The Web Science Doctoral Training Centre has put together a programme of activities in collaboration with the business community that will provide students with some incredible opportunities for their current research training and future career:
(1) Industry Week 3-7 December 2012
A programme of lunchtime industry seminars in the week December 3rd-7th. Over the five days, fifteen companies from various sectors will be talking about the challenges that they see the web providing, giving students the opportunity to seek out industry-relevant research questions.
Digital Economy members may be particularly interested in attending the lunch on Wednesday 5th in Building 58/1007 from 12 until 2pm in which Julius Duncan, the Marketing Director of Headstream and Chair of the Creative Digifest Panel, will be amongst the businesses discussing the challenges posed by recent web developments. Professor Vladimiro Sassone, Director of the Centre of Excellence in CyberSecurity Research will introduce the Centre and discuss its relevance to the business community. He will also introduce the cybersecurity research student projects underway at Southampton.
From 4pm on this same day (5th December) the Digital Economy USRG will be running an informal ‘Social Media Tips and Tricks’ session open to staff, students and industry guests featuring a number of lightning talks about new tools and time saving practices.
(2) Industry Forum 7-8 February 2013
This year the plan is to build on the research questions uncovered at the Industry Week, in a two-day workshop that allows brainstorming of solutions and on-going research proposals in small groups.
(3) Directors’ Dinner 18 April 2013
Business Solent will be inviting 40 of their regional business network’s company directors to meet the DTC students over dinner and to hear brief presentations about the outcomes from the Industry Week and Forum. This will then lead into a future round of invitations for industry seminars and research workshops, supported by Business Solent.
The aim of these events is to give students experience of turning their increasing research maturity into business leadership. This applies at whatever stage they are at in the programme, as they will be working together as a cohort, and supporting each other in teams.
If you would like to attend any of these events, please fill out THIS DOODLE POLL to confirm your attendance.
Digital Economy USRG members are invited to participate in Web Science Industry Week, which will be held at the Highfield Campus every day from Monday 3rd December to Friday 7th December 2012 (12:30 to 14:00) with the exception of Friday when we will start at 11:00 and finish at 12:30. Lunch will be provided.
Invited companies will be making presentations to University staff, MSc and PhD students on the specific opportunities and challenges posed by the Web to their business. Hopefully this will lead to on-going research and education partnerships and continued work at the DTC’s Industry Forum in February 2013. After the presentations there will be time for discussions and informal networking .
More details on the speakers, topics and timings will be available nearer the time.
On 5th December, this event will be run in conjunction with a Digital Economy lunch in which the industry speakers will be invited by DE USRG members to explore the role of the digital economy in their businesses. Please contact us with suggested speakers from your own areas of expertise.
After the lunch, there will be an informal afternoon event run by the DE USRG and supported by the Student Digital Champions, showcasing a wide range of social media ‘tips and tricks’ to make life and study at University run more smoothly. Topics to be covered will include Pinterest, Weibo, ScoopIt, About.me, iPad applications and many more. If you would like to volunteer a short talk and demonstration, please let us know. Seasonal refreshments will be provided, and this may even extend to pizza or curry if demand dictates…
The Web Science Industry Week is being supported by:
The DE USRG will be represented by approximately 16 delegates at Digital Futures 2012 next week, all of whom are involved in posters, papers, or demos. These include seven papers, demos or posters by students from the RCUK DE Web Science DTC.
Delivering the Smart Grid: How digital technologies can change the way we generate, consume and think about energy – Alex Rogers
Alison and Lisa preparing for #SXSC2 in Garden Court
The #SxSC2 event provided us with an additional opportunity to develop our DE USRG SMiLE project. The Social Media in Live Events project is exploring the practical, ethical, policy, data mining and management issues surrounding the use of technologies such as twitter and Facebook as a deliberate component in events. The project began with the planning of the CAA 2012 conference in early 2012. For the #SxSC2 event we were keen to build on the lessons learned from CAA2012. In particular:
Build a community around the event in advance e.g. via the successive bio blog posts added each day for the two weeks prior to #SxSC2, and creation of #SxSC2 twitter lists to help attendees to follow other attendees and speakers before and after the event.
Encourage attendees with no social media experience to learn more about it and, if wanted, provide a quick introduction to tools such as twitter.
Provide practical support for extensive social media use e.g. charging stations, signs detailing hash tags etc.
Raise awareness of issues raised via social media during the meeting in a way that exposed them to non-SM users e.g. use of Leaderboarded.com on screens and subsequent storifys
Share video interviews and photographs with linked SM straight after the event to help communication of key ideas
Create a social media archive of the event and demonstrate the potential of such an archive, particularly in the context of work by the Web Observatory and in relation to the JISC DataPool project.
Encourage users to meet one-another physically, building on SM connections e.g. by printing SM icons on delegate badges.
The #digichamps played a vital role throughout the #SxSC2 event, organising, training, capturing and editing content and developing the community. You can learn more about their activities on the Digital Champions pages.
However, we didn’t manage to do everything that we planned. For example, we had hoped to print out emerging issues and enable users to meet physically in areas designated via hash tags used in the twitter feed. We could also have made far greater use of Leaderboarded.com’s extensive functionality as a means to add gamification components to #SxSC2. We had discussed various means to encourage physical meetings including use of mobile phone apps. to help serendipitous and deliberate encounters. Each of these will be explored further as we plan for #SxSC3.
You can access the #SxSC2 page on Leaderboarded.com. There is also a post by the leaderboarded.com team about the event.
Creative Digifest top trending on Twitter in the UK with Leaderboarded
All those who tweeted with the event hash tag #SxSC2 got into the event leaderboard. The players’ performance was ranked by their Twitter activity, Kred influence and Kred outreach weighted 40/30/30 correspondingly. The trendiness attracted lots of spambots, which were easily excluded from within the Leaderboarded application. [...]
A total of 222 people registered to attend the #SxSC2 event and approximately 200 attended, with a quarter being external guests from a wide range of industries. The internal attendees came from across the University of Southampton.
The streaming video during the event was watched at least 68 times. We have edited footage in preparation from SUSU.TV including recordings of all talks. We are exploring ways to link the video content to the social media content that surrounded.
The sotonDE blog received 554 new visitors in the week of the conference, and it crept onto the first page of a google.co.uk search for ‘digital economy’.
During the event there were 59 shares of the live feed, 99 of the bio pages (in total), 144 of the programme of SxSC2 and 21 of the pre-event videos.
We have started to analyse the social media activity, starting with the twitter feed. As part of the JISC DataPool we established an internal ePrints archive of #SxSC2 tweets. So far this holds a total of 1908 tweets. Here is some summary information:
“Below are some basic statistics, plus some network graphs of the Retweet and Mention networks. I’ve also included a ‘classified’ retweet network graph, which represents the highly retweeted, and well-connected users within the #sxsc2 conversation.
“The classified network retweet graph enables a much clearer view of who has been not only influential within the Twitter conversations, but also who might be worth following or aggregating, potentially acting as valuable sources of information or content. The Red nodes (circles) represent users who have been highly retweeted within the network, and the Yellow nodes are those that have been aggregators of this content. Other users (the blue and the green nodes) do play a supplementary role within this network, facilitating the spread of content (Tweets, URLs, media) within the Twitter conversation, but the roles we are interested in (for the purpose of the observer) are the red and yellow nodes. This analysis is scale independent, and is based upon the dynamic properties of individuals within a Twitter conversation network, rather than the volume of Tweets or their static friends/follower network.”
More details of the methods employed are introduced in the following eprint.
Identifying communicator roles in Twitter
Tinati, Ramine, Carr, Leslie, Hall, Wendy and Bentwood, Jonny (2012) Identifying communicator roles in Twitter. In, Mining Social Network Dynamics (MSND 2012), Lyon, FR, 16 – 20 Apr 2012. 8pp. (Submitted). [...]
Just back from a great Web Science event in Koblenz. Social network analysis was by far the most dominant theme, and the full selection of papers can be accessed here.
Where were the business peeps though? A commercial perspective on some of these great ideas would have been very useful. For example, Karolin Kapler’s excellent presentation titled ‘social media as a new social fetish’ has significant relevance to marketers tempted to evaluate the impact of Facebook communities on the basis of ‘likes’. Karolin discussed the trend of ‘interpassivity’ where users substitute an online action for a ‘real’ one – for example, setting up an impressive selection of RSS feeds does not mean that any of them are actually read, or ‘liking’ a particular cause may not necessarily lead to a charitable donation. Businesses who are currently paying out cash or other benefits for ‘likes’ on their page ought to bear this phenomenon in mind…
If you are shortly to graduate you might like to apply for a place at the conference ‘Profiting From The Web’, 2pm on 23 May 2011 at the Royal Society in London. This event is free and there are 25 places available for students interested in the Web and who are potential or current applicants for a £13k studentship to study for a PhD in Web Science at the University of Southampton.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the Web, will be leading the discussions, and as well as being part of a top international event there will be an opportunity to talk to current students and lecturers and find out more about what it might be like to study the web at Southampton.
“The Web is one of the most disruptive and transformative innovations we have ever witnessed. We must understand the forces that have shaped it, anticipate its evolution, and determine its future social and economic impact. But we must also research a next generation of the Web.” Professor Nigel Shadbolt, Research Director, Doctoral Training Centre, University of Southampton.
Offer: A fully funded 4-year MSc/PhD studentship – annual stipend £13,590.00 (tax free) and all fees paid (Equals a monthly pay of £1,130)
Topic: Anything relevant to the Web, Social Networking, Semantic Web, e-commerce, e-learning etc.
We have 10 studentship opportunities to start this October. We are contacting only the brightest students to invite them to apply. No need for computer science or programming experience.
The 4-year programme consists of a one year taught MSc course and then a 3-year PhD programme. Currently, we have students from the following disciplines:
* Law * Sociology * Economics * Geography * Electronics * Global Politics
* Psychology * Software Engineering * ITO * Archaeological Science
* History of Art * Criminal Justice * Museum Studies * Management
* International Relations * Philosophy * Multimedia applications
* National Sciences * Archaeology * Physics * Internet Engineering
* Computer Security * Computer Science
We offer you the chance to be part of this new, exciting and pioneering research area.
William Dampier explored and mapped the coast of Western Australia fully 80 years before James Cook encountered Botany Bay. Largely forgotten today, Dampier landed in Shark Bay, Western Australia in 1699. He was a true pioneer with lasting influence upon such diverse fields as evolution, exploration, meteorology, navigation, commerce and travel writing. He was also a pirate who could have faced the same grisly fate as his contemporary Captain Kidd. But what does Dampier’s story have to do with Web Science in the 21st Century? Please bear with me while I outline his achievements…
Dampier was the first man to sail three times around the world, and his best-selling accounts of his adventures inspired Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels and Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. The description of his travels and the potential he identified for trade with unknown lands helped to stimulate the South Sea Bubble.
Dampier’s maps of trade winds and ocean currents were relied upon by James Cook and even later by Horatio Nelson. Indeed, Dampier’s ‘Discourse’ of navigational detail was still in use by the British Navy well into the 20th Century. As the first naturalist to encounter all five continents, Dampier was able to compare and contrast animals and plants across the globe, introducing the world to theories of migration and likely relationships between species. The famous red notebook in which Darwin developed his theory of natural selection quotes extensively from Dampier’s observations of 150 years earlier.
Dampier is responsible for more than 1000 entries in the Oxford English Dictionary, giving the language such words as avocado, barbeque and chopsticks. His comparison of the flat ocean to a “millpond” is an expression that would have conjured up a rich image to contemporary readers who might themselves have never seen the sea, and it is still in popular use today.
These achievements in the early days of exploration and scientific discovery provide many parallels with the position of Web Science today. Under the umbrella of the newly created Royal Society, developments in such diverse subjects as chemistry, astronomy and mechanics were debated by the best minds of the day, and Dampier was invited to address the Fellows on several occasions. The full extent of his influence is apparent when a view is taken across disciplines – from the practical to the intellectual, and from the literary to the scientific. Dampier could see the big picture and think laterally to make comparisons and connections – a skill that was very opportune at a time when the boundaries of the physical world were being rolled back in so many directions. He was dismissive of traditional hierarchies of expertise and was not afraid to operate outside the “establishment” of his day.
William Dampier died (in debt) in 1715, and his final resting place is unknown. Today, he is largely forgotten in England. A small town has been named after him on the north west coast of Australia, but there is no mention of his exploits in Fremantle’s Maritime Museum. Thanks to the research of Diana and Michael Preston, detailed in their compelling book “A Pirate of Exquisite Mind”, Dampier’s legacy can continue to inspire a new generation of explorers and writers in the diverse fields of Web Science.
Funded studentships are available at Southampton’s Doctoral Training Centre (linked above) for people who wish to study for a 4-year PhD in Web Science. The programme consists of a taught year (equivalent to an MSc in Web Science) followed by 3 years of research training to facilitate an interdisciplinary investigation into web phenomena. You’ll need a first class degree or high 2:1, but computer programming experience is NOT required. For more information, check out this video “Why study the web? Social machines and the web revolution” with contributions from Sir Tim Berners Lee and Dame Wendy Hall.
As Gordon Brown announced on Monday, a new Institute for Web Science is to be developed by the Universities of Southampton and Oxford – thanks to a £30 million grant provided through the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. The Institute will build on the foundations of existing, complementary strengths at the two universities, and the significant investment made by both universities in Web Science and its societal and governmental implications. On the University of Southampton’s website it explains that:
The contribution from the University of Southampton will be: * Research leadership and expertise in a wide range of computer science and software engineering developments as they relate to the Web, especially semantic technologies and their exploitation. * The existing Doctoral Training Centre in Web Science that integrates the information economy and social sciences into a technological context, and will be graduating a next generation of Web developers, entrepreneurs and researchers. * The University also houses the Web Science Trust that seeks to help coordinate Web Science research internationally and encourage the development of curricula in this new emerging interdisciplinary area.
The contribution from the University of Oxford will be: * Research leadership and expertise in how people use the internet and Web and the social and economic costs of digital inclusion – in particular research by the Oxford Internet Institute. * The Oxford Internet Institute’s research and expertise in analysing the behaviour of government, business and citizens on the web, thereby enabling the design of successful policy intervention. * The James Martin 21st Century School, an interdisciplinary school which fosters innovative thinking and collaborative activity to harvest new opportunities of the 21st century, including research that provides new approaches to understanding technological and social change.
If you are a graduate with high grades, initiative and enthusiasm, studying the implications of Web developments within the emerging discipline of Web Science is a fantastic opportunity to kick start your career.