Web Science Summer School, July 6-13, 2011
Web Science Summer School 2010

The Digital Enterprise Research Institute, NUI Galway is pleased to announce that the second Web Trust Web Science Summer School will be held in DERI from July 5th until July 12th.

The Web is the largest technological artefact in existence, comprising a global network of information sites and services. It is a social machine, delivering information between people and communities, embedded in almost all processes of human society: education, medicine, science and technology, commerce, entertainment and social activity. It is often taken for granted that the Web is a neutral technology, a stable computing platform for the delivery of information and services. What is overlooked is that the Web is changing constantly in response to the demands of human society. The Web is a platform for innovation new services, new ways of alllowing people to communicate and new ways to do commerce are constantly being developed. Some innovations, such as Twitter, appear genuinely beneficial to Web users. Others, such as Phorm, are much more controversial. Incremental innovations leads to changes in how people use the Web and in turn how Web technology responds to changed human interaction. Small technological decisions influence how individuals use the Web and ripple out to have unanticipated macro-effects. Sometimes these effects are beneficial such as the emergence of Web 2.0 technologies. Other technologies such as the rise of spam bots or 'blackhat' search engine optimisation techniques clutter the Web with irrelevant, distracting information. While influential corporations such as Google and Microsoft generate huge revenues from the Web, the Web itself is owned by everyone and no-one. We need to fully understand the demands placed on the Web by human society, so that its fate does not lead to a 'tragedy of the commons' but to a sustainable technological resource for the future.

The objective of Web Science is to better understand the complex, cross-displinary dynamics driving the development of the Web. Web Scientists need new methodologies for gathering evidence and finding ways to anticipate how human interaction affects development of a system that is constantly adapting. For example, game theoretic analysis from economics may provide analysis of the impact of selfish or collaborative behaviours, sociological analysis will explain social motivations, legal analysis will underpin analysis of the impact of policy and governance, complex system analysis provides models of how macro behaviours emerge and mathematical and computing analysis are required to engineer appropriate solutions to support the Web's evolution. These are only a few the of the disciplines required to create holistic understanding of the Web as a dynamic, socially adaptive technology.

The second Web Trust Web Science Summer School at DERI will provide a unique cross-disciplinary grounding in techniques for Web analysis. A mix of national and international contributors will deliver lectures and seminars on subjects listed below. Applicants are not necessarily expected to have a computing background, though some technical knowledge of computing and the Web would be advisable. Participants will have also have an opportunity to work in small groups on topic-specific breakout sessions. The summer school will also include a half day dedicated to industry working at the cuttying edge of Web technology.

  • Computational Social Science for the Web
  • Humanities Research for the Web
  • Achieving Web Scale Networked Knowledge
  • Web Economics and eBusiness
  • Graph Analysis for the Web
  • Law and Governance on the Web
  • Web User Modelling
  • eParticipation and eGovernment
  • Engineering challenges for the Future Web

About DERI

The Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at the National University of Ireland Galway (est. 1845), is a leading Web Science research institute, employing 130 people, executing an innovative research and graduate education agenda through multi-disciplinary collaborations within NUI Galway and with other national and international research institutions. DERI has over 100 national and international project partners has acted as a coordinator and a partner in several other EU FP6 & FP7 projects such as DIP, Knowledge Web, TripCom, NEPOMUK, OKKAM and FAST. DERI is a leading contributor to emerging standards such as SIOC and XSPARQL. It co-organised the 2005 International Semantic Web Conference, which was held in Galway, and a workshop on FOAF, social networks and the Semantic Web in 2004.