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SIGMOD Panel: We are Drowning in a Sea of Least Publishable Units (LPUs)

David J. DeWitt (Microsoft Corporation); Ihab F. Ilyas (QCRI); Jeffrey Naughton (University of Wisconsin); Michael Stonebraker (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)


Our field is drowning in a sea of conference submissions.  We assert that the sheer number of papers has begun to seriously hurt the quality of the work that the field is doing and that the field is going to implode unless we take action to remedy the situation. In order to improve the quality of the papers being published we must reduce the number being submitted. This will require a change in the culture of our field where "more" is being equated to “better” by both hiring and promotion committees. In this panel we will explore some ideas for correcting the situation.


David DeWitt was a faculty member in the Computer Sciences Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1976 until he joined Microsoft as a Technical Fellow in March 2008.   He served as department chair from 1999 to 2004.   Dr. DeWitt is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.   His pioneering contributions to the field of parallel database systems were recognized by ACM with the 2009 Software Systems award.   Currently, he manages the Jim Gray Systems Laboratory in Madison for Microsoft.

Ihab Ilyas is a principal scientist at the Qatar Computing Research Institute and an associate professor of computer science at the University of Waterloo. He received his PhD in computer science from Purdue University, West Lafayette and his BSc and MSc in computer science from the University of Alexandria. His main research is in the area of database systems, with special interest in rank-aware query processing, data quality, managing uncertain data, and Information extraction. Ihab is an IBM CAS faculty fellow since January 2006, a recipient of the Ontario Early Researcher Award in 2008, and recently a co-founder of Data Tamer, a new startup focusing on large scale data integration and cleaning.

Jeff Naughton is John P. Morgridge Professor and Chair of the Computer Sciences Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received the National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award, is an ACM Fellow, and was a member of the GAMMA team that received the 2008 ACM Software Systems Award. Professor Naughton has served as an adviser or consultant to companies including Greenplum, Microsoft, NEC, and Teradata.

Dr. Stonebraker has been a pioneer of data base research and technology for more than a quarter of a century.  He was the main architect of the INGRES relational DBMS, and the object-relational DBMS, POSTGRES.  These prototypes were developed at the University of California at Berkeley where Stonebraker was a Professor of Computer Science for twenty five years.  More recently at M.I.T. he was a co-architect of the Aurora/Borealis stream processing engine, the C-Store column-oriented DBMS, and the H-Store transaction processing engine.   Currently, he is working on science-oriented DBMSs, OLTP DBMSs, and scalable data curation.  He is the founder of five venture-capital backed startups, which commercialized his prototypes.  Presently he serves as Chief Technology Officer of VoltDB and Paradigm4, Inc.
Professor Stonebraker is the author of scores of research papers on data base technology, operating systems and the architecture of system software services.  He was awarded the ACM System Software Award in 1992, for his work on INGRES.  Additionally, he was awarded the first annual Innovation award by the ACM SIGMOD special interest group in 1994, and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1997.  He was awarded the IEEE John Von Neumann award in 2005, and is presently an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at M.I.T, where he is co-director of the new Intel Science and Technology Center focused on big data.

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