20.296 WWW research collaboration by Southampton and MIT

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Sat, 4 Nov 2006 07:44:12 +0000

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 20, No. 296.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Sat, 04 Nov 2006 07:34:51 +0000
         From: Joyce Lewis <jkl2_at_ECS.SOTON.AC.UK>
         Subject: University of Southampton and MIT launch WWW
research collaboration

University of Southampton and MIT launch World Wide Web research=

Joint initiative will analyse and shape Web's evolution

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Nov. 2.

The University of Southampton and the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology today announced the launch of a long-term research
collaboration that aims to produce the fundamental scientific advances
necessary to guide the future design and use of the World Wide Web.

The Web Science Research Initiative (WSRI) will generate a research
agenda for understanding the scientific, technical and social challenges
underlying the growth of the Web. Of particular interest is the volume
of information on the Web that documents more and more aspects of human
activity and knowledge. WSRI research projects will weigh such questions
as, how do we access information and assess its reliability? By what
means may we assure its use complies with social and legal rules? How
will we preserve the Web over time?

Commenting on the new initiative, Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World
Wide Web and a founding director of WSRI, said, 'As the Web celebrates
its first decade of widespread use, we still know surprisingly little
about how it evolved, and we have only scratched the surface of what
could be realized with deeper scientific investigation into its design,
operation and impact on society.

'The Web Science Research Initiative will allow researchers to take the
Web seriously as an object of scientific inquiry, with the goal of
helping to foster the Web's growth and fulfill its great potential as a
powerful tool for humanity.

The joint MIT-Southampton initiative will provide a global forum for
scientists and scholars to collaborate on the first multidisciplinary
scientific research effort specifically designed to study the Web at all
scales of size and complexity, and to develop a new discipline of Web
science for future generations of researchers.

Professor Wendy Hall, head of school at Southampton University School of
Electronics and Computer Science and also, along with Professor Nigel
Shadbolt of ECS, a founding director of WSRI, said: 'As the Web
continues to evolve, it is becoming increasingly clear that a new type
of graduate will be required to meet the needs of science and industry.
Already we are seeing evidence of this, with major Internet companies
and research institutions lamenting the fact that there are simply not
enough people with the right mix of skills to meet current and future
employment demands. In launching WSRI, one of our ultimate aims is to
address this issue.

WSRI will be headquartered at the Computer Science and Artificial
Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at MIT and at the School of Electronics
and Computer Science (ECS) at the University of Southampton. Initial
plans call for joint research projects, workshops and student/faculty
exchanges between the two institutions. The initiative will have four
founding directors: Tim Berners-Lee, director of the World Wide Web
Consortium, senior research scientist at MIT and professor at the
University of Southampton; Wendy Hall, professor of computer science and
head of the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University
of Southampton; Nigel Shadbolt, professor of artificial intelligence at
the University of Southampton and director of the Advanced Knowledge
Technologies Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration; and Daniel J.
Weitzner, Technology and Society Domain leader of the World Wide Web
Consortium and principal research scientist at MIT. About MIT The
Massachusetts Institute of Technology is dedicated to advancing
knowledge and educating students in science, technology, and other areas
of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st
century. The Institute has more than 900 faculty and 10,000
undergraduate and graduate students. It is organized into five Schools
-- Architecture and Urban Planning; Engineering; Humanities, Arts, and
Social Sciences; Sloan School of Management; and Science.Current areas
of research and education include neuroscience and the study of the
brain and mind, bioengineering, the environment and sustainable
development, information sciences and technology, new media, financial
technology, and entrepreneurship.

About the University of Southampton The University of Southampton is a
leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation
for leading-edge research and scholarship. It is one of the UK's top 10
research universities, offering first-rate opportunities and facilities
for study and research across a wide range of subjects in humanities,
health, science and engineering. The University has around 20,000
students and over 5000 staff. Its annual turnover is in the region of
310 million. With around 500 researchers, and 900 undergraduate
students, the School of Electronics and Computer Science at Southampton
is one of the world's largest and most successful integrated research
groupings, covering Computer Science, Software Engineering, Electronics,
and Electrical Engineering. ECS has unrivalled depth and breadth of
expertise in world-leading research, new developments and their


Joyce Lewis
Marketing and Communications Manager
School of Electronics and Computer Science
University of Southampton
Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
T +44(0)23 8059 5453
E <mailto:j.k.lewis_at_ecs.soton.ac.uk>j.k.lewis_at_ecs.soton.ac.uk

Get latest news, technology and research updates,
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Received on Sat Nov 04 2006 - 03:14:56 EST

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