Two Funny Things at the 2012 International Semantic Web Conference

I spent last week at the 2012 International Semantic Web Conference.  This conference addresses the important topic of structured data on the web.  I had two “funny” experiences; one humorous and one peculiar. At the beginning of the conference, I was amused to see that ISWC, whose central theme is linking the web’s data together [...]

Faculty Summits and Industy-Faculty Collaborations

By some statistical fluke this summer I got invitations to and attended faculty summits at Google, Microsoft, and Facebook within a period of two weeks.  All were well run and a lot of fun, but left me wondering whether there are better ways to foster collaborations between faculty and these great companies. Each company put [...]

Congress, the NSF, and Social Science Research

For the past few weeks I’ve been following the Monkey Cage blog as it has followed the vote by the House of Representatives to prohibit the National Science Foundation (NSF) from funding Political Science research.   These days I tend to roll my eyes and feel helpless when Congress takes silly positions for political reasons (though [...]

To improve the CHI conference, would you share which talks you attended?

I’m having a great time at CHI (including my first time two-stepping today) but I strongly believe, as Jonathan Grudin asserted today, that we can make use of data to improve the conference.  I’ve already analyzed historical data that demonstrates that we can substantially reduce reviewer workload.  We’ve also created a way you can use [...]

Allocating CHI reviewers, a sequel

Last year I used an analysis of CHI review data to argue that we could save a lot of reviewers’ time on low quality papers by modiyfing our review process.  With all the current talk of the value of replication, I figured it was worth testing the same procedure with this year’s review data, which [...]

Making change in Zimbabwe without coins

This is a message in a bottle.  I’ve got an idea for addressing a problem in Zimbabwe and no idea how to reach the people I’d like to share it with, so I’m going to see if perhaps it can propagate to them. A couple days ago, the New York Times had an article on [...]

NICAR, from a programmer’s eyes

Last week I attended NICAR 2012, a conference for computer assisted investigative reporting. I was there to help David teach reporters how to use tools such as Datapress and Exhibit and to learn about the needs and state-of-the-art of computers in reporting. It is always a privilege to get to visit and observe someone’s world [...]

Personal (Information Management) is not (Personal Information) Management

I spent last weekend at the 2012 PIM workshop, located at CSCW 2012.  This was the 5th such workshop.  Appropriately for its setting, this one focused on “PIM in a socially networked world”—i.e., the aspects of PIM emerging in the interactions between multiple individuals.  The focus clearly highlighted the distance between two different notions of [...]

Programming well in Javascript

With my background as a theoretical computer scientist, I’m a terrible programmer (Back in college taking operating systems, my team got special mention for having the most elegantly designed operating system, all built around a single semaphor API.  Of course it only executed for 30 seconds before crashing).  But sometimes, when I can’t convince any [...]

Ira Glass must have gone to grad school

The host of NPR’s This American Life is talking about creative work here, but he might as well be reflecting on the first couple years of a PhD: “Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good [...]