Laura Haas  Laura Haas photo       

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IBM Fellow and Director
IBM Research Accelerated Discovery Lab


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Professional Associations:  ACM Distinguished Speaker   |  ACM Fellow  |  ACM SIGMOD  |  Computing Research Association  |  IBM Academy of Technology  |  National Academy of Engineering

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More information:  The Accelerated Discovery Lab on

Laura Haas is an IBM Fellow and Director of IBM Research’s Accelerated Discovery Lab, which is creating a plug-and-play environment to facilitate deriving insight from data. The environment meets dual goals: (1) to enable research in and improvements to the tools and systems that facilitate discovery, and (2) to enable the business person or domain expert who uses the environment to focus on their investigations, alleviating the systems and data challenges to speed discovery.  Dr. Haas will be joining the University of Massachusetts Amherst in August of 2017 as the Dean of the College of Information and Computer Sciences.

She was the director of computer science at IBM Almaden Research Center from 2005-2011, and had worldwide responsibility for IBM Research’s exploratory science program from 2009 through 2013.  Previously, she was senior manager for Information Integration Solutions Architecture and Development in IBM's Software Group.  Dr. Haas was one of the founders of Information Integration Solutions, which today includes InfoSphere Information Server and a suite of products that can integrate both structured and unstructured data via federation and materialization.  Dr. Haas managed the development team in its first two years, moving to lead the architecture team for the product suite with the acquisition of Ascential Software in 2005.  Before joining Information Integration, she managed the DB2 UDB Query Compiler development, including key technologies for information integration and the Life Sciences industry, such as federated database and XML Query.   

Dr. Haas spent the first twenty years of her career as a research staff member and manager at IBM's Almaden Research Center in San Jose.  Dr. Haas joined IBM in 1981 as a research staff member on the R* distributed relational database management project.  She worked on the design and implementation of many aspects of the R* system, including catalog management, query processing, and distributed execution protocols.  She was co-manager of the Starburst extensible database system project from its inception through November 1989.   Technology from this project forms the basis of the DB2 UDB query processor.  Dr. Haas then headed the Exploratory Database Systems Department at IBM Almaden for three and a half years.  After a sabbatical year at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, she returned to start a new project at IBM on heterogeneous middleware systems (Garlic). Garlic technology married with DB2 UDB query processing is the basis for InfoSphere Information Server’s federation capabilities, and for the earlier DiscoveryLink offering for Life Sciences R&D.  Dr. Haas served as "acting CTO" for the DiscoveryLink offering in its initial year, while managing an exploratory research project on schema mapping (Clio).  She joined IBM's Software Group in March 2001.  Before joining IBM, Dr. Haas studied Applied Mathematics and Computer Science at Harvard University, and Computer Science at the University of Texas at Austin, where she received her PhD in 1981.  Her dissertation explored the problem of deadlocks in distributed systems.  

Dr. Haas was vice-chair of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group on the Management of Data (SIGMOD) from 1989-1997.  She has served as an Associate Editor of the ACM journal Transactions on Database Systems, as Program Chair of the 1998 ACM SIGMOD technical conference and the IIS track of the 2005 VLDB conference, as general co-chair of VLDB 2008, and as Vice President of the VLDB Endowment Board of Trustees (from 2004-2009). She received an IBM Corporate Award for her work on federated database technology, IBM awards for Outstanding Technical Achievement for her work on R* and on DiscoveryLink, an IBM Outstanding Contribution award for Starburst, an Outstanding Innovation Award for Clio, a YWCA Tribute to Women in INdustry (TWIN) award, the Anita Borg Institute’s Technical Leadership Award, and the ACM SIGMOD Codd Innovation Award.  Dr. Haas is an ACM Fellow and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, on the NRC's Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB) and past Vice-Chair of the board of the Computing Research Association.