So Much Information: How do We Store It? How do We Search It?
Today's information systems dwarf those we had just five years ago—let alone 20 years ago—in size and complexity. The demands of modern applications are moving from "large" databases comprising a few terabytes (a few trillion bytes) of information to specialized systems of several petabytes (several million billion bytes).
As demand increases, the manner in which data are organized and the algorithms (problem-solving methods) are used to manipulate information are increasingly critical. This means we need to create more effective techniques that allow large systems to better perform sophisticated searches and updates.
Dr. J. Ian Munro, Canada Research Chair in Algorithm Design, is a world-renowned authority on data structures. His innovative techniques to optimize system performance are already benefiting industry in areas including data warehousing, bioinformatics and embedded computing systems.
Now, Munro is incorporating both pure and applied research to advance our understanding of the computational complexities of basic data organization and to develop efficient techniques to organize information in large computer systems.
He and his research team are building a world-class laboratory for research in data structures and algorithms. This will provide them with state-of-the-art tools to develop effective computational methods that can be used in areas like data warehousing and bioinformatics.
Along with providing an excellent training ground for graduate students, this laboratory will enable the team to test their approaches in novel "real world" applications. Ultimately, this will strengthen Canada's leadership in software technology.