Web Science Summer School 2014

summer school

Next week sees the University of Southampton Web Science Institute play host to the inaugural Web Science Summer School. 

It aims to provide comprehensive education and networking opportunities to the next generation of Web Scientists.

Official participant registration is closed, but staff and students of the University can still informally attend the keynote speeches for free.

Keynote 1 – Professor Dame Wendy Hall (@DameWendyDBE): Monday 21st, 9:15am, B67 Rm 1027

Professor Dame Wendy Hall will give the opening keynote on Monday morning in Nightingale building. She was recently named Computer Weekly’s most influential woman in UK IT, and currently serves as director of the WSI and managing director of the Web Science Trust. Her research interests cover a broad set of issues within the areas of multimedia and hypermedia. She has particular involvement in the novel challenges embedded within Digital Libraries and the Semantic web. Involvement with a platform grant (Sociam) embraces the desire to create social systems on the web – social machines – that are efficient, interrogatable, and capable of solving complex problems at a large scale.

Keynote 2 – Professor Jim Hendler (@jahendler): Tuesday 22nd 9:15am, B45 Rm 2040

Professor Jim Hendler will give the second keynote of the week on Tuesday morning in the Health Sciences building. He is s the Director of the Institute for Data Exploration and Applications and the Tetherless World Professor of Computer, Web and Cognitive Sciences at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He also serves as a Director of the UK’s charitable Web Science Trust. He has authored over 200 technical papers in the areas of Semantic Web, artificial intelligence, agent-based computing and high performance processing. The abstract for his speech is below:

Big Data” usually refers to the very large datasets generated by scientists, to the many petabytes of data held by companies like Facebook and Google, and to analyzing real-time data assets like the stream of twitter messages emerging from events around the world. Key areas of interest include technologies to manage much larger datasets, technologies for the visualization and analysis of databases, cloud-based data management and datamining algorithms.

Recently, however, we have begun to see the emergence of another, and equally compelling data challenge — that of the “Broad data” that emerges from millions and millions of raw datasets available on the World Wide Web. For broad data the new challenges that emerge include Web-scale data search and discovery, rapid and potentially ad hoc integration of datasets, visualization and analysis of only-partially modeled datasets, and issues relating to the policies for data use, reuse and combination. In this talk, we present the broad data challenge and discuss potential starting points for solutions including those arising from research in the Semantic Web area. We illustrate these approaches using data from a “meta-catalog” of over 1,000,000 open datasets that have been collected from about two hundred governments around the world.

Keynote 3 – Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt (@Nigel_Shadbolt): Tuesday 22nd 1:30pm, B45 Rm 2040

Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt will give the third keynote on Tuesday afternoon in the Health Sciences building. He is a director of the Web Science Institute and also a co-founder of the Open Data Institute. He is also an advisor of HM Government. He draws together his multidisciplinary expertise to focus on understanding how the web is evolving and changing society. He is passionate about how humans and computers can solve problems together at web scale. The abstract for his speech is below:

We are living in an age of superabundant information. The Internet and World Wide Web have been the agents of this revolution. This deluge of information and data has led to a range of scientific discoveries and engineering innovations. Data at Web scale has allowed us to characterise the shape and structure of the Web itself and to efficiently search its billions of items of contents. Data published on the Web has enabled the mobilisation of hundreds of thousands of humans to solve problems beyond any individual or single organisation. Open government data published on the Web is improving the efficiency and accountability of our public services. Open data is giving rise to open innovation that is generating social, environmental and economic value. Data science is emerging as an area of competitive advantage for individuals, companies, public and private sector organisations and nation states. A Web of data offers new opportunities and challenges for science, government and business. This lecture will discuss these fast moving developments and how they will impact our lives.

Keynote 4 – Cory Doctorow (@Doctorow): Wednesday 23rd 1:30pm, B67 Rm E1001

Cory Doctorow will give the fourth keynote on Wednesday afternoon in Nightingale building. He is a Canadian-British blogger, journalist, and science fiction author who serves as co-editor of the blog Boing Boing. Cory is an activist in favour of liberalising copyright laws and a proponent of the Creative Commons organization, using some of their licenses for his books. Some common themes of his work include digital rights management, file sharing, and post-scarcity economics.

Keynote 5 –  Dr Chris Welty: Thursday 24th 9:15am, B67 Rm E1001

Dr Chris Welty will give the fifth keynote on Wednesday morning in Nightingale building. He is a Research Scientist at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in New York. His principal area of research is Knowledge Representation, specifically ontologies and the semantic web, and he spends most of his time applying this technology to Natural Language Question Answering as a member of the DeepQA/Watson team and, in the past, Software Engineering. The abstract for his speech is below:

Watson is a computer system capable of answering rich natural language questions and estimating its confidence in those answers at a level rivalling the best humans at the task. On Feb 14-16, 2011, in an historic event, Watson triumphed, in a widely televised broadcast of the American quiz show Jeopardy!, over the best human players of all time. In this talk I will discuss how Watson works at a high level with examples from the show, and concentrate on the use of semantic technology in Watson.

Keynote 6 – Professor Guus Schreiber (@GuusSchreiber): Friday 25th 9:15am, B67 Rm 1027

Professor Guus Schreiber will give the 6th and final keynote on the morning of Friday 25th in Nightingale building. He is a professor of Intelligent Information Systems at the Department of Computer Science department of the VU University Amsterdam. His research interests are mainly in knowledge and ontology engineering, with a special interest for applications in the field of cultural heritage. He was one of the key developers of the CommonKADS methodology. He acts as chair of W3C groups for Semantic Web standards such as RDF, OWL, SKOS and RDFa. The abstract for his speech is below:

The Web can be viewed as a vehicle for knowledge democracy. Several technologies have been developed to support knowledge transfer via the Web, including languages like RDF, OWL and SKOS. We discuss the effectivity of these technologies, as well as methods and techniques that can be used for practical Web-based knowledge engineering. We illustrate this with application example in the domain of digital heritage collections.

Attendance at these keynotes is free and open to all staff and students at the University. Please get in touch in advance as space will be limited, and first priority will be given to full participants of the school. Claire Wyatt should be the person to contact on c.wyatt@soton.ac.uk or telephone: +44 (0)23 8059 2738

I will be live-blogging from each of the first 5 keynote talks! Also Twitter will be active so please keep an eye on @sotonWSI for regular updates!

For more information on the overall schedule for the week, please refer to the website by clicking here.

I look forward to seeing lots of conversations on Twitter next week!

Happy Surfing!

AH – @WheelsOnFire92

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