Almost everyone needs to deal with data every day. As a scientist, you collect field data and put them in files for analysis. As a student, you often need to explore the Internet and find useful information to do your homework or your research. As a financial advisor, you need to maintain information about your customers and the products your company provides. As a housewife, you may need to keep a record of how you budget your monthly expense.
Are you very satisfied with the techniques you can use to manage your data? Can you easily “find” some historical information? Can you quickly locate your field data for further “reuse” without painfully reformatting them? Can you find other people’s “shared” data and use them in an easy way? Or, can you “share” your data so other people can make good use of them?
My research focuses on designing algorithms, effective methods for problem solving, and data models so that people can manage and analyze their data easily. The SONet  project, which I work on at NCEAS, aims to provide a general conceptual model to capture data semantics from different ecological domains. In the framework of this conceptual model, we will also design search and summarization algorithms to process data. Our research output on the conceptual model and algorithms will be incorporated into a prototype informatics system for demonstration purposes.