The e-Science Institute Public Lecture - "Integrating Diverse Sources of Scientific Data: Is it safe to match on names?"


25 April, 2006 16:00 - 18:00, The University of Edinburgh Lecture Theatre 1, Sanderson Building, Kings Buildings, Edinburgh, EH9 3JF
Organiser: Anna Kenway

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This talk will also be available via live webcast here. The video is in Windows Media format.

Speaker: Professor Jessie Kennedy

Title: Integrating Diverse Sources of Scientific Data: Is it safe to match on names?

Abstract: The wealth and diversity of scientific data collected and stored is growing rapidly as automation increases and technological costs diminish. Today's researchers have to make best use of this wealth of data resources in combination with the data their own research provides. There is huge potential for scientific discovery by combining information from these multiple, diverse and distributed data resources. But their sheer number, complexity and diversity makes this a daunting task, with many research challenges. This talk will look at one of the problems facing researchers; that of data integration and in particular the issue of matching data sets using names.

This is a particular problem facing biologists, but also applies to other scientists such as astronomers. The Scientific Environment for Ecological Knowledge (SEEK) research project which aims to develop an environment to support ecologists undertake ecological data analysis will be used as a case study to explore the issues. Using a typical ecological analysis scenario we will explore the problems of integrating data sets and focus in on the specific problem of matching data sets using scientific names for organisms. We will then describe the approach being taken by SEEK and the wider community to address these issues.

Biography: Jessie Kennedy has been with the School of Computing at Napier University, Edinburgh for 19 years where she has held the post of professor since May 2000. Her research interests are in the fields of database systems, user interfaces to databases and data visualisation with special focus on bioinformatics and in particular biodiversity informatics.

She has been working closely with taxonomists in the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh for the past 8 years developing database systems for classifying biodiversity, an information visualisation tool for visualising multiple overlapping classification hierarchies as found in taxonomy, a model and ontology for capturing and relating character concept definitions in plant taxonomy and ontology-driven tool for the automated generation of data entry forms for taxonomic databases. Her work on taxonomic data models, databases and visualisation has continued with her involvement on the SEEK (Scientific Environment for Ecological Knowledge: project. Related to this work she has been developing a Taxonomic Concept Transfer Schema in collaboration with the Global Biodiversity Information Facility and the International Taxonomic Databases Working Group. Her visualisation research has also included investigating techniques for visual exploration of micro array data, and on the EU OPaL project, investigating visualisation techniques for browsing partner attributes and assessment information in on-line communities.

Coffee will be served prior to the lecture


This event does not require registration, and we would like to encourage as many people as possible to attend. We will also be webcasting this event and the details and URL will be put here as soon as they become available.

If you have any questions, please contact NeSC Administration


Exploiting Diverse Sources of Scientific Data

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