Posted on April 10, 2016

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) at Qatar University College of Engineering (QU-CENG) held a workshop on “Big Data Management” on April 3-5 to address the main challenges of handling big data and seek solutions to key issues.

The 3-day event which is part of the Qatar UK Research Networking Programme, was organized in collaboration with Brunel University London, Al Jazeera Channel, IBM Corporation Qatar, and sponsored by Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), British Council Qatar, UK Science and Innovation Network, and the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. It brought together 100 experts, engineers and graduate students from Qatar, UK, and Canada.

Welcome remarks were delivered by QU professor of computer science and engineering Dr Jihad Mohamad AlJa’am (pictured) in the presence of CENG acting associate dean for academic affairs Dr Mohammed Samaka, British Council Qatar director Mr Frank Fitzpatrick, QNRF ICT program manager Dr Munir Tag, CSE head Dr Sumaya Al Maadeed, and Science and Innovation Network (Gulf) head Dr Malak Hamdan, as well as QU faculty, research assistants, students, and staff. 

Keynote speakers were Brunel University London Centre for Media Communications Research (CMCR) director Prof Abdul H Sadka, and digital media lecturer Dr Rafiq Swash, and IBM Qatar Big Data and Analytics sales lead Mr Jean-Baptiste Delattre. They presented on “Media-rich services in audio-visual big data settings”, “Scalable acquisition and visualisation” and “Big data and analytics” respectively.

QU CENG workshop addresses 2 [].jpgThe workshop agenda focused on “data processing, management, classification and visualisation”, “Big data analytics and visualisation” and “Big data future research directions and emerging technologies”. 11 sessions were delivered by experts from QU, Brunel University, Concordia University, and IBM Qatar who presented on “Big data use cases”, “Trends in big data analytics”, “Current research in virtual reality”, “Secure cloud services: matrix multiplication revisited”, “Challenges in immersive video media services”, and more.

In his remarks, Prof AlJa’am said: “This workshop is an excellent forum for our computer science and engineering students and researchers to learn about the recent research trends in big data management. It was also an opportunity for new findings to be presented on managing big data in various areas such as processing, organization, visualization and mining. Our data is growing daily and its size is expected to be multiplied by 2020. An important part of this data is unstructured and may be rendered insignificant if the right techniques are not found.”

Dr Al Maadeed said: “Our researchers and students benefited considerably from the event and we discussed future collaboration activities with the UK delegates on joint PhD supervision, student and faculty exchanges and delivering summer courses. The department is currently studying how to incorporate data science into its computer science program.” Mr Fitzpatrick said: “The British Council has been building knowledge, understanding and friendship between people in the UK and the Gulf for the past 60 years. In Qatar, we are supporting research capacity and identifying common research priorities between the two countries. This helps us to identify UK-Qatar partnerships that support greater economic engagement, and joint research and innovation with Qatar.”

IBM Qatar territory sales manager Natali Bežan Štajner said: “Big data and analytics are at the heart of IBM -- they serve as the “silver lining” of our core business initiatives today and are woven throughout our entire portfolio of products, services and industry expertise. We look forward to more events like this that contribute to the goals of Qatar National Vision and the development strategies.”

CENG dean Dr Khalifa Al-Khalifa said: “This event is a significant opportunity to bring together experts and researchers from various local and international institutions to discuss and share their experience and ideas on the issue of big data management. CENG is well-placed to advance dialogue on this timely issue and put forward recommendations that can be successfully implemented. This underlines the College’s commitment as a key partner in contributing to national approaches towards a knowledge-based economy.”