Eric Fullerton to Give his Fulbright-Tocqueville Inaugural Lecture in Nancy

09/04/2018 - Meetings

Challenges of Big Data: Handling Bits in a Modern World

Faculté des Sciences et Technologies - Amphi 8
Campus Aiguillettes - 54500 Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy

We are in a digital world where information is shared between phones, computers, and cars each time you text a friend, open Facebook, or use a GPS, for example.   

In the future more and more objects are going to be connected, and the need for digital computation will be enormous. Whenever we discuss quantities of data, we speak of bytes, or megabytes or gigabytes : a byte allows to storage of one character, a million bytes (a Megabyte ) allows a book or a song , a million Megabytes ( a Terabyte ) allows all the books of a library , and a million Terabytes ( an Exabyte) allows 5 times what has ever been printed by mankind.

In 2016 the world created 10,000 exabytes of data or 315 terabytes every second of every day and, the amount of data doubles every two years.

Future economic development and security will depend on the ability to store, transmit, manipulate, and mine ever-increasing amounts of digital data.

Estimates of the total amount of digital data generated or copied in 2013 alone was about 4.4 trillion Gbytes (4400 exabytes or 4.4 zetabytes).  The amount of data keeps growing at 40% per year arising for new applications such as smart phones, self-driving cars and the internet of things.  Much of digital economy hinges on the ability to store data cheaply on hard disk drives where storing 1 Gbytes of data now cost less than 0.03 € .  I will briefly review hard disk drives, its role in the digital economy and the state-of-the-art technologies.  I will then discuss what the future portends and the challenges that must be addressed. These include physical limits of current technologies and the energy uses of data.  Addressing these issues may require completely rethinking how we handle data and design computers that operate more the brain.

Eric Fullerton is Professor in Materials Sciences and the Director of the Center for Memory and Recording Research - at University of California San Diego. Hosted by Institut Jean Lamour, he is the recipient of a Fulbright-Tocqueville Distinguished Chair since January 1st 2018. He is also the first Professor at Lorraine to be teaching and doing research under the Lorraine Université d’Excellence (LUE) initiative.





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