Day 1 of the Community Forum was busy in every respect and at the very core of events, Hall 3 in the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics was filled to the brim for the important discussions on Sustaining the EGI Ecosystem lead by Steven Newhouse and Bob Jones. Lesser shows in the shadows also contained many golden nuggets and I was fortunate to listen to a number of these as I followed the track “Community-tailored Services” where members of our community explained their own stories of life on the grid.
Amongst many, Barbera van Schaik from the AMC in Amsterdam talked about DNA Sequencing, how analysis of 16TB of data per year helped find ‘needles in haystacks’ and how we had moved from mapping 1 human genome in the year 2000 to projects dealing with more than 1000 genomes in 2012. Rene Jackel from D-Grid then explained his work on pattern recognition used the example of gathering biographical information on an individual by recognising the phrase “was born in” in multiple languages to extract useful ‘knowledge’ from distributed digital ‘data’. The gem for me was listening to Vladimir Viro at the very end of the day. A hugely enthusiastic young man, he is on a mission to bring music scores to the web in the way that Google has brought us search results on almost everything else. I knew he had something important to talk about when he said he was ‘creating a search engine but not like Google’. OCR is now very advanced but Vladimir started from scratch when he realised he needed to create the equivalent for music scores and so opening up a whole new range of possibilities for musicians. Another busy day stretches out ahead but Vladimir’s Peachnote.com is definitely on my to-do list.