AKSW at ESWC Summer School and Conference 2011

This year the STI – International organized an ESWC summer school for Master and PhD students in the area of the Semantic Web to come together to learn about the latest ongoings from some of the leading researchers in the area. Timofey Ermilov and Amrapali Zaveri from AKSW attended the summer school, which was held in Kalamaki, Crete from 22nd May to 28th May. 47 students from several different institutions and countries were at the summer school. It was organized very well with keynote speeches in the morning followed by tutorials and hands-on sessions after lunch. Before every keynote speech, John Domingue, one of the organisers, would tell us why that person had become famous in the Semantic Web community. The keynote speeches were excellent and covered a wide range of topics, which also highlighted some of the important aspects to consider in one’s PhD. The tutorials were specially scheduled to be in the morning as the following hands-on session would be on the same topic such as LarkC, Linked Open Data, Vocabulary Building and Alignment, Linked Services and Front-Ends. The first two evenings were spent by students presenting posters of their Master or PhD projects. Each student was assigned a tutor who would not only pose insightful comments and ask questions but also judge the posters based on design, presentation and novelty. Timofey won the runners up prize for the poster session. Additionally, we were all divided into groups of four students each and were assigned to do a project within two days. This task not only helped improve team skills, communication skills but also technical skills. Overall, it was an excellent opportunity for students to meet other students who are working on closely related projects and interact with experts to get feedback and advice for their projects. Apart from working on improving our socialising skills, something we learnt to be absolutely important on the very first day, we absolutely enjoyed the beautiful location, the beach, the parties and also the excursion to the nearby village, Matala on one of the evenings.

Following the summer school, we attended the ESWC 2011 conference held in Heraklion, Crete from 29th May to 2nd June, where our colleague Jens Lehmann also joined us. The conference was packed with workshops, tutorials and exciting keynote speeches by some of the leading experts such as Jim Hendler who spoke about “Why the Semantic Web will never work” and Chris Welty who spoke about his work with IBM’s Watson. Andraz Tori, one of our LOD2 partners, was also one of the keynote speakers who spoke about Zemanta. These were followed by insightful parallel sessions on the various upcoming topics in the Semantic Web.

Jens played a key role in representing AKSW at the conference. He presented the AutoSPARQL project in the Inductive and Probalistic Approaches session. The slides for the presentation are available here and AutoSPARQL is available here. Timofey gave two talks, namely, OntoWiki Mobile – Knowledge Management in your Pocket and Weaving a Distributed Semantic Social Network for Mobile Users in the Sensor Web and Mobile Web session. Jens was also on the “E-Government Core Vocabularies and federation of national semantic assets repositories: the European Commission approach” people with Jim Hendler, Nikos Loutas, Vassillios Peristeras and Stijn Goedertier. The panel discussed the state of Open Government and current challenges. He also chaired the Linked Open Data I Session. Moreover, our LOD2 project was the official sponsor of the Linked Data Award.

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