Archive for the ‘event’ Category

Workshop on Complex Networks in Information & Knowledge Management (CNIKM)

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

Dell Zhang of Birkbeck  sent us a CFP for this workshop in conjunction with ACM CIKM-2009, Hong Kong, November 6, 2009.  Paper submission: July 20th!

Geographic Information in a web-based world

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

An interesting conference at CASA (UCL) of few months ago. Few titles of interest:

  • GMapCreator and MapTube: Web-Based Mapping for Sharing and Visualising Geographic Information (pdf)
  • Public Engagement: The London Profiler, Public Profiler and the E-Society Classification (pdf)
  • Mapping Peoples Mood: Crowdsourcing Spatial Surveys (pdf)
  • Understanding Crowdsourced Geographical Information: An Analysis of OpenStreetMap(slideshare)
  • Cellular Census: Explorations in Urban Data Collection (pdf)

Tonight: Is internet-based social networking antisocial?

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Peter Bentley of CS UCL is hosting the Royal Institution’s cafe scientifique at 7pm at the RI cafe. Today he’ll discuss: “Is internet-based social networking antisocial?” with Meg Pickard, the Head of Social Media Development, Guardian News & Media, responsible for developing and managing existing and new social web strategy and interactive experiences.

Sociologists and data miners come together to advance social computing

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

(from here) From: Gregory Piatetsky-Shapiro; SBP09 Second Workshop on Social Computing, Behavioral Modeling, and Prediction

  • keynote presentation by Phillip Bonacich (UCLA, Emeritus), about Power and Exploitation in Exchange Networks: A Social-Psychological Model.
  • Mary Lou Maher (NSF) talked about Research Challenges for Computationally Enabled Social and Collective Intelligence.She gave a number of collective intelligence examples, including open source systems, recommender systems, search engines, and Wikipedia.
  • William H. Batchelder, a leading expert on psychology and social sciences, talked about Cultural Consensus Theory, which is an approach to pooling information from different sources.Batchelder showed that a social network model, with a good deal of math, a Bayesian formulation and MCMC methods, can be used to estimate the consensus answers.
  • Shade Shutters (ASU) talked about Punishment, Rational Expectations, and Relative Payoffs.
  • Many posters were presented during a workshop dinner the first night 
  • On the second workshop day, Alex Penland from MIT Media Lab gave a keynote talk on Reality Mining: From Profiles and Demographics to Behavior .Dr. Penland is very sensitive to privacy issues and says these sensors should not be used to spy on employees. He suggests that deployment should be on voluntary data with individuals owning the data and have the opportunity to review their data each day. Learning can be done effectively from anonymized profiles. Dr. Penland company Sense Networks is now commercializing these applications in macrosense™ and Citysense™

two great talks on Thursday

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

(from Brad Karp’s email)

Dr Ranveer Chandra
Microsoft Research

[Talk title TBA]

10:30 AM, Thursday, 16th April
Roberts G06 (Sir Ambrose Fleming LT)

Bio: Ranveer Chandra is a researcher in the Networking Research Group at Microsoft Research. He completed his undergraduate studies from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and a PhD in Computer Science from Cornell University. He was the recipient of the Microsoft Graduate Research Fellowship during his PhD and his dissertation on VirtualWiFi was nominated by Cornell for the ACM Dissertation Award. VirtualWiFi has been downloaded more than 100,000 times and is the third most downloaded software ever to be released by Microsoft Research. Ranveer has authored more than 25 research papers and filed more than 30 patents. He is active in the networking and mobile systems community, and has served on the program committees of several conferences.

Professor Michael Mitzenmacher
Harvard University

Some Results on Coding for Flash Memory

11:15 AM, Thursday, 16th April
Roberts G06 (Sir Ambrose Fleming LT)

Abstract: Flash memory is rapidly becoming the technology of choice for storage in several settings. But flash memory behaves differently than other memory systems, making us rethink the basic ways we represent data. In this talk we’ll consider the question of how to code data for flash memory systems. Although our framework will be primarily theoretical, it will shed light on some of the basic issues underlying the use of flash memory systems, including what considerations need to be kept in mind when designing algorithms or data structures for such systems.

Bio: Michael Mitzenmacher is a Professor of Computer Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University. Michael has authored or co-authored over 140 conference and journal publications on a variety of topics, including Internet algorithms, hashing, load-balancing, erasure codes, error-correcting codes, compression, bin-packing, and power laws. His work on low-density parity-check codes shared the 2002 IEEE Information Theory Society Best Paper Award. His textbook on probabilistic techniques in computer science, co-written with Eli Upfal, was published in 2005 by Cambridge University Press. This year, he is serving as chair of STOC 2009 and on the PC of SIGCOMM 2009.

Michael Mitzenmacher graduated summa cum laude with a degree in mathematics and computer science from Harvard in 1991. After studying math for a year in Cambridge, England, on the Churchill Scholarship, he obtained his Ph. D. in computer science at U.C. Berkeley in 1996. He then worked at Digital Systems Research Center until joining the Harvard faculty in 1999.

Trust, Risk, Reputation and Recommendation on the Web

Monday, March 30th, 2009

I’m in the PC of this workshop. Please consider to submit your paper by April 27th.  The invited lecture will be given by Christian Maar, CIO of the Allegro Group, which is the leading provider of online auction services across Eastern viagra cheap and Central Europe.

Part of Christian’s talk will be about real problems of trust and reputation management for their online auction services.

George Soros to speak at LSE on Tuesday 31 March

Monday, March 30th, 2009

What can the G20 do? The Case for Special Drawing Rights

Date: Tuesday 31 March, 1-2.30pm
George Soros
Chair: Howard Davies

On the eve of the G20 summit, George Soros will argue that authorising an increase in SDRs is the most significant step that the G20 leaders could agree. This event will also launch the new book by George Soros, The Crash of 2008 and What it Means: the New Paradigm for Financial Markets.

Ticket Information: This event is free and open to all.
Event Weblisting: What can the G20 do? The Case for Special Drawing Rights

Planet SciCast Ceremony

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

London, 30 March 2009 (Monday afternoon)

“We’re celebrating the best science films submitted as part of our Planet SciCast competition in a BAFTA-style awards ceremony, hosted by TV presenter, Kate Humble. The competition challenges people from all age groups to make mini movies of exciting science experiments. Throughout the event, we’ll showcase clips from this year’s most talented young film makers. Spaces will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.”

Register HERE

The Internet for Activists: The Good and The Ugly

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

I just got back from the Internet for Activists conference. It was a very stimulating experience: Tim Ireland of Bloggerheads spoke about the importance of SEO techniques for activists who wish to get their message out there. Laurie Penny who writes on Penny Red gave activist bloggers two main recommendations:

  • Engage in comments (openly accept comments and REPLY to them; however, don’t let stalkers take over your blog and do so by moderating comments with clear guidelines)
  • Go for quality not quantity (write less posts but write them well)

who does her PhD at UCL recounted her experience of using Facebook for rescuing Guy Njike from deportation. Finally, Karin Robinson talked about how she coordinated the activities of the Americans Abroad for Obama campaign. Interestingly, people earned points on the Obama social net website only if they didn’t sit in front of their computers but went out there.

These examples of online activism show that social net websites reduce communication and coordination costs and, as such, help people to organize off-line activities as well: people who live in the same neighborhood physically meet for the first time because of shared interests on the Internet (e.g., activism). Those examples also show that there is little merit in Susan Greenfield’s contemptible campaign. Frankly I don’t blame those who think she should go.

During these presentations I was thinking about a student project idea:

  • Design a platform for building campaigns. Ideally, such platforms should be easy to use and should allow people to not only engage in online activities but also to easily coordinate their off-line activities (e.g., street demonstrations, writing letters to MPs)

The dark side of activism: The Ugly Mask

The representative of Anonymous was also invited, and his (?) intervention was quite controversial. He concealed his identity with a mask and spoke on behalf of Anonymous. Here is what Anonymous is:

  • (from The Economist) Now Scientology is under attack from a group of internet activists known only as Anonymous. Organised from a Wikipedia-style website (editable by anyone) and through anonymous internet chat rooms, “Project Chanology”, as the initiative is known, presents no easy target for Scientology’s lawyers. It is promoting cyberwarfare techniques normally associated with extortionists, spies and terrorists. Called “distributed denial of service attacks”, these typically involve using networks of infected computers to bombard the target’s websites and servers with bogus requests for data, causing them to crash. Even governments find this troublesome.

The campaign against Scientology may all be very well. However, the assumption behind these self-organizing activists is that they are always right (they are anonymous and, as such, they are not accountable). Unfortunately, this assumption does not always hold. Indeed, most of the activities the Mask presented were either jokes the audience failed to understand or Internet bullying activities. Worringly, this self-organizing entity finds it acceptable to launch DoS attacks against websites that happen to disagree with the entity’s views. Is this the right way to go? Can this be even called activism?

The Internet for Activists

Friday, March 13th, 2009

When: Saturday 14th March 2009 (TOMORROW); 10am-5pm.

Where: @ SOAS

The Internet for Activists conference  will bring together activists and internet experts to help progressive campaigners to fight for change both on and offline. The program includes the following topics: Internet Security; Widgets & micro-blogging; Blogging for Building Campaigns; and Effective Online Campaigning (Success Stories).

CAT workshop: trust management, web 2.0, privacy, and context.

Monday, February 16th, 2009

That’s a great possibility to submit work on trust & context management with emphasis on web 2.0 and on privacy protection. Deadline: 13th/20th of March. Submit, submit, submit ;-) This call could not be better timed.

UK Social Networks Conference – July’09

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

5th UK Social Networks Conference. Friday 3rd – Sunday 5th July 2009 University of Greenwich, London. Low registration fees and …

Additional Short Courses:

Question/Answers @ RecSys Doctoral Symposium 2008

Friday, November 28th, 2008

I came across an interesting blog post by @HDrachsler, who I started following on twitter after this year’s RecSys conference. The post contains a recording of the question/answer time at the RecSys doctoral symposium (which I unfortunately did not attend). The clearest voice in the recording is Prof. Joseph Konstan, who (obviously, I know) has some very interesting things to say about collaborative filtering, recommender system research, and the state of the field. Here are some notes that I jotted down while I was listening: (more…)

A Pitch on Future Recommender Systems

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

Yesterday I attended a workshop that was aimed at fostering research collaboration between our department and BSkyB. After a short introduction by the head of the department, a number of members of staff gave short (10 minute) pitches about their past and current research, and areas they are interested in for potential collaboration. The range of work being done in the department is huge- perhaps this deserves a post of its own.


Free event: Us Now film. December 10th.

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

Us Now is a ground-breaking documentary project about the power of mass collaboration and the internet – and its potential impact on society. Directed by Ivo Gormley, the film explores how the web is changing the ways we organise ourselves.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008 from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM (GMT)

Prince Charles Cinema – 7 Leicester Place – London, WC2H 7BY

Free Registration