Basser Seminar Series

Web Science: a new science for a new age

Speaker: Professor Wendy Hall
The University of Southampton, UK

Time: Thursday 24 October 2013, 3:00-4:00pm

Location: The University of Sydney, School of IT Building, BOARD ROOM (Room 124), Level 1

**Note different day and location

Abstract

In this talk, Professor Wendy Hall will reflect on the evolution of the web. She will analyse the reasons why it became the first truly ubiquitous hypertext system against all competitors, and look both at the way it has evolved from a network of linked documents to a system that facilitates social networking on a scale previously unimaginable. Professor Hall will then look at how the web will evolve in the future as a network of linked data and beyond.

The study of the web - its evolution and its impact on society, on business, and on government - is referred to as web science. Another way of characterising this new discipline, which is inherently social-technical in nature, is as the theory and practice of social machines. To study social machines we need to develop new research methodologies and draw on many different disciplines. The talk will conclude by considering the progress that has been made so far in this important new area of research, and ways to tackle the major challenges going forward.

Speaker's biography

Wendy Hall, DBE, FRS, FREng is Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton, UK, and Dean of the Faculty of Physical and Applied Sciences. She was Head of the School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) from 2002 to 2007. One of the first computer scientists to undertake serious research in multimedia and hypermedia, she has been at its forefront ever since. The influence of her work has been significant in many areas including digital libraries, the development of the Semantic Web, and the emerging research discipline of Web Science. She has published over 400 papers and is frequently invited to speak at high profile conferences and events.

With Tim Berners-Lee and Nigel Shadbolt she co-founded the Web Science Research Initiative in 2006 and she is currently a Director of the Web Science Trust, which has a global mission to support the development of research, education and thought leadership in Web Science

In addition to playing a prominent role in the development of her subject, she also helps shape science and engineering policy and education. She became a Dame Commander of the British Empire in the 2009 UK New Year's Honours list, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in June 2009.She was President of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) from 2008-2010; the first person from outside North America to hold this position. Other significant posts she has held include Senior Vice President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, member of the Prime Minister's Council for Science and Technology, founding member of the European Research Council, member of the EPSRC Council, President of the British Computer Society and EPSRC Senior Research Fellow. She was Chair of the European Commission's ISTAG from 2010 - 2012. She is a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Council on Robotics and Smart Devices.