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Stuart MadnickStuart Madnick
Intelligent Integration of Information or Where did NASA's Mars Climate Orbiter go?
Thursday October 3, 2002
Building 3 Auditorium - 3:30 PM

(Refreshments at 3:00 PM)

Dr. Stuart Madnick, will talk about Intelligent Integration of Information or Where did NASA's Mars Climate Orbiter go? Dr. Madnick’s talk focuses on the emergence of aggregators, entities that collect information from a wide range of sources, with or without prior agreement, and add value through post-aggregation services. Aggregators present both enormous opportunities and threats for existing businesses and organizations. Major technical challenges relate to the automated and intelligent integration of information. New Web-page extraction tools, context sensitive mediators, and agent technologies have greatly reduced the barriers to constructing aggregators. Work at MIT to develop these new technologies will be described as well.

Unit-of-measure mix up tied to loss of $125 Million Mars Orbiter

(Boston Globe, October 1, 1999):

“NASA’s Mars Climate Orbiter was lost because engineers did not make a simple conversion from English units to metric, an embarrassing lapse that sent the $125 million craft off course. The navigators (JPL) assumed metric units of force per second or newtons. In fact, the numbers were in pounds of force per second as supplied by Lockheed Martin (the contractor).”

Dr. Stuart Madnick is the John Norris Maguire Professor of Information Technology at the MIT Sloan School of Management and Professor of Engineering Systems at the MIT School of Engineering. His research interests include information technology strategy, connectivity among disparate distributed information systems, database technology, and software project management. He is the author or co-author of over 250 books, articles, or reports on these subjects, including the classic textbook, Operating System (McGraw-Hill), and the book, The Dynamics of Software Development (Prentice-Hall). He is currently co-heading a project that develops new technologies for gathering, aggregating, and analyzing information from many different sources, including traditional databases and the World Wide Web. He is also testing these new technologies in industries such as financial services, manufacturing, logistics, and transportation. He has been active in industry, making significant contributions as a key designer and developer of projects such as IBM’s VM/370 operating system and Lockheed’s DIALOG information retrieval system.

Dr. Madnick has degrees in Electrical Engineering (B.S. and M.S.), Management (M.S.), and Computer Science (Ph.D.) from MIT. He has been a Visiting Professor at Harvard University, Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), University of Newcastle (England), Technion (Israel), and Victoria University (New Zealand).

IS&T Colloquium Committee Host: Ben Kobler