NZ eResearch Symposium 2011- Keynote Speakers

We're pleased to confirm the following keynote speakers at NZ eResearch Symposium 2011:

Professor David Abramson

e-Research: Are we there yet?

e-Research involves the application of advanced computing techniques to the research process itself.  Importantly, e-Research leverages the latest developments in computing platforms, and in some cases requires advances in both computer science and the application area. Thus, many e-Research projects build on teams of application scientists and researchers, computing professionals and computer scientists.  It often involves global collaborations working together across international boundaries, time zones and cultures. In this talk I will discuss how some of our own computer science research has enabled novel applications in microscopy, environmental science and cardiac science. I will also show how other off-the-shelf technologies, such as advanced video conferencing and collaboration tools, support effective global collaborations. Finally, I will highlight some novel student internship programs that are creating the next generation workforce that have multi-disciplinary global research skills.


Professor David Abramson has been involved in computer architecture and high performance computing research since 1979. Previous to joining Monash University in 1997, he has held appointments at Griffith University, CSIRO, and RMIT. At CSIRO he was the program leader of the Division of Information Technology High Performance Computing Program, and was also an adjunct Associate Professor at RMIT in Melbourne. He served as a program manager and chief investigator in the Co-operative Research Centre for Intelligent Decisions Systems and the Co-operative Research Centre for Enterprise Distributed Systems. Abramson is currently an ARC Professorial Fellow; Professor of Computer Science in the Faculty of Information Technology at Monash University, Australia, and science director of the Monash e-Research Centre. He is a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Academy of Science and Technological Engineering (ATSE), and a member of the IEEE. Abramson has served on committees for many conferences and workshops, and has published over 200 papers and technical documents. He has given seminars and received awards around Australia and internationally and has received over $8 million in research funding. He also has a keen interest in R&D commercialization and consults for Axceleon Inc, who produce an industry strength version of Nimrod, and Guardsoft, a company focused on commercialising the Guard relative debugger. Abramson’s current interests are in high performance computer systems design and software engineering tools for programming parallel, distributed supercomputers and stained glass windows.

Dr. Ian Foster


Professor Ian Foster is Director of the Computation Institute, a joint institute of the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory. He is also an Argonne Senior Scientist and Distinguished Fellow, Chan Soon-Shiong Scholar and the Arthur Holly Compton Distinguished Service Professor of Computer Science. Ian received a BSc (Hons I) degree from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, and a PhD from Imperial College, United Kingdom, both in computer science. His research deals with distributed, parallel, and data-intensive computing technologies, and innovative applications of those technologies to scientific problems in such domains as climate change and biomedicine. Methods and software developed under his leadership underpin many large national and international cyberinfrastructures. Ian was a co-founder of Univa UD, Inc., a company established to deliver grid and cloud computing solutions. For further information about about Ian, visit

Assistant Professor Ann Zimmerman

What's in it for me? The social science of making eResearch work

Do researchers want eResearch? The research roadside is littered with failed projects and unused technologies that would seem to indicate that often they do not. Since most definitions of eResearch emphasize tools and technologies, it is easy to forget that it is people who make decisions about whether or not to use them. Technologies and people interact in important ways, and many eResearch projects fail because they have not dealt adequately with the human side of eResearch. It is useful, then – not to mention money- , time-, and frustration-saving – to understand what makes eResearch “work” and what obstacles can doom a project to failure. This talk presents an analysis of what we know from research in social science and from the firsthand experiences of eResearchers about factors that affect people’s willingness to adopt new tools and practices that support the kind of work encompassed by the vision of e-research (e.g., data-intensive, collaborative, multi-disciplinary). Suffice it to say, it’s not easy to make eResearch work.


Ann Zimmerman is research assistant professor in the University of Michigan's School of Information. The broad focus of Ann’s research is to understand the way that new technologies affect the practice of research, the production of knowledge, and the organization of science. This work has included investigations of distributed research teams and virtual organizations, high-performance computing, and discipline-specific web portals for accessing and sharing data and software. She has a particular interest in scientific data and has been studying the social and technical issues related to the sharing and reuse of data, particularly environmental data, for more than 10 years. In addition to studying subjects that fall under the umbrella of eResearch, Ann has also been a participant in several of these endeavors and is currently part of the advisory committee for a large earthquake engineering collaboration in the United State. She is co-editor of the book Scientific Collaboration on the Internet, which was published by MIT Press in 2008.