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on BiG DAtA AnD
LAunChinG StARt-uPS how big is big data? humans are creating at least 1. 8 zettabytes of it a year, according to Idc’s annual digital universe Study. that is enough to fill 57. 5 billion 32GB iPads. and we are only beginning to see the kind of technological
breakthroughs that will allow
us to effectively manage it,
says big-data pioneer Michael
Stonebraker, adjunct professor
at the Massachusetts Institute
“everything of any
commercial significance will
soon be geopositioned by a
sensor,” he says. “all auto
insurers will place one in cars
so they can track safety among
their drivers. libraries will tag
all books so they can be quickly
found if misplaced on a shelf.
this is causing an ultimate
tsunami of data. there will
be an unbelievable amount of
advancements over the next 10
years to address this.”
expect Stonebraker to
remain on the forefront.
his now-legendary work on
relational database systems
has led to him launching
seven start-ups, beginning
with Ingres in the 1970s. he
continues to work on methods
to improve the organization
of data for analytics, as well
as adapt to the great increases
in velocity through which
information is now delivered.
It is the excitement
of coming up with an
overseeing its development
via the start-up process—that
keeps Stonebraker engaged.
“I like to see my ideas make
the light of day,” he says. “If
you just publish papers at
a university, it’s likely that
no technology transfer will
happen. If you approach a large
company with your idea, the
chances of it getting picked up
aren’t high. the best way to see
your idea through is a start-up.
I specialize in disruptive tech.
Start-ups are great for that.”
— Dennis McCafferty
12 CoMMuniCAtionS oF thE ACM | AuguST 2012 | vOL. 55 | NO. 8 CareerCenter_TwoThird_Ad.indd 1