starting promptly at 7pm using facilities that the CSAIL lab at MIT has offered to provide. As far as I know, anyone who connects to this channel can listen in.

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Updated: Oct 25, 2017.