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Professors Tim Kraska and Andy van Dam and Adjunct Associate Professor Carsten Binnig of Brown University’s Department of Computer Science have just won a Google Faculty Research Award. Their proposal (“Human-In-the-Loop Data Exploration”) is now one of 113 funded projects chosen from more than 800 proposals received from around the world. They join only 14 other winners in the Systems category, which Google honored with one of its highest levels of support. The award covers tuition for a graduate student and provides both faculty and students the opportunity to work directly with Google researchers and engineers.  


“Visualizations are one of the most important tools for exploring, understanding, and conveying facts about data,” the three scientists explain. “However, the rapidly increasing volume of data often exceeds our capabilities to digest and interpret it, even with sophisticated visualizations. Our new system, HILDE (Human-In-the Loop Data Exploration), helps users to perform complex analytical tasks, including ML, using an easy-to-use pen-and-touch interface.”


“We’re building on two existing systems,” they add. “PanoramicData is a visual front-end to SQL that allows users to rapidly search datasets using visual queries constructed by pen-and-touch manipulation, now being extended to include sophisticated ML and statistical operators. Tupleware is a new high-performance distributed analytics framework designed at Brown that leverages code generation in order to improve the performance of complex CPU-intensive analytics tasks. Over the next months, we’ll bring these two systems together to build a first version of HILDE for a particular medical use case.”