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CIRSS Seminar - Sketches of Landscapes: Towards Information & Thinking Tools for the Rest of Us


Friday, September 6, 2019
4:15pm - 5:15pm

126 IS

Event Details

Session leaders: Bertram Ludaescher, iSchool Professor and CIRSS Director
Description: The computing and information sciences interact with, and sometimes are an essential part of, an ever wider range of academic disciplines from the natural sciences to the social sciences and the humanities. At the same time there is fragmentation, recombination, and consolidation of disciplines into new forms (see, e.g., the long list of informatics binomials: bioinformatics, ecoinformatics, geoinformatics, health-informatics, etc. or the increased interest in recent years in all things “data science”).  A constant among all the change seems to be a proliferation of information problems on the one hand, and a lack of practical “information and thinking tools” on the other. These tools should allow information professionals to apply and experiment with information models, schemas, ontologies, and other knowledge representation and information artifacts and thus yield a new, more experimental (and hands-on) form of research in the information sciences.

In this talk, I will sketch a few examples from a larger research landscape that remains to be explored further. This research aims to link theory (e.g., database theory, knowledge representation & reasoning) and practice (e.g., schema migration, transparent data cleaning, and reproducible science) via bridge technologies that can be the basis for the development of the desired information tools for the rest of us. I will sketch some of the promising bridge technologies and---by way of a few simple examples---also reveal the “secret sauce” behind some of the early tools and prototypes that have been and are being developed. 

ABOUT THE SPEAKER. Bertram Ludäscher is a professor at the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he directs the Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship (CIRSS). He is also a faculty affiliate with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) and the Department of Computer Science at Illinois.  Until 2014, he was a professor at the Department of Computer Science at the University of California, Davis. His research interests range from practical questions in scientific data and workflow management to database theory and knowledge representation & reasoning. Prior to his faculty appointments, he was a research scientist at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) and an adjunct faculty at the CSE Department at UC San Diego. He received his M.S. (Dipl.-Inform.) in computer science from the University of Karlsruhe (now K.I.T.), and his PhD (Dr. rer. nat.) from the University of Freiburg, Germany, respectively.

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