Monday, January 7, 2019

2019-01-07: Review of WS-DL's 2018

The Web Science and Digital Libraries Research Group had a strong year, with the most significant event being our expansion from two professors to four.  Beginning in Fall 2018, we added two new assistant professors:
We're very lucky to have them both join WS-DL.  Their collective experience in HCI, ML, Big Data, and mining scholarly data increases the capabilities of our team and will allow WS-DL to greatly expand our teaching and research portfolios. For example, we will offer a record five WS-DL classes for Spring 2019.

Dr. Michele Weigle and I also had an eventful 2018: she was promoted to full professor and I received a joint appointment with Virginia Modeling, Analysis & Simulation Center (VMASC).

In 2018 we also had three MS students graduate, two students do internships, two students advance to PhD candidacy, one new research grant ($248k) awarded, 11 publications, and 11 trips to conferences, workshops, hackathons, internships, etc.

We had 11 publications in 2018.  This total does not include the 2018 publications from Drs. Wu and Jayarathna since those were already in the pipeline prior to them joining WS-DL; their contributions will be included in the 2019 summary.  Our students' publications this year mainly centered around three conferences, with one "best poster" award and two "best paper" nominations:

In addition to iPres, Hypertext, and JCDL/JCDL-DC/WADL/KDD, we also attended 12 additional events:

We were fortunate enough to host Michael Herzog and several other members of Hochschule Magdeburg-Stendal in March.

For internal and local outreach, we did several presentations, seminars, and colloquiums within ODU and Norfolk.

This year was exceptionally good for public outreach about web archiving.  I was quoted in the Washington Post, The Atlantic, and Vox, culminating in an interview on CNN in April.  The entire story is nicely summarized in an ODU press release.

We've continued to update existing and release new software and datasets via our GitHub account. Given the nature of software and data, sometimes it can be difficult a specific release date, but this year our significant releases and updates include:
This year we also had a number of significant contributions that were not software, data, nor conventional publications.  Instead, they were quick analyses, evaluations, definitions, or reviews.  They may yet form the basis of future publications, but the blog allowed for rapid release:
For funding, we were able to continue our string of nine consecutive years with new funding.  The IMLS funded "Continuing Education to Advance Web Archiving", with Va Tech as the lead institution and several others, including WS-DL, in a supporting role.   With several existing funded projects scheduled to close out this year, plus two additional faculty members, the focus of 2019 will be acquiring additional external funding.

WS-DL annual reviews are also available for 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013.  Finally, we'd like to thank all those who have complimented our blog, students, and the WS-DL research group in general.  We really appreciate the feedback, some of which we include below.


Thursday, January 3, 2019

2019-01-03: Five WS-DL Classes Offered for Spring 2019
"Both arXiv and are invaluable projects which, if they didn't exist, we would dismiss as obviously ridiculous and unworkable."

A record five WS-DL classes are offered for Spring 2019:
  • CS 432/532 Web Science is taught by Alexander Nwala, Thursdays 4:20-7:00pm.  This class explores web phenomena with a variety of data science tools such as Python, R, D3, ML, and IR. 
  • CS 725/825 Information Visualization is taught by Dr. Michele C. Weigle, Wednesdays 9:30am-12:15pm. This class will explore the background and tools needed to develop effective visualizations through analyzing existing visualizations and visualization problems.
  • CS 734/834 Information Retrieval is taught by Dr. Jian Wu, Tuesdays & Thursdays, 9:30-10:45am.  This class will explore the theory and engineering of information retrieval in the context of developing web-based search engines.
  • CS 795/895 Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is taught by Dr. Sampath Jayarathna, Tuesdays 4:20-7:00pm.  This class will explore the major cognitive and social phenomena surrounding human use of computers with the goal of understanding their impact and creating guidelines for the design and evaluation of software and physical products and services.
  • CS 795/895 Web Archiving Forensics is taught by Dr. Michael L. Nelson, Wednesdays 4:20-7:00pm.  This explores the use of web archives for verifying the priority and authenticity of web pages, especially in the face of faulty and untrustworthy archives.
If you're interested in any of these classes you'll need to take them this semester since Fall 2019 will likely bring a completely different line up:
  • CS 418/518 Web Programming, Dr. Jian Wu
  • CS 431/531 Web Server Design, Sawood Alam
  • CS/DASC 600 Introduction to Data Science, Dr. Sampath Jayarathna
  • CS/DASC 625 Data Visualization, Dr. Michele C. Weigle
I will likely be on research leave (and thus not teaching) in Fall 2019.