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E-Research Roundtable - An update on the Transforming Taxonomic Interfaces Initiative

Wednesday, October 28, 2015
12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

341 LIS

Event Details

Session leaders: Professor Michael Twidale, doctoral student Andrea Thomer, Matt Yoder and Kenny Guo.
Description: Abstract:
In this ERRT we will give an overview of our recent work and share ideas about “semantic engineering,” including what happens when what we study has significant components of both regular data collection and data construction.

The Transforming Taxonomic Interfaces initiative is supported by the NSF program Advances in Biological Informatics. We present an overview of our efforts to date, these include capturing workflow requirements through interviews, observations and assessments of the taxonomic workflow, and prototyping and exploring specific issues with the semantic representation of anatomical data. Our end goal is to improve the semantics behind taxonomic data through improved software interfaces. We describe our exploration into prototyping interfaces via a recent “hackathon”.

Taxonomists integrate an extremely diverse range of data over the course of their lifetimes. If the goal is to digitize this process then this diversity of data requires rich and extensive semantic representation layers. Additionally, taxonomists work in an iterative and frequently non-linear fashion. The combination of these factors -- workflows with multiple entry-points, and extremely diverse data -- makes the development of easily useable yet functionally rich software a significant challenge.

Michael Twidale's research interests in computer-supported working and collaborative technologies intersect with CIRSS research areas of collections and metadata, scientific communication, and digital humanities.

Andrea Thomer is a PhD student in Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and is supported by the Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship. Her research interests include text mining, information organization, museum digitization projects, and phylogenetic and natural history museum informatics.

Kenny Guo is a PhD student in Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,his  research motivation involves extracting patterns and relations from textual data that will help scientists and scholars make discoveries from large text datasets. Related areas include information retrieval, natural language processing, text mining, and ontology.

Matt Yoder is a biological informatician at the Illinois Natural History Survey.

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