UW Bothell Computer Science Faculty receives national award

For her research integrating data provenance with software traceability, UW Bothell Computer Science professor Hazel Asuncion has been awarded the coveted CAREER Award by the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Program.

According to the National Science Foundation, the CAREER program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the foundation's most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.

In a world where scientific research is increasingly data-driven, Asuncion’s research focuses on the crucial interplay between data and software in eScience by using a conceptual framework, iProvenance. This framework provides the ability to model and capture software-centric and data-centric information in tandem and develop powerful yet accessible automated provenance software for scientists in various domains.

The origin of a data set or the processing steps applied to a data set is referred to as data provenance. Data provenance is necessary in assessing a data set’s integrity and in supporting repeatability of analyses or experiments.

"Receiving this CAREER award is certainly an honor," said Asuncion. "I am excited to use this funding to propel our research on eScience and software engineering at UW Bothell and to support our undergraduate and graduate students involved in this research."

Asuncion’s approach is beneficial to every scientific field that engages in eScience and data provenance as well as industries with large amounts of digital records, including health records and clinical trials.

“Faculty applying for a CAREER award are required to lay out a plan for their research, their educational activities, and how the research and educational activities are integrated with each other,” says Elaine Scott, Dean of UW Bothell’s School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. “Hazel’s award is a great example of how our research and educational missions are integrated at UW Bothell.”

This research also has far-reaching educational benefits. The combined educational and research activities will equip future computer science professionals with knowledge in data provenance techniques and methods. The activities will also provide curriculum and educational materials that can be used at other institutions.

“This award is given to support the nation’s most promising scholars,” says UW Bothell Vice Chancellor of Academics Susan Jeffords. “This is a well-deserved honor and recognition of Hazel’s scholarship and teaching excellence. We are all proud to be her colleagues.”

Asuncion received her Ph.D. in computer science from the University of California, Irvine, in 2009. Prior to coming to UW Bothell, she was a postdoctoral researcher in the Institute for Software Research at the University of California, Irvine. She has also worked in industry in a variety of roles: as a software engineer at Unisys Corporation and as a traceability engineer at Wonderware Corporation where she designed a successful in-house traceability system.

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