Thursday, August 7, 2008

Summer Doctoral Program

This post is long overdue. But it is better late than never, right? :)

So the Summer Doctoral Program or the "SDP" as we called it, is finally over. It was two weeks of intense seminars and discussions all in an attempt to shape and define what Web Science is. Key themes were how to ensure privacy, information accountability and transparency, how to research and predict web based social behavior on a large scale, several intros to the Semantic Web and very interesting student presentations on our own Ph.D topics ranging from porn to  e-governments! 

If you are interested in finding out what kind of things were discussed, have a look at the wiki. I have also summed up my thoughts on Web Science in this essay in case you are interested.

The SDP participants were from very diverse fields, and it was really interesting to interact and learn from each other. I think we all made some very good friends at the SDP. 
There was also an IRC back channel, and I simply loved the discussions happening there. It was the place to ask stupid questions and even throw witty remarks at others!

We also managed to design a T-shirt for the SDP. Many kudos to Matthew Weber for the design. Harry Halpin and I made sure that the RDF syntax in N3 is well-formed. After all, I don't think I would be able to wear a T-shirt with invalid syntax, especially when TimBL is around, now would I?  :)
There is a CafĂ© Press shop where you can purchase a t-shirt, a long-sleeve t-shirt or a mug if you like!

The front design looks like this:

What's the deal with the dingo you ask? Well, it's all thanks to Jonathan Zittrain. As Tobias Escher said in his blog post - "while a dingo has nothing to do whatsover with Internet research it is a very useful way of keeping the attention of your audience focused on your presentation" :). I apologize for the inside joke, but the dingo really kept us going!

And the back of the T-shirt looks like this: 

These are some of the things heard during the SDP. A more complete list is available in Sonny's blog post. Watch out for the small phrase by me :). This photo is a proof for me saying what I said(photo credit: Puneet Kishore). I even got the award "Best Swimmer" for my feat!!

Next year the SDP will take place in Brisbane, Australia. So, if you are a doctoral student working on web related studies, you might want to apply for the program. I am sure it will help your theses as well as be very enjoyable. It sure was for me!

No comments: