Category Archives: WSTNet News

Two globally-renowned research institutes join WST Network

WSTNet – The Web Science Network of Laboratories – is delighted to announce that two globally-renowned research institutes have joined the network this month.

The Data Science Institute at Imperial College, London, and the Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique (INRIA) both become full members of WSTNet, demonstrating the growing reach of the Network, and the long-term global significance of its collaborative focus in Web Science and Data Science.

The Data Science Institute at Imperial College is at the forefront of research in data science, working across Imperial College to support the deployment of cutting-edge technologies in wide-reaching data-driven research. The Institute hopes to expand its collaborations with the Web Science community, in particular to explore the value of big data technology for applications in social machines.

INRIA, the French National Institute for Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, promotes scientific excellence for technology transfer and society. INRIA’s 2600 employees – graduates from the world’s leading universities – rise to the challenges of digital sciences. With its open, agile model, INRIA is able to explore original approaches with its partners in industry and academic research, providing an effective response to the multidisciplinary and application challenges of digital transformation.

Established in 2010, the Web Science Network of Laboratories brings together some of the world’s outstanding academic researchers, based in 20 leading research institutes around the world. WSTNet aims to advance global research and education, outreach to industry, and the exchange of ideas. It supports collaborative research and education programmes, facilitates the exchange of researchers and graduate students, runs conferences, workshops and symposia, and aims fundamentally to advance the study and engineering of the Web for the benefit of society.

‘We are delighted to welcome our two new member institutions to WSTNet,’ said Professor Steffen Staab, Chair of the WSTNet Labs. ‘This is a rapidly expanding community, reflecting the significant impact of the Web on every aspect of our lives and futures.

‘Both Imperial College Data Science Institute and INRIA have already played eminent roles in advancing fundamental knowledge and technical approaches in their research areas. We look forward to the contribution they will make to WSTNet and to the high levels of engagement which will result from the increasing opportunities to share and advance our knowledge.’

Fabien Gandon of INRIA commented: ‘INRIA has actively supported the Web since its beginning, participating in the very first R&D that produced the Web in the early 1990s, and as a founding member of the W3 Consortium (W3C). Many of INRIA’s research teams contribute to computer science domains which are very relevant to the Web’s architecture, including data security and privacy enforcement, distributed and decentralized architectures, programming languages, natural language processing, and formal methods.’

Professor Yi-Ke Guo of the Data Science Institute at Imperial College, commented: ‘’The Web Science Network is committed to enlisting the help of research organisations working on the future of the Web. The development of data science will benefit greatly from this revolutionary research. We are excited to be part of the Web Science Network, and we are keen to contribute to this field to ensure the Web is even more integral to our lives.’

Web Science: The Age of the Social Machine

Anni Rowland-Campbell speaking at the University of Southampton/Digichamps ©2016
Anni Rowland-Campbell speaking at the University of Southampton/Digichamps ©2016/cc by-nc

At the Web Science Institute seminar held earlier this week WST board advisor, Anni Rowland-Campbell spoke on the socio-technical changes that are happening in the world as a result of the Social Machine, which began with the World Wide Web. The talk focused on Tim Berners-Lee proposal of the Web where the “people do the creative work and the machine does the administration”1. Setting out to challenge this, Rowland-Campbell argued that the balance between “man” and “machine” is changing, and the idea of humanity is changing as a result. In her talk she provides a number of suggestions on how this symbiotic relationship between man and machine may play out. 

1 Berners-Lee, T and Fischetti, M, Weaving the Web: The original design and ultimate destiny of the World Wide Web, Harper Collins, New York, 1999.

WSTNet Review – July 2016-07-27 14-57-43The Web Science Trust Network (WSTNet) brings together world-class research laboratories around the world to support Web Science research and education. In the first of an occasional series we look at activity across the network during the past month.

Institute WeST, Koblenz, Germany
The Institute for Web Science and Technologies (WeST) reported their input into the founding of the German Internet Institute. The Institute will explore the ethical, legal, economic and participatory aspects of the Internet.

Oxford Internet Institute, UK
pokemon-1536855_1280In a timely blog post on the phenomenon that is Pokémon Go, the Institutes’ Connectivity, Inclusion, and Inequality Group considered what happens when real and virtual spaces combine.

Charlie Hargood and Dave Millard receiving Best Paper Award/Paul De Bra ©2016

Web Science Institute, Southampton, UK
MySociety founder Tom Steinberg gave a distinguished lecture at WSI on 8th July.

Researchers based at WSI, Charlie Hargood and Dave Millard were awarded the Douglas Engelbart Best Paper Award at ACM Hypertext 2016, for their paper on location aware hypertext.

Aaron Schecter @SonicNU using Watson to decode Apollo emotion networks

SONIC, Evanston, IL, USA
A group of researchers from the Science of Networks in Communities group (SONIC) at Northwestern University took part in Interdisciplinary Network for Group Research Conference (INGRoup16) in Helsinki, Iceland, 14-16 July.

CSAIL, Massachusetts, USA
The Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT, reported on two interesting new papers: What Ants Teach us About Exploring Networks Efficiently and Robot Helps Nurses Schedule Tasks on Labor Floor 

ACM Hypertext 2016

Charlie Hargood with ACMHT'16 Best Paper Award/David Millard ©2016
Charlie Hargood with Best Paper Award/David Millard ©2016

Here at WST HQ in Southampton we’ve been following events at Hypertext 2016 in Halifax, Canada over the past few days. It was a brilliant conference for our WSTNet colleagues in from the University of Southampton – with Charlie Hargood and Dave Millard picking up the Douglas Engelbart Best Paper Award. Their paper, co-authored with Verity Hunt and Mark Weal, focusses on location aware hypertext – an emerging form of digital storytelling. 

Hossein Derakhshan UMAP’16 Keynote/David Millard ©2016

On the final day HT’16 linked with UMAP’16 and included a riveting keynote from ‘the blog father’ Hossein Derakhshan.

To get a flavour of the conference see: “ACM Hypertext 2016” on Storify, and conference proceedings.

Web Science Summer School 2016

Web Science Summer School
On the beach at WWSSS16/ Steffen Staab ©2016

This years’ Web Science Summer School featured keynotes from WST chair, Jim Hendler, and board member, Noshir Contractor. Hosted by the Institute for Web Science and Technologies (WeST) at the University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany, the School ran between 30 June and 6 July. A range of tutorials and project work covering Computational Social Science, Social Machines, Politics, Entrepreneurship, and Law were run for the 20+ participants.

To get a taste of the Summer School, see “Web Science Summer School 2016” on Storify, and presentation slides.