Jennifer Ortiz

I am currently a Computer Science and Engineering PhD student at the University of Washington working with my advisor Magdalena Balazinska.

My research is focused on the following topics: databases, service level agreements (SLAs), cloud computing, distributed systems, and online physical tuning.

CV (pdf)


jortiz16 at


PerfEnforce Demonstration: Data Analytics with Performance Guarantees, J. Ortiz, B. Lee, M. Balazinska, SIGMOD Demonstration 2016.

Changing the Face of Database Cloud Services with Personalized Service Level Agreements, J. Ortiz, V. T. Almeida, M. Balazinska, CIDR 2015.

Towards a hybrid relational and XML benchmark for loosely-coupled distributed data sources, M.B. Chaudhari, S.W. Dietrich, J. Ortiz, S. Pearson, Journal of Systems and Software 2015.

Big-Data Management Use-Case: A Cloud Service for Creating and Analyzing Galactic Merger Trees S. Loebman, J. Ortiz, L. Choo, L. Orr, L. Anderson, D. Halperin, M. Balazinska, T. Quinn, and F. Governato, Workshop on Data Analytics in the Cloud (DanaC) with SIGMOD 2014.

Demonstration of the Myria Big Data Management Service D. Halperin, V. Teixeira de Almeida, L. Choo, S. Chu, P. Koutris, D. Moritz, J. Ortiz, V. Ruamviboonsuk, J. Wang, A. Whitaker, S. Xu, M. Balazinska, B. Howe, D. Suciu, SIGMOD Demonstration 2014.

A Vision for Personalized Service Level Agreements in the Cloud, J. Ortiz, V. T. Almeida, M. Balazinska, Workshop on Data Analytics in the Cloud (DanaC) with SIGMOD 2013.

Learning from Database Performance Benchmarks J. Ortiz, S. W. Dietrich, and M.B. Chaudhari, Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges, March 2012.

Research Projects

Personalized Service Level Agreements in the Cloud

Public Clouds today provide a variety of services for data analysis such as Amazon Elastic MapReduce and Google BigQuery. Each service comes with a pricing model and service level agreement (SLA). Today's pricing models and SLAs are described at the level of compute resources (instance-hours or gigabytes processed). They are also different from one service to the next. Both conditions make it difficult for users to select a service, pick a configuration, and predict the actual analysis cost. To address this challenge, we propose a new abstraction, called a Personalized Service Level Agreement, where users are presented with what they can do with their data in terms of query capabilities, guaranteed query performance and fixed hourly prices.

MyMergerTree Service in Myria

We have created and are currently developing a service that enables astronomers to study the growth history of galaxies by following their 'merger trees' in large-scale astrophysical simulations. The service uses the Myria parallel data management system as back-end and the D3 data visualization library within its graphical front-end. We demonstrated the service at the 2014 DanaC workshop on a ~5 TB dataset.

This initially started as a data visualization class project for Laurel Orr and I. It peaked enough interest from the astronomers to continue to grow, and eventually we extended this service to work with Myria through the Ascot gadget

Finger Gesture Recognition Using Microphone Arrays

In this work, we describe finger gesture recognition using a microphone array. First we try to use the reflection of sound waves by implementing an acoustic pulse radar. After understanding we cannot obtain a fine enough resolution to detect a subtle gesture, we implemented a logistic regression classifier using the features from Doppler shift for each microphone. After testing the classifier on different data sets, we concluded that the classifier can be trained successfully through a small number of samples for each person.

This work was a networking class project with SeongJae Lee (see paper)

Machine Learning DBLP Classification

The goal of this project is to detect research communities from the DBLP bibliography in order to predict the various research areas an author contributes to. We evaluate different unsupervised clustering techniques by seeing how well they distinguish between research areas and place authors in their corresponding areas. We focus on unsupervised techniques because it may not be known apriori what field a researcher is in.

This work was a result of a machine learning class project with Laurel Orr (see paper)