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KMi members win ISWS Summer School 2018 Awards!

Bertinoro University Photo

The 1st edition of the newly branded International Semantic Web Research Summer School (ISWS) was organised by STLab-ISTC National Research Council and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology at the University Residential Centre of Bertinoro between 1st and 7th July 2018. The Centre was located in Bertinoro, a small village on a scenic hill with a wonderful panoramic view. The school focused on diverse range of research areas including embeddings for knowledge graphs, natural language processing, ontology design patterns and Blockchain technology. The school saw an active participation by several members of KMi, including Prof. Enrico Motta was invited as the first keynote speaker at the summer school and Prof. John Domingue who attended the school as a tutor. Thiviyan Thanapalasingam (Research Assistant) and Prashant Khare (3rd year PhD student) participated in the summer school as registered students.

Enrico Motta showcases the Computer Science Ontology Portal - Photo

In his keynote speech, Enrico provided an overview of his research on scholarly data and smart city projects. The talk highlighted the research and the commercial outcomes of work undertaken by his research group. Enrico also gave motivational tips and advice to students who are pursuing a PhD in Semantic Web. John delivered two talks, a tutorial and an ‘In-Depth Pill’ session, that provided a very detailed vision of the significance and the potential impact of blockchain technologies for a decentralised Semantic Web. The talk elaborated on how various industries ranging from finance to academia could leverage Blockchain technologies to address and tackle wide range of issues.

John Domingue presenting his tutorial on a Decentralised Semantic Web - Photo

The format of the school was oriented towards advancing student’s research abilities and was meant to provide the experience of working under tight deadlines to stimulate the life of a researcher. This year, the school was attended by 9 tutors and 60 students (selected from 113 applications) from around the world. At the beginning of the week, the students were divided into 9 Research Task Forces. Each Research Task Force consisted of 6 – 7 students and were led by a tutor.

A common research problem was assigned to all research task forces – Linked Data Validity – that is to support the assessment of the validity of a Linked Data statement. By the end of the week, each group was required to deliver a research report and a 10-minute presentation of their work. Each research task force, under the supervision of their mentor, conceived a solution to the research problem with a different perspective. The ideas spanned across relevancy in the data based on a domain to leveraging blockchain technologies on linked data.

Thiviyan delivering the first part of the presentation for Hufflepuff - Photo

KMi members contributed towards the success of two groups fetching three awards in total. Team ‘Hufflepuff’, which Thiviyan was a part of and John mentored, won the best prize awards in two categories – Best Research Report and Best Presentation. As part of their work, Huffpuff proposed a model for validating Linked Data on the Blockchain network and the team also presented potential use cases, such as career and relationship validation, where the model could be useful. Team ‘Hobbits’, which Prashant was a part of, won the 3rd prize in the Best Presentation category. Team Hobbits proposed an approach to determine the validity of linked data based on the contextual and spatial relevancy within a domain.

Prashant (first from right) and other members of the Hobbits collecting their award - Photo

John participating in a game of slide karaoke - Photo

The week, however, was not just about research methodologies and tight deadlines. The school organised social events, such as games, dinners and a trip around the historical city of Rimini. The students also realised their creativity skills by creating 1-minute videos which captured the funny side of being at a summer school. Overall, the students had an intense, engaging, learning, and fun filled stay of 6 days at the summer school. The school saw a great synergy generated from a blend of experience of the tutors and enthusiasm of the students.

Ettore Rizza, an Italian PhD student from Belgium, said that he

learned a lot here, and not just about technology.

Tatiana Makhalova, a Russian student studying in France said:

It was a great experience that enhanced a wide range of skills: from hot-topic knowledge to team-working skills. Any research is not just about publishing results, it is the whole way from the idea to the completed project. I got an excellent insight on how to walk this path. Interesting and various lectures, outstanding tutors, talented participants — they make a summer school a starting point for new researches and leave with participants much more than good memories.

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The Open University is the UK’s largest university, a world leader in flexible part-time education combining a mission to widen access to higher education with research excellence, transforming lives through education. Our research underpins the teaching we deliver to some 200,000 students as the UK’s largest university. Nearly three quarters (72%) of Open University research was assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent in the UK Research Excellence Framework 2014.

Uniquely we operate within the four nations of the UK, with nation offices in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh as well as regional offices in England and our head office in Milton Keynes.

All of our roles play a key part in our students’ journey. We have a range of exciting opportunities for ambitious academics and researchers, as well as top class teaching and professional services roles. We offer a dynamic, inter-disciplinary research culture where academics and researchers can work creatively.

Lead Developer

Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
£40,792 to £48,677, Ref: 15805
Fixed Term Contract until 31st March 2020
Based in Milton Keynes
Application closing date: Thursday 29 April, 2019 – 12:00.

The post-holder will hold a degree (or equivalent experience).

You will be a member of the Open University team, comprising academics and technology specialists in cyber security, data science, learning analytics and distributed ledger technologies, who are leading the “University Learners” theme of the Institute of Coding (IoC – 

The Institute’s vision is to enhance the education and employability of every IoC learner and ensure that employers and individuals across the UK can access the skills they need to compete in the global digital economy. This unique and innovative collaboration has been made possible with £20m from the Higher Education Funding Council for England and match funding from universities and industry partners.

Responsible for the whole project life-cycle, you will scope, develop, implement and deploy an infrastructure that allows academics to deliver to Open University students a variety of online interactive practical computing activities, e.g. on data science, programming and cyber security. You will play a leading role in the development of software systems enabling the remote operation of programming and computing infrastructure environments through the use of commercial software products and bespoke software solutions.

Interview date: to be advised

For detailed information and how to apply go to, call the Resourcing Hub on 01908 655544 or email quoting the reference number.

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