Sourav S Bhowmick is a computer scientist, a painter, and an educator. Currently, he is an Associate Professor in the School of Computer Science and Engineering (SCSE), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He leads the Data Management Research Group at NTU (DANTE). He is also the Research Group Lead of Data Management & Analytics Group in SCSE. He was a  Visiting Associate Professor from 2007 to 2013 at the Biological Engineering Division, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA. He was a Senior Visiting Professor at Fudan University in 2013. He is a member of the Complexity Institute.

Sourav’s core research expertise is in the field of data management and analytics. He is more excited to solving problems not within the mainstream of this field that require new perspectives instead of yet another solution to traditional data management and analytics problems. Consequently, his research interests is multi-disciplinary in flavor, focusing primarily on developing novel paradigms, algorithms, technology, and software to improve efficiency of software as well as humans. Since 2002, he has received over S$3M in research grant funding, from the Singapore-MIT Alliance and the Ministry of Education. He has published more than 80 papers in top-tier data management, data mining, multimedia, bioinformatics, and systems biology conferences and journals such as ACM SIGMOD, VLDB, IEEE ICDE, ACM WWW, CIDR, ACM SIGKDD, ACM MM, ACM SIGIR, IEEE TKDE, IEEE TSC, VLDB Journal, Bioinformatics, and Biophysical Journal. The common thread running through his research is a focus on going beyond papers to build usable novel systems and prototypes. Specifically, he has successfully demonstrated more than 18 novel research prototypes in top-tier conferences, which is the highest among all data management researchers in Australasia.

Sourav's key research contributions are summarized as follows.

  • Human-Data Interaction: He pioneered the vision of bridging HCI and data management to build usable and high performance data management systems. Specifically, he is the first to propose a novel query processing paradigm that blends visual query formulation and query processing to turbo-charge system response time by exploiting the latency offered by visual interfaces. This paradigm was realized on top of XML and graph databases. Subsequently, he proposed various novel techniques for visual query feedback, query processing, and data-driven query interface design. The results of this research were published in SIGMOD, CIDR, VLDB, ICDE, CIKM, VLDB Journal, and IEEE TKDE.

  • Graph data management: He and his collaborators have contributed several novel techniques for efficient and scalable graph query processing on a single machine. Some of these works were published in ICDE, SIGMOD, VLDB Journal, and TKDE.

  • Semistructured data management: He and his collaborators have contributed several novel techniques related to XML storage and query processing, XML schema integration, XML change management, and more recently on XML keyword search and XML usability. Some of these works were published in ICDE, SIGMOD, VLDB, CIKM, DASFAA, VLDB Journal, and DKE. Specifically, his papers in EC Web 2002 and DKE (2008) on XML schema integration are among the top-3 most cited papers on this topic. His XML data management framework for biological data (query engine and bioinformatics workflow) was adopted by a local startup HeliXense Pte Ltd in 2002 (read the technology framework published in VLDB 2002, CIKM 2003, and ICDE 2003).

  • Structural Evolution Mining: His research team is the first to undertake a systematic study on mining structural evolution of tree-structured data. This work received Best Interdisciplinary Paper Award in ACM CIKM 2004. Subsequently, they proposed solutions to a series of novel problems related to mining evolution of tree and graph structured data. Some of these works were published in ACM WWW, ACM SIGKDD, ACM CIKM, VLDB, and ICDE. Particularly, his paper on web event detection (KDD 2006) is among the top-5 most cited papers on this topic. His visionary paper on Web mining (DAWAK 1999) is among the top 3% most cited papers in this area.

  • Social Search and Analytics: Sourav and his collaborators proposed several novel analytics and retrieval techniques for social images and social networks. Some of these works were published in SIGMOD, VLDB, SIGIR, WWW, ACM MM, VLDB Journal, DMKD, and EDBT. His recent work on influence maximization in competitive networks received Best Paper Award Nomination in ACM SIGMOD 2015.

  • Network Analytics Meets Systems Biology: His team has proposed several novel techniques for biological network analytics such as generating high quality functional summaries of protein interaction networks as well as multi-faceted views of these networks to improve their understanding. Each of these techniques are world’s first in the field of bioinformatics and systems biology. They also proposed a novel network-driven, in silico framework for identifying synergistic target combinations from signaling networks by analyzing its topology and dynamics. The results of these work were published in IEEE TKDE, IEEE ICDM, ACM BCB, BMC Bioinformatics, Methods, and Bioinformatics journal. Specifically, the work related to functional summaries received Best Paper Award in ACM BCB 2011. His research on biological network summarization is recently published as a book entitled "Summarizing Biological Networks" by Springer-Verlag, Computational Biology Series (May 2017).

Sourav regularly serves as a reviewer for data management, data mining, and bioinformatics conferences (e.g., SIGMOD, VLDB) and journals (e.g., VLDB Journal, Bioinformatics). He has served as a program chair/co-chair of several international conferences and workshops including IEEE BigComp 2018, DASFAA 2014, DEXA 2009, and DEXA 2008. Sourav has been panelist, tutorial and keynote speaker in several international conferences (including SIGMOD, VLDB). He has also been reviewer of external Ph.D dissertations, national and international grant proposals, and external tenure applications. He is a member of the editorial boards of several international journals. Sourav is a member of ACM, ACM SIGMOD, and ACM SIGBio.

Sourav have strong interest and passion for teaching undergraduate and graduate students. He has been involved in teaching both small (less than 10 students) and large classes (500+ students). He has taught and developed the course contents of various undergraduate and graduate level courses. He was Nominated for the Excellence in Teaching Award in the School of Computer Engineering for 3 consecutive years (2003, 2004, 2005). He was recipient of Lecturer of the Year Award (2002-2003) for Year 1 undergraduate course. He has closely advised several doctoral students who have successfully found faculty or Post Doc positions in leading universities such as Harvard, Penn State, Univ of Technology@Sydney, Xidian Univ, and TU Delft. Sourav have been invited twice (2011 and 2013) by the Database Society of Japan to mentor graduate students in Japan.

When Sourav is not tinkering with novel algorithms and data management schemes or teaching students, he paints in an art studio in Singapore. His interest lies in blending realism and expressionism styles of painting related to contemporary global and local issues such as refugee crisis, SG50, etc. He has given public exhibitions and talks of his paintings related to refugee crisis to raise funds for humanitarian organizations such as Doctors Without Borders. Some of his paintings have been sold for social causes such as contributions to elderly care and children suffering from rare diseases. More details of his artworks are available here.

Sourav received his Ph.D. in computer engineering in 2001. His Ph.D. thesis was published as a book entitled "Web Data Management: A Warehouse Approach" (Springers Verlag, October 2003).


Back to top