Archive for August, 2011


Web Science Doctoral Summer School 2011 (belated)

Friday, August 26th, 2011

Here’s a somewhat very belated post on the Web Science Summer School I attended over a month ago (July 6, 2011 – July 13, 2011).

My thoughts? It was great! Fortunately, there were also enough others who felt compelled to write about it so that I don’t feel a huge urge to have a massive brain squeeze of whatever memories I have of it. That said, there’s always room for a few (short) thoughts.

It was an intense week of lectures/tutorials, often starting at 9am and finishing at 6pm, which meant many of us were very much drained at the end. Tiredness aside, the highlight for me (minus the social bits) was the mini-project. Over the course of a few days, we collected different types of communication data (specifically, face-to-face communication, facebook & twitter) and pretended to be web-social scientists and tried to make as much sense of it (until silly hours). With a bit of help of compewters and algorisms to make it all sound legit, of course. (Actual details on it can be found at Aaron’s post, which I’ve linked below.)

Here’s one example of what coordinated collective action at this school resulted in:

Some other people’s posts (thoughts) on the school:

  • Clare Hooper’s personal perspective on it, as well as the start of it (with subsequent posts on the attended lectures – well worth a read as summaries to decide if you want to watch the allotted ~1.5 hours for each talk).
  • Aaron McDaid and Owen Phelan‘s posts on the school – the former has more details of our team’s mini-project.


  • Here are some links to the lecture/tutorial videos and the corresponding slides.
  • Here are also some flickr photos of the school.
  • In particular, very useful supporting material to the tutorial given by Derek Greene, post-doc at UCD. (Not just promoting a colleague 😉 It really is a good intro. to important concepts in social network analysis and relevant software (networkx, gephi), with concrete examples and datasets.)

Oh, and my favourite quote of the week (and aspire to partially be – i.e. automate as much ‘trivial’ stuffs as a I can so that what I am is the creator/storyteller rather than command follower (explanation especially for Ursula, even I’m not usually this pedantic!) ):

“You are what you do not automate” — Marc Smith