New Spanish edition of “The Fourth Paradigm: Data Intensive Scientific Discovery”

"El Cuarto Paradigma," Spanish edition of "The Fourth Paradigm"I had the pleasure of joining members of the Mexican research community on May 28, 2014, to celebrate the launch of the Spanish edition of The Fourth Paradigm: Data Intensive Scientific Discovery, a seminal collection of essays that expand on the vision of pioneering computer scientist Jim Gray. The event took place in the beautiful Casa Rafael Galván cultural center at the Metropolitan Autonomous University (UAM) in Mexico City, one of the most prestigious public universities in Mexico.

This fascinating book’s title refers to a concept in data-intensive science. The speed at which any given scientific discipline advances depends on how well its researchers collaborate with one another, and with computer scientists, in areas of eScience such as databases, workflow management, visualization, and cloud computing technologies. Gray envisioned a new “fourth paradigm” of discovery based on data-intensive science, and shared his insights into how it can be fully realized. The book expands on Gray’s ideas through essays written by members of the scientific community.

The Fourth Paradigm Spanish edition is the result of a partnership between UAM and Microsoft Research. We worked together on the translation and co-sponsored its publication. We also co-hosted the launch event, welcoming our colleagues from UAM, National Polytechnic Institute, National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT), and Microsoft Mexico, plus faculty and staff.

Dr. Walter Beller, director of University Press at UAM, welcomed us to the event and discussed the importance of the project and the university’s partnership with Microsoft Research. Tony Hey, vice president of Microsoft Research and one of the book’s editors, made a pre-taped appearance onscreen. Tony highlighted the importance of how the new edition will extend the idea of data-intensive scientific discovery to a worldwide audience of Spanish speakers. He concluded by thanking everyone involved in the successful launch of the Spanish edition.

Tony Hey, vice president of Microsoft Research and one of the book's editors, made a pre-taped appearance onscreen at the launch celebration.
Tony Hey, vice president of Microsoft Research and one of the book’s editors, made a pre-taped appearance onscreen at the launch celebration.

We had many terrific speakers throughout the event. Harold Javid, director of Microsoft Research, formally unveiled the book and presented some applicability examples of the Fourth Paradigm to specific research scenarios. Dr. Luis Hernandez, director of Research Networks at CONACYT, reiterated the importance of translating material like The Fourth Paradigm into other languages to make it accessible to a broader audience. The discussion continued with additional presentations. Dr. Luis Villa, Director of the Center for Computing Research (CIC) at the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) spoke on the third chapter of the book, “Scientific Infrastructure,” and related it to the Microsoft Azure for Research training session held at IPN in Mexico City, May 29–30, 2014. Other speakers that afternoon included Carlos Allende, public sector director from Microsoft Mexico, and me.

While the event was definitely a celebration, it was also a great way to recognize the important role this translated work will play in the Spanish-speaking world. Sharing ideas and concepts is a critical part of the research lifecycle, but language barriers can make it difficult. This new, translated edition of Gray’s innovative work means a broader audience, and potentially future generations of scientists, will now be able to explore his ideas and the concepts developed by using his work as a starting point. That is truly something worth celebrating.

Jaime Puente, Director, Microsoft Research Latin America

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