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Distinguished Lecture: Joseph Hellerstein, UC Berkeley

Distinguished Lecture: Joseph Hellerstein, UC Berkeley

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Fei Chiang, Peter Robinson


Programming the Cloud
Major shifts in computing platforms are typically accompanied by major shifts in programming models. The public cloud emerged as a new computing platform a decade ago, but we have yet to see a new generation of programming languages arise in response. All the traditional challenges of distributed programming are present in the cloud, only they are now ubiquitous and more severe. Added to these challenges are new desires for autoscaling and multi-tenancy.
In this talk I will review current efforts from the cloud vendors to address these concerns with Serverless Computing offerings. I will highlight some key principles from our prior work on cloud programming, including the Bloom language and the CALM Theorem. Then I will discuss a new platform we are building at Berkeley's RISElab to take the best of these ideas and combine them into a polyglot, pay-as-you-go platform for cloud programming and deployment.

BIO: Joseph M. Hellerstein is the Jim Gray Professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley. Hellerstein's work focuses on data-centric systems and the way they drive computing.

Hellerstein is an ACM Fellow, and his research has been recognized by multiple awards including an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, three ACM-SIGMOD "Test of Time" awards, VLDB Best Paper award, IBM Research Best Paper in Computer Science, NSF CAREER, NASA New Investigator, and an Okawa Foundation Fellowship. In 2010, Fortune Magazine included him in their list of 50 smartest people in technology. MIT's Technology Review included his work on the Bloom language for cloud programming on their 2010 TR10 list of the 10 most important emerging technologies; in 1999 he was on their inaugural TR100 list of young innovators.

Hellerstein is the founding editor-in-chief of the journal Foundations and Trends in Databases. He currently serves on the advisory board of ACM SIGMOD and ACM SoCC. In the past he has served on the Scientific Advisory Board (Fachbeirat) of the Max Planck Institute for Computer Science.

In addition to his role in academia, Hellerstein has been a leader in the technology industry. He is the co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Trifacta, a software vendor providing intelligent interactive solutions to the messy problem of wrangling data. He serves on the technical advisory boards of a number of computing and Internet companies including Dell EMC, SurveyMonkey, Captricity and Datometry. From 2003-2005 he was Director of Intel Research, Berkeley, where he led research in networking and query processing for the Internet and for sensor networks. Hellerstein was also a co-founder of Cohera (now part of Oracle), where he served as Chief Scientist from 1998-2001. Key ideas from his research have been incorporated into commercial and open-source systems including Trifacta, Captricity, SurveyMonkey, IBM's DB2 and Informix, Oracle's PeopleSoft Catalog Management, and the open-source PostgreSQL system. He has also led a number of open-source projects, including TelegraphCQ, TinyDB, PIER, P2, MADlib, Data Wrangler and Bloom.

Hellerstein received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, a masters degree from UC Berkeley, and a bachelor's degree from Harvard. He spent a pre-doctoral internship at IBM Almaden Research Center, and a post-doctoral internship at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Hellerstein is a jazz enthusiast and part-time trumpeter. As an undergraduate he helped bring jazz onto the Internet via the Usenet group During his Ph.D. studies at Wisconsin he minored in music under the direction of Richard Davis and Joan Wildman. He has performed as a sideman with notable musicians including Carla Bley, Jane Ira Bloom, Lester Bowie, Benny Carter, Rosemary Clooney, Buck Clayton, Harry Connick, Jr., Harry "Sweets" Edison, Joe Henderson, Vijay Iyer, Illinois Jacquet, Geoff Keezer, Joshua Redman, Anton Schwartz, and Steve Swallow.


CafeX talk: Joseph M. Hellerstein

Tues. Feb. 26th, 2019 at 10:30 - 11:30am, Gerald Hatch Centre 324

"Universities, Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital in Computing: A View from the World of Data"

Research universities and venture capital are both powerful drivers of innovation in modern computing—especially in software and online services. In recent years, fluidity between these worlds has been increasing, as more students and faculty get involved in launching or advising startup companies. There are many models for how this can work. I will share my perspective as a data management researcher at Berkeley, including my experience founding and growing Trifacta—a venture-backed company that started with our academic papers and eventually defined a new market category called Data Preparation.

This is intended to be an open-ended discussion. Topics could include (but are not limited to!) transitioning research ideas to viable products, intellectual property concerns, pitching ideas to VCs, managing incentives on campus (for faculty, students, and administration), aligning the incentives of universities and venture firms, open vs. closed source, the relevance of lessons from the SF Bay Area to other regions, and the role of technical innovation in startup success.