Category Archives: Semantic

Hashtags for Twitter Cancer Communities

Top ten hashtags associated with #cancer

Librarians have been geeking out, or grossing out, over hashtags since they first appeared. Some of the conversation has been about concerns over ‘allowing’ the public to define their own metadata, while much of it has been the flip side of trying to engage the public in generating metadata for library online collections, and thus enriching access and awareness for those collections.

Naturally, the general public simply move forward with creating new hashtags for their own purposes, largely unaware of the conversations and concerns of professionals in the area of metadata. This is as it should be. The idea of a Folksonomy, a.k.a. folk taxonomy, as originated by Thomas Vanderwal centers around the social aspect — real people, real folk, coming up with language that means something to them to describe content that matters to them with ideas that matter to them. Meaning.

I could go on about this for a long time, but today I need to focus on a particular aspect of this dynamic — a shift from folk+taxonomy to folk+ontology. Folkology? Folk ontology? Folktology? A little bit of digging leads me to folktology (non-scholarly) or tagontology (scholarly) as preferred terms for this, both of which are used roughly the same amount.

In social media, one of the greatest strengths has been the power to create community where none existed before, to connect and empower those who may otherwise be isolated. The most prominent examples of this in healthcare have been the emerging communities around chronic conditions (such as diabetes), marginalized communities (such as facial difference and transgendered), and conditions that create isolation as part of the lifestyle or treatment of the condition (such as mobility disorders, many types of cancer, and any condition expected to be fatal).

Taking cancers as an example, there is the immediate problem of the ambiguity of language. In the image at the head of this post, the hashtag #cancer is shown to be most often associated with the Zodiac, not with healthcare. This makes that term itself less useful for healthcare uses.

Symplur Healthcare Hashtag Project 07082013
Symplur: The Healthcare Hashtag Project:

In the Symplur Healthcare Hashtag Project, a crowdsourced collection of hashtags in health, there are over 2500 hashtags total, with over 100 (n=133 07/08/2013) related to cancer. These range from disease tags, to events, to scheduled chats, and more. When people enter a new tag, they cannot do so anonymously, and the tags are reviewed before being added to the database. The tag donor is also asked to define the tag category at time of submission. Non-event tags must be able to show that they are used by multiple people. All of this makes the quality of the collection superior to most hashtag databases on the web. (I often wish there was something similar for science hashtags, or information technology hashtags, etc. I also often wish that the project content was routinely archived for posterity through a neutral organization, such as a library, but that is another conversation to have.)

The problem? Not one of those 133 hashtags on cancer is the hashtag #cancer. Of course, it would be really messy to try to separate the zodiac hashtags from the health hashtags, so I can understand why it has been avoided. However, this problem of the commonly used hashtag being missing from the database occurs fairly regularly. It is a not unexpected problem with crowdsourced information collections. Here’s another example. According to Symplur, the preferred hashtag for ovarian cancer is #ovariancancer. If you actually prowl around Twitter, there is an enormous variety of tags used, with the most common being #ovca. The #ovca content is not currently being captured, tracked, or archived in the project database. I just this morning submitted the #ovca tag when I noticed it was lacking. Hopefully, it may be active by the time this post goes live, but the content in it would be sparse and would lack history.

Here are the top, ie. most common, cancer hashtags, according to Symplur.

#BCSM; #BladderCancer; #BowelCancer; #BrainCancer; #BreastCancer; #CancerChat; #CancerFreeMe; #CancerSurvivors; #CervicalCancer; #Chemo; #ChildhoodCancer; #ColonCancer; #Leukemia; #LiverCancer; #LungCancer; #Lyphoma; #Melanoma; #Mesothelioma; #OralCancer; #OvarianCancer; #PancreaticCancer; #PediatricCancer; #ProstateCancer; #SkinCancer; #TesticularCancer; #XMRV
Symplur: The Healthcare Hashtag Project:

You’ll notice a wide variety of types of tags, with a general approach tending toward long tags that include the full words. In actual practice on Twitter, this is the reverse of standard practice, in which tags are kept short to minimize the number of characters used. Many of these tags, like #OvarianCancer, have shorter alternatives that are also used heavily (ie. #ovca). For breast cancer, both forms appear in the Symplur list: #BreastCancer and #BCSM. #BrCa, however, was missing, just like #OvCa. I submitted it, also.

You see the problem? Problems, actually. Part of it is discovery of the terms used, part of it is the actual terms used, and part of it is the community working to ‘manage’ creation, use, and adoption of the terms. Enter @SubatomicDoc, a.k.a. Dr. Matthew Katz. Matthew is a radiation oncologist who has been active in a couple different Twitter cancer communities, most notably #BCSM (which he adopted) and #LCSM (which he initiated). #BCSM stands for breast cancer social media, and #LCSM stands for lung cancer social media. The process of coming up with a better hashtag for lung cancer, gathering a community around it, and developing traction and adoption, got him thinking. What about other cancers?

Matthew sent me a direct message last week about this. He’d been thinking, and had created a rough draft of what he is calling a folksonomy, but which is really more of an ontology, uh, folktology or tag-ontology. We went back and forth several times, thinking about metadata design, automated sorting in computers, common usage, structuring subconcepts, distinguishing proposed tags from currently used tags in other domains, and various other ideas of how to best structure these in a way that would be useful, practical, and true to the concepts and communities. Matthew released the initial draft at the ASCO site last week, with a substantial model integrating proposed and existing Twitter hashtags around cancer experiences and communities.

Matthew S. Katz, MD. Hashtag Folksonomy for Cancer Communities on Twitter. ASCO Connection: 03 Jul 2013 9:08 AM

Since then there has been a lot of reaction, with people asking for MORE. Frankly, that is not a reaction I think either of us expected. There are refinements and extensions evolving from the communities. It is becoming a richer and broader conversation. I’d like to see more medical librarians engage with this. I am no metadata specialist, and would love to see someone get interested who is more expert than I am with metadata.

One of the extensions that was proposed through Twitter conversations around this is the idea of secondary tags to connect common cancer issues with specific cancer communities. I’d roughed out a list of some of those issues for my book chapter for online cancer resources and search strategies, back in the MLA Guide.

CAM, biopsy, staging, caregiving, home care, chemotherapy, cancer medications, side effects, clinical trials, fatigue, new diagnosis, nutrition, diet, pain, prevention, lifestyle, second opinions, sexuality, survival, and talking about cancer to different audiences.
MLA Guide: Free Samples: Sample Chapters: Volume Two: Diseases and Disorders: Part IV: Cancers, by P. F. Anderson

One of the ideas Matthew is talking about is how to come up with a strategy for creating new hashtags that would open this up to others, what are the criteria or best practices for creating new hashtags. I did some thinking on this for my Enriching Scholarship workshop on Twitter Hashtags for Science.

Twitter Hashtags

Twitter hashtags mindmap:

I should make a separate post about the model I developed for thinking through best practices of creating new hashtags, but I’ll just put a placeholder here. The acronym is LUDDITE, which stands for:


LUDDITE Model for Hashtag Creation

These overlap in many key points with Matthew’s criteria in his ASCO post, however he includes critical points of working specifically for cancer and healthcare communities.

“It is disease-based;
It helps patients with similar diagnoses learn and share rather than be isolated by the cancer experience;
It is designed to make information more easily accessible;
It is unique enough to be distinguished from other topics online;
Brevity is key to allow more content/conversation, especially with Twitter.”

So, that’s as far as we’ve gotten, but we’d love YOU to join the conversation and thoughts around this. Please put comments about the hashtag model at Matthew’s post, and comments about the process here. Thank you so much!

UPDATE July 15, 2013.

An important followup post from Matthew (@subatomicdoc) is now up.

Cancer Hashtags: High Time or Half-Baked?
Matthew S. Katz, MD
15 Jul 2013 10:09 AM


Debrief: Atkins Symposium #UMAtkins

Monday I was lucky enough to make it into the Atkins Symposium.

Dan at the Atkins Symposium Panel One at the Atkins Symposium
Panel Four at the Atkins Symposium Break at the Atkins Symposium

Learning and Discovery in the Connected Age: A Symposium Honoring Professor Daniel E. Atkins in his 40th Year at the University of Michigan:

The structure was a series of panels on critical topics, with each panel including several notables. I kept it quiet, but my heart was pounding with excitement, going, “I can’t believe! [thump] I’m in the same room! [thump] with Vint Cerf and Stu Feldman! [thump] and Clifford Lynch (again)! [thump] And ..[insert name here].. all at the same time!!! [kathump!]” I wished with all my heart that Manfred Kochen could have lived to hear all this. Oh, this is exactly the sort of future he predicted.

The panel topics were Cyberinfrastructure for Academic Enterprise; The Information School Movement; Collaboratories, and Digital Libraries; and Cyber Enabled Learning. Because of the overwhelming response to the event invitation (over 500 registered!) they had to relocate the event at the last minute to a space which, while very lovely and appropriate in so many ways, lacked adequate power and networking to support the techy crowd gathered in the audience. For that reason, I tried to take good notes and planned on live-blogging, then discovered that I have grown so accustomed to livetweeting that my notes aren’t up to my usual standards at all! Luckily, Ken Varnum and others livetweeted, all in a glorious public stream, and Ken (as the lead and most vocal live tweeter) gave me permission to archive the #umatkins tweets here.

The tweets are lightly edited. If I noticed an obvious typo or misspelling, I corrected it. I removed retweets unless they added a substantive comment. I tried to find links and activate them (unless it was yet another link to the symposium homepage). I thought about deleting the hashtag itself, in the interests of space, but some people made it a grammatical part of the comment rather than just a tag, so I left them all it, just it case it was needed to make sense of the statement. I have a complete spreadsheet in a Google Doc, which I can easily share if you want to see the originals. So, without further ado, here are the 400+ tweets from the day long event. (400? Really? Under the network constraints at the event, that is absolutely PHENOMENAL! Editing whittled it down to around 350. Be grateful. )

pfanderson: | Here for the Atkins Symposium! #UMAtkins (@ Michigan Theater) [pic]:
kennedy2: | At the Atkins Symposium.Never been in the State Theate before. It’s nice! #UMAtkins
kennedy2: | @pfanderson Are you on Biggby Wifi? Can’t get internet, just Tweetdeck. #UMAtkins
kennedy2: | @pfanderson Nevermind. Got it. #UMAtkins
pfanderson: | Wish I could livetweet #UMAtkins but no network and no power. Will take good notes on multiple devices & liveblog from home later
bagabot: | Hot damn, the @michtheater is full of brains right now. #UMAtkins
pfanderson: | Dan Atkins takes the podium #umatkins

mcburton: | RT @bagabot: Hot damn, the @michtheater is full of brains right now. #UMAtkins
epuckett: | RT @britain Right on. “The real opportunity is not in the technical details, but in the extreme connectedness it provides.” #umatkins
britain: | Oh, it’s #UMAtkins. Thanks as always to @pfanderson for knowing the hashes.
pfanderson: | @britain Settled it down right before it started 😉 #umatkins
epuckett: | Shout out to #oer & NETP 2010: #umatkins
kennedy2: | This is where I am. #UMAtkins
kennedy2: | Cloud computing: the technology is nebulous. #UMAtkins
mcburton: | Someone should tell Dan Atkins that Moore’s law is no longer true. #UMAtkins
varnum: | “Cloud computing: the service is nebulous.” Dan Atkins, quoting a colleague. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Tweeting today from the Atkins Symposium: #umatkins
epuckett: | Atkins: “the most exciting stuff happens between disciplines, working at edge between what is and what is possible.” #umatkins
kennedy2: | @britain looks like #UMAtkins
kennedy2: | @vint_cerf and Stu Feldman are talking soon. Kinda excited. Never heard a Googman talk before. #UMAtkins
carolbean: | Nebulous computing? Sounds about right RT @varnum: “Cloud computing: the service is nebulous.” Dan Atkins, quoting a colleague. #UMAtkins
crfarnum: | Dan Atkins gave a fast but dazzling list of strategies- last was to let many share in the ownership of successful projects. #UMAtkins.
stevelonn: | For more info on panelists: #umatkins
mcburton: | TIL: Stu Feldman was the creator of unix make. That’s pretty legit. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Panel 1: Farnam Jahanian, Dan Reed, Vint Cerf, Francine Berman, Stu Feldman, & Alex Szalay. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Berman: Cyberinfrastructure is recognition of importance of technology to research. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Cerf: Cloud is timesharing on steroids. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Cerf: Cyberinfrastructure is more than equipment; it’s the environment. Needs persistence of software to work w/data we create. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Cerf: Need to move away from physical-only university so that we can learn over a lifetime, not just 4 years #UMAtkins
varnum: | Cerf: Doing things is the most powerful way of learning. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Cerf: So much of what we do depends on Internet; need to make sure that infrastructure continues to exist and stays open. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Cerf: OpenFlow — goes beyond standard routers. Move toward connecting processes & digital objects, not machines. #UMAtkins
britain: | Vint Cerf just said we could run “Avatar” on the theater screen if this gets boring. Doubt it, but I appreciate having options. #UMAtkins
crfarnum: | Vint Cerf – ecosystem > systems, “digital vellum” is needed- ways to preserve digital info beyond systems. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Feldman: Higher ed overdue for a revolution; 10 years past normal 50-year cycle. Digital has yet to have biggest impact. #UMAtkins
britain: | Cerf says the next evolution of the Net is connecting processes rather than just addresses. Shout out to OpenFlow routing tech #UMAtkins
pfanderson: | First panel: Francine Berman, Vint Cerf, Stu Feldman, Alex Szalay, Dan Reed, Farnam Jahrhanian #umatkins

varnum: | Feldman: Giga’s not the end; get ready for terra and peta. Infrastructure is leading us there. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Feldman: Universities need to figure out what you do with all this data, how to interact, work with it, preserve it. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Szalay: We are now at similar point to invention of microscope — we have whole new world to explore. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Szalay: Narrowing of focus in sciences has broadened similarities of computational needs across divisions. #UMAtkins
britain: | OpenFlow switching, as mentioned by Cerf #UMAtkins
varnum: | Reed: Cyberinfrastructure challenges are found in policy and socioeconomic affairs; technology is “easy”. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Reed: How do we sustain infrastructure over time? Issues of provenance, privacy, security very real. #UMAtkins
yardi: | big data has come out of a non-physical sciences context. Dan Reed (MSFT) on diffs btwn high performance computing and big data #danatkins
lmclaug: | Vint Cerf on coming changes in how we find/preserve things- instead of connecting endpoints, connect processes & physical objects #UMAtkins
mcburton: | What if instead of speeding up we tried to slow everything down? #UMAtkins
varnum: | Reed: If we’re going to enable creativity in our systems, we need to figure out new funding models. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Szalay: Big Data not just from CERN, etc. Reality — most science generates very large data sets. How to aggregate diff. sets? #UMAtkins
varnum: | Szalay: How to build an agile system that is big enough to enable economies of scale? Big challenge. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Szalay: How do we build trust in such a common/aggregated data store? Who manages? Are they trusted? #UMAtkins
nabgilby: | #umatkins Dan Atkins….father of cyber infrastructure
varnum: | Cerf: Having right metadata is critical. Not just data, but knowing what it is, how it was gathered, how to mix it. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Reed: Social model induces single researcher to work on data until next research project. After that, interest fades. A shame. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Berman: Some critical datasets aren’t “big” — we need to preserve research data. #UMAtkins
nabgilby: | #umatkins. Data has become a first class object….
varnum: | Feldman: We should talk about “big information”, not “big data” #UMAtkins
lmclaug: | Vint Cerf shout out to well-structured metadata as critical to big info manageability. amen. #umatkins
nabgilby: | #umatkins Stu Feldman I wish we were talking about big information and not big data
varnum: | Feldman: Concept of “sharing” is still evolving in scientific circiles. #UMAtkins
kennedy2: | Metadata can be anywhere from 25-100% the size of the data it describes. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Big Science gives Big Data. But *all science* yields data. Don’t forget it. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Berman: more need for community activism to make big things happen in data. Research Data Alliance will be formed in March 2013 #UMAtkins
varnum: | Berman: Research Data Alliance will help facilitate patterns for data exchange, discovery, that can be done NOW. #UMAtkins
yardi: | “Big data isn’t about size but about complexity, purpose, community, scale.” -Francine Berman #danatkins
nabgilby: | #umatkins Research Data Alliance – footholds in the data mountain, outcome oriented, turn the road blocks into building blocks
varnum: | More on Research Data Alliance: #UMAtkins
britain: | What will replace the Internet, Vint? “I suppose if I knew, I’d be off doing it right now.” #UMAtkins
varnum: | Cerf: We’re moving beyond internet of things to something more. A digital object won’t be passive data but an interactive process #UMAtkins
yardi: | Vint Cerf is working on an interplanetary extension of the Internet. Yep. (to the question, what’s next after the Internet?) #danatkins
varnum: | Cerf: TCP/IP doesn’t work well with 40-minute delay (for Internet in Space). New protocols being developed… #UMAtkins
varnum: | Q: What are challenges for cyberinfrastructure on campuses? #UMAtkins
varnum: | Reed: Academia dramatically underfunds sustainable infrastructure. Need to do better across institutions & nations. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Reed: The bigger the infrastructure the more complex the privacy issues get. Most privacy concepts rooted in person & place. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Reed: Those roots don’t make as much sense in digital world — need to develop new thinking. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Berman: How do we integrate/balance/harmonize on-site and on-line? The new blended university will be different. But how? #UMAtkins
varnum: | Berman: How do we evaluate quality in online education? How to know what you access is good (overall or for specific purpose)? #UMAtkins
varnum: | Berman: How to deal with overhead of teaching a class with 100,000 students? #UMAtkins
varnum: | Feldman: Cyberinfrastructure needs people to manage it long-term. Need to create career paths for this. Not in place now. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Q from floor: Is there a categorical difference between data & metadata? Does this distinction make a difference? #UMAtkins
varnum: | Cerf: Info should be included in a structure to make it self-interpretable, independent of software that created it. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Feldman: Don’t save on storage now to throw away stuff that seems non-useful now; it could be critical in a century. #UMAtkins
yardi: | On the difference btwn data and metadata. Metadata is interpretable (by something). -Vint Cerf #danatkins
britain: | ISS has its own network protocols for communication, because TCP/IP doesn’t fare well over a 40min. round trip – Vint Cerf #UMAtkins
varnum: | Q from floor (@pfanderson): What are your thoughts about a more nuanced approach to privacy & transparency? #UMAtkins
varnum: | Reed: Privacy & security are not binary settings. Involve stakeholders in conversations. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Reed: People have intense, often unexpected, responses to new uses of existing data. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Berman: Stewardship of research data needs to address these questions. Stewardship not government’s job; it’s ours, too. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Feldman: Hard technical questions, unpredictable psychological reactions, predictable problems (security). #UMAtkins
varnum: | Feldman: Correlation issues make privacy very hard. A few thousand characters of written text can identify you. #UMAtkins
britain: | “Privacy and security are not binary, as anyone who has configured social network settings can attest” – Dan Reed off @pfanderson #UMAtkins
varnum: | Q from floor: Issue of usability of technological interfaces is growing. What are effects of cyberinfrastructure? #UMAtkins
varnum: | Feldman: technology is cause and cure. Now you can do lots of stuff, but you have to learn how. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Feldman: Doing a good interface is computationally intensive. Well, we now have that computer power to work with. #UMAtkins
mcburton: | How do we integrate when Twitter locks down their API and the titans of tech battle over stupid patent disputes? #UMAtkins
varnum: | Q from floor: What comes first, cyberinfrastructure or applications? #UMAtkins
varnum: | Feldman: bad apps come first, leading to better back ends, leading to better apps. #UMAtkins
amelia_acker: | RT @mcburton: How do we integrate when Twitter locks down their API and the titans of tech battle over stupid patent disputes? #UMAtkins
varnum: | Feldman: If you don’t know what’s out there, how can you glue it together? #UMAtkins
varnum: | Feldman: I don’t understand Angry Birds, but clearly it was an important step forward. @AngryBirds #UMAtkins
kennedy2: | Found an outlet in the lobby! #UMAtkins #discreet
varnum: | Getting ready for panel 2: The Information School Movement Panel #UMAtkins
DharmaAkmon: | They need to turn the lights up in here. It’s putting me to sleep. #UMAtkins
lovesthesox: | #umatkins day is very interesting so far… but where are the women on stage? only 4 slated all day. seems like a #missedopportunity.
DharmaAkmon: | RT @lovesthesox: #umatkins day is very interesting so far… but where are the women on stage? only 4 slated all day. seems like a #missedopportunity.
varnum: | Panelists are: Jeff Mackie-Mason, Cliff Lynch, Gail McClure, Robert Schnabel #UMAtkins
varnum: | Mackie-Mason: ischools focus on social, economic, and information studies. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Mackie-Mason: When infrastructure becomes cheap, revolutions follows. #UMAtkins
niftyc: | Time to discuss the future of “the i-Schools Movement” at the Learning and Discovery in a Connected Age Symposium #UMAtkins
eaj6: | MT @lovesthesox: #umatkins day is interesting so far… but where are the women on stage? only 4 slated all day. #missedopportunity.
pfanderson: | #umatkins panel two: Clifford Lynch, Gail McClure, Bobby Schnabel

varnum: | Lynch: ischools grew out of sense that the landscape was shifting between library & computer science, among other disciplines #UMAtkins
yardi: | Kellogg Foundation made early investments in the iSchools. Later, @umsi became resource for Kellogg’s new investment directions #danatkins
varnum: | Lynch: In 90s, recognition that society was changing its way of using/interacting/creating information #UMAtkins
crfarnum: | I graduated from Umich SILS just before it became SI. Now there are about 38 I-Schools worldwide according to Jeff MacKie-Mason. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Lynch: ischool pushed back on librarianship to explore preservation/archives & what scholarly record should look like #UMAtkins
varnum: | Lynch: ischools have done well as judged by success their grads have in getting jobs in broad areas. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Lynch: ischool students are doing interesting social science research in corporations, work we can’t do in academia. #UMAtkins
britain: | Can one of you LTE speed demons help a fellow out with a slice of hotspot? I’m just tweeting Ustreaming this in HD is all. #UMAtkins
nabgilby: | #umatkins @sarahb thanks for asking the question, never stop….but the % of women on the panels likely outweighs that in reality
crfarnum: | Cliff Lynch- I-Schools are a mix of masters students & doctoral -> interesting tensions btw professional training and research. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Lynch: ischools were a uniquely American phenomenon. Starting to internationalize, but slowly. Reasons bear thinking about. #UMAtkins
varnum: | McClure: technologists now need to understand social scientists better, reversing the past trend. #UMAtkins
niftyc: | i-Schools were about social researchers learning tech. Today the technologists need more of the social side and social science #UMAtkins
varnum: | Schnabel: ischools allow you to have technology & humanists equally together. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Schnabel: Employers equally interested in “information” and “computer science” graduates. Both are valued; combo is killer. #UMAtkins
yardi: | Oops. s/#danatkins/#UMAtkins.
crfarnum: | At IU’s I-School, the focus is on informatics + computing. Their I-school is merging into engin. Includes HCI, but very broad. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Lynch: ischool students do interesting social science research in corporations, work we can’t do in academia. #UMAtkins
niftyc: | Employers need more people who understand tech but can handle dealing with people. They need staff at interfaces. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Schnabel: Changes at Indiana U have been welcomed both on campus and within community. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Mackie-Mason: ischools are in their teen years; they’re not done yet & have a ways to go. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Mackie-Mason: Easy to tell provenance of ischools (did it start in library or computer science)? Still need to blend more. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Mackie-Mason: As all science becomes information science, what is role of ischools? #UMAtkins
crfarnum: | JMM says that after 20 yrs, there is still no common understanding of what an I-School is. Each carries its roots, maybe too much. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Lynch: ischools are tackling problems with multiple dimensions, fostering interdisciplinary work. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Schnabel: This mix improves diversity, in many different dimensions. #UMAtkins
yardi: | eg Tribal Council’s digital network #danatkins
varnum: | Lynch: ischools are taking on problems with multiple dimensions, fostering interdisciplinary work. #UMAtkins
crfarnum: | Lynch & McClure – multi disciplinary programs very appealing to students. Faculty/researchers need to move beyond pecking orders. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Interdisciplinary schools make promotion harder; people are broadly expert, not narrowly. Academia needs to adjust. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Is it a discipline if it’s by definition interdisciplinary? #UMAtkins
varnum: | Q from floor (@msbonn): What role do publishers & publishing play in this interconnected role, & do ischool have a role? #UMAtkins
niftyc: | Why are there only four people tweeting #UMAtkins …? Is this an i-School event or what? Maybe this means twitter is dead.
varnum: | McClure: Yes, a clear role. If we don’t guide creation of content, we lose ability to organize and manage it down the road. #UMAtkins
epuckett: | RT @varnum +1: Interdisciplinary schools make promotion harder; people are broadly expert, not narrowly. Academia needs to adjust. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Schnabel: MOOC movement is one place we’re influencing thing. Will establish a new model. Courses will become books. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Schnabel — we’re involved if we mean to be or not. #UMAtkins
yardi: | There are 5 universities that have information+computing programs says Bobby Schnabel: CMU, GaTech, Irvine, Indiana, and someone. #danatkins
varnum: | Lynch: ischools can expand the currently narrow view of publishing. How to organize content for long term use & access? #UMAtkins
varnum: | Q from floor (Vint Cerf): I think disciplines are crap. Can ischool lead an effort to eliminate these discipline-based barriers? #UMAtkins
yardi: | Disciplines are crap says Vint Cerf, the guy who’s working on interplanetary Internetz. 🙂 #UMAtkins
drchuck: | Disciplines are crap. — Vint Cerf at #danatkins
varnum: | Cerf: the path we’re taking will lead us to know more and more about less and less, until we know everything about nothing. #UMAtkins
drchuck: | RT @yardi: Disciplines are crap says Vint Cerf, the guy who’s working on interplanetary Internetz. 🙂 #UMAtkins
varnum: | Will interdisciplinary lead to nondisciplinary? And will that happen in ischools first? #UMAtkins
crfarnum: | Vint Cerf- suggests that “disciplines are crap” – too much abstraction. Need to break down barriers and focus on applications. #UMAtkins
britain: | First round of applause for audience question goes to Vint Cerf on the folly of discipline and specialization. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Lynch: Successful ischools should be graduating generalists. What will happen to PhD students’ foci? #UMAtkins
mcburton: | RT @niftyc: Employers need more people who understand tech but can handle dealing with people. They need staff at interfaces. #UMAtkins
niftyc: | . @vint_cerf asks: Can the i-Schools lead a movement to eliminate disciplines? #UMAtkins // (Good luck with that.)
varnum: | Schnabel: are there distinctions in disciplinarity between undergrad and graduate students? #UMAtkins
epuckett: | Not really impressed by the #umatkins panel response to @msbonn’s question about #publishing.
varnum: | Q from floor: Is an ischool a fundamental part of a great university? #UMAtkins
varnum: | Mackie-Mason: Are ischools standalone or integrated? Esp. in connection with computer science programs. #UMAtkins
varnum: | McClure: Universities need to envision a future not dependent on place, discipline, person. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Q from floor: How do we attract women, when ischools tend to inherit challenges of independent schools? #UMAtkins
varnum: | Schabel: we need to say & make happen: this field is about helping people in world of information. #UMAtkins
varnum: | McClure: If diversity is what you want, you need to fund it. It doesn’t happen by accident. #UMAtkins
pfanderson: | @crfarnum me, too, another SILS grad. Hated that name, still resent it. changed right before my graduation #UMAtkins
lorcanD: | .@varnum re dev of #ischool see UNC collection Full txt at #umatkins
varnum: | Lynch: Diversity starts at undergraduate level for sure, possibly even in high school. No awareness of field until too late. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Q from floor: State a ‘grand challenge’ problem to inspire people to join the field. #UMAtkins
drchuck: | CLiff Lynch postulating that the information-school movement needs to move to the undergraduate level and high schools – #agree #UMAtkins
varnum: | McClure: Effective human use of the tools we create. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Lynch: Understanding how to structure & record large bodies of complex info with preservation in mind. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Schnabel: in field of health — how does information help change health care provision? #UMAtkins
varnum: | Mackie-Mason: Social problems are harder to encapsulate in a grand challenge. But… Change education system into learning system #UMAtkins
mcburton: | Why can’t “Help make people better citizens in our technologically interconnected age.” Be a grand challenge for iSchools? #umatkins
yardi: | “What are the grand challenges?” Hal Abelson asks the panel. I think we’d like to know what you think Hal! #UMAtkins
varnum: | Lynch: Diversity starts at undergraduate level, possibly even in high school. No awareness of field until too late. #UMAtkins
kennedy2: | No flat surface to set my pop on! #UMAtkins #firstworldproblems
betsyrolland: | MT @varnum: Cerf: Cyberinfrastructure more than equip; it’s the environment. Needs persistence of software to work w/data create. #UMAtkins
betsyrolland: | MT @varnum: Szalay: Big Data not just from CERN, etc. Most science generates very large data sets. How to aggregate diff. sets? #UMAtkins
betsyrolland: | Great question! RT @varnum: Szalay: How do we build trust in such a common/aggregated data store? Who manages? Are they trusted? #UMAtkins
drewpaine: | Damn I wish I were at this symposium! MT “@betsyrolland: @drewpaine” #UMAtkins
betsyrolland: | Small Data also powerful when combined. RT @varnum: Big Science gives Big Data. But *all science* yields data. Don’t forget it. #UMAtkins
betsyrolland: | Yes! MT @varnum: Reed:Academia dramatically underfunds sustainable infrastructure. Need to do better across institutions & nations #UMAtkins
betsyrolland: | MT @varnum: Feldman: Cyberinfrastructure needs people to manage it long-term. Need create career paths for this. Not in place now #UMAtkins
betsyrolland: | MT @varnum: Q from floor: Is there a categorical difference between data/metadata? Does this distinction make difference? #UMAtkins @mbietz
betsyrolland: | @pfanderson @varnum By any chance, is this symposium being recorded? Would LOVE to watch! Thanks for tweeting about it! #UMAtkins
betsyrolland: | MT @niftyc: i-Schools were about social researchers learning tech. Today technologists need more of social side and social sci #UMAtkins
pfanderson: | I’m giving up the ability to take pictures in favor of A POWER CORD! God bless the CARMA folk for sharing power (and more). #umatkins
kennedy2: | Like a spectre in the night, the organ rises from its pit. #UMAtkins
pfanderson: | @betsyrolland @varnum It is being recorded, & they shared audio fr 1st session so I can validate the quotes I want to use :))) #umatkins
betsyrolland: | MT @crfarnum: Vint Cerf- suggests “disciplines are crap” – too much abstraction. Need break down barriers, focus on applications. #UMAtkins
umsi: | The Atkins Symposium takes over Michigan Theater! #umatkins #danatkins | ????
stevelonn: | Both morning panels had perspectives about data curation & breaking down barriers of diff varieties – what afternoon panels add? #UMAtkins
AnnArborBuzz: | Michigan Theater mentioned again: – RT @umsi The Atkins Symposium takes over Michigan Theater! #umatkins #danatkins…
pfanderson: | @kennedy2 For those #umatkins folk who ❤ this organ, you should check out Redford Theatre in Detroit area
varnum: | Michigan Theater, the venue for the Dan Atkins Symposium #UMAtkins

britain: | For the afternoon’s #UMAtkins tweeting, follow @varnum and @pfanderson for salient points, and me for What’s Vint Cerf Doing?
varnum: | Ready for the 3rd panel, Collaboratories and Digital Libraries, w/Gary Olson, Paul Courant, Tim Killeen, Gerhard Klimeck. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Olson: 600 projects being tracked that fit under ‘collaboratory’ umbrella. Remote collaboration becoming routine. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Olson: Digital libraries are critical underpinning of this collaborative research. #UMAtkins
pfanderson: | Gary Olsen “Working together when you’re not in the same physical location has become standard operating procedure in science.” #umatkins
pfanderson: | @britain @varnum So, what IS Vint Cerf doing? 🙂 #umatkins
pfanderson: | Wow, I wonder if @2020science is aware of the visit of Gerhard Klimeck for #umatkins
pfanderson: | 3rd panel for #umatkins , chaired by Gary Olson, with Gerhard Klimeck, Paul Courant, & Tim Killeen
varnum: | Killeen: Networked collaboration moving far too slowly. Need to accelerate it. Much more cross-divisional collaboration needed. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Killeen: As a rocket scientist, created networks of observation tools. Barriers to sharing were largely social, not technical. #UMAtkins
pfanderson: | The “not invented here” NIH syndrome is still a major bottleneck to discovery & innovation, says Tim Killeen #umatkins
varnum: | Not a single panelist has read off a digital device so far — all their talking notes are on paper. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Killeen: Not just interoperability, but interworkability — not just share data, but let systems truly work together. #UMAtkins
pfanderson: | Tim Killeen: “insufficient cross-coupling across these arenas. Beyond interoperability, we discussed interworkability” #umatkins
crfarnum: | Tim Killeen continues the interdisciplinary theme- advocates study of natural and social sciences – sociotechnical problems. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Killeen: NSF could act as convener; if you come we’ll build it rather than, if we build it, you’ll come. Community owned wins. #UMAtkins
pfanderson: | Not “if we build it they will come” but “if you come, we will build it.” Time Killeen #umatkins
pfanderson: | Gerhard That is the fundamental aim of technology, making things small. #umatkins
varnum: | Klimeck: Moore’s Law will end soon. Current technology is so nanoscale, we can’t divide it in half anymore. #UMAtkins
pfanderson: | Klimeck “Supercomputers are utterly useless for engineers.” #umatkins His Boss: “You might change your mind.”
varnum: | Klimeck: We can’t focus on capability of computing, but focus on people who use it. #UMAtkins
pfanderson: | GK: You need to focus on connected people, not connected technology #umatkins
pfanderson: | RT @varnum: Klimeck: We can’t focus on capability of computing, but focus on people who use it. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Klimeck: Systems must be usable. And must be developer-friendly — so code for one machine can easily work on grid. No recoding. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Klimeck: Stability of software is inversely proportional to number of papers you write about it. #UMAtkins
pfanderson: | GK: The workability of the systems varies in inverse relationship to the number of papers the inventor has written about it #umatkins
varnum: | Klimeck: You can translate research code to desktops in 6 months. Compare to textbook development timeline. #UMAtkins
pfanderson: | GK: Hosting, NanoHub has become a publishing platform for certain types of science, data, and tools #umatkins
crfarnum: | Gerhardt Kilimeck – discussing importance of making computing useful and easy to use rather than faster. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Speakers have been talking about being “pi” shaped (deep knowledge in a few areas, broad knowledge in a few). I heard “pie”. #UMAtkins
lmclaug: | + 1 klimeck: hardly any funding for reaping outcomes & making them usable” short-sighted obsession with new discovery #umatkins
varnum: | Courant: Librarians are insufficiently imperialistic. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Courant: In other words, librarians don’t exert their influence broadly enough across the campus. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Courant: Cyberinfrastructure for research can’t exist without libraries & librarians. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Courant: Need to build libraries so they’re robust for uses you didn’t initially imagine. #UMAtkins
pfanderson: | PNC: The challenge of building library systems that are very robust for unintended uses. #umatkins
crfarnum: | Paul Courant – Librarians have been “insufficiently imperialistic.” Digital libraries are necessary to info studies workflow #UMAtkins
crfarnum: | Paul Courant – Google not equal to a library. Missing pieces- consistent retrieval, preservation #UMAtkins
pfanderson: | PNC: The challenge of building library systems that are very robust for unintended uses. #umatkins
varnum: | Courant: Libraries are different from Google because they’re designed to be able to find the same thing again, far in the future. #UMAtkins
crfarnum: | Paul Courant – Hathi Trust has more of the pieces of the library def- scholarly focus. AND it supports computational linguistics. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Courant: The academic record is a piece of cyberinfrastructure. (Particularly if it happens to be digitized.) #UMAtkins
pfanderson: | Humanities faculty say “the library is our laboratory” but when is library not lab, but cyberinfrastructure? #umatkins #digital #humanities
crfarnum: | Paul Courant – Libraries are the equivalent of a laboratory for the humanities. #UMAtkins
pfanderson: | PNC: If you are building something big as a piece of cyberinfrastructure, have lunch with a librarian first. #umatkins
pfanderson: | GO: “Project that included collocated participants were more successful than those that were geographically separated” #umatkins
pfanderson: | GO: Collaboration success wizard #umatkins #cooltoys
epuckett: | Olson: Managing geog. distributed projects is harder than managing collocated projects; must be more proactive in engagement. #umatkins
frankrd: | the best way to herd cats is to move the food. #UMAtkins
pfanderson: | GK: 95% of the folk at NSF retreats don’t know what nano is. Uptake is too slow. If NSF wants to herd cats, then move the food. #umatkins
varnum: | Olson: To be a good manager of a distributed project, you need to know what they’re doing. Need to be more remotely proactive #UMAtkins
varnum: | Olson: Difference was communication and management. Social aspects of technology-mediated projects can’t be underestimated. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Olson: Projects involving co-located members more successful than distributed. Successful distributed projects better managed. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Klimeck: Incentive to participate in collaborative research is too low. To herd cats, move the food. NSF needs to do more. #UMAtkins
pfanderson: | PNC: The big issues are social and legal. A lot is invested in having the system change slowly, one might say glacially. #umatkins
varnum: | Courant: The more you digitize, the greater the effect of having done it. It becomes part of the academic environment. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Courant: Big issues are social and legal. The more people discovery they can’t do without digital libraries, the more is possible #UMAtkins
varnum: | Courant: To build a digital library, make sure contributors want to share their info, and build it with sharing in mind #UMAtkins
varnum: | Question from Olson: Should we be moving faster? If so, what should we do? #UMAtkins
varnum: | Klimeck: Today’s students have internalized the technologies faculty talk about adopting. #UMAtkins
epuckett: | +1 RT @varnum: Courant: Need to build libraries so they’re robust for uses you didn’t initially imagine. #UMAtkins @M_Publishing
varnum: | Klimeck: Most difficult is doing work without worrying about who gets the credit. Systems that push ego aside could help. #UMAtkins
open_michigan: | RT @varnum Courant: To build a digital library, make sure contributors want to share their info, & build it with sharing in mind #UMAtkins
varnum: | Olson: Using a collaboratory doesn’t give you credit; creating one does. #UMAtkins
yardi: | Made Dan Atkins a (long overdue) WP page. Needs work if anyone has some editing time. #UMAtkins #UMSI @umsi
varnum: | Klimeck: We don’t admire the decathlete as much as we admire the one-sport star. True in sports, true in academia. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Killeen: Reward system must reward excellence more than depth; breadth has a place. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Killeen: It’s not basic vs. applied; both matter. Excellence should be measure, not type of research. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Courant: Find champions, discipline by discipline, for digital collaboration. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Question (Wendy Lougee): Will social tools play in a serious space? #UMAtkins
varnum: | How do you get social tools to work in academia, where it may not be a natural instinct? #UMAtkins
varnum: | Killeen: Once you show momentum, it’ll keep going. Hard to build momentum, though. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Killeen: Look at European Networks of Excellence as example. Nimble management is important. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Question from floor: Has culture of interdisciplinarity taken in academia? #UMAtkins
varnum: | Courant: Evaluation structure doesn’t always value shared work. That’s slowly moving toward a change. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Klimeck: Open access to executable code, even if you don’t share the codebase itself. Open interface, not open source. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Killeen: Agencies and institutions need to recognize the clock will run out on “proprietary” rights. Things move toward open. #UMAtkins
betsyrolland: | Amen!! RT @varnum: Courant: Cyberinfrastructure for research can’t exist without libraries & librarians. #UMAtkins
epuckett: | Tim Killeen: Agencies & institutions must recognize there’s a time dimension here when the clock runs out on proprietary rights. #umatkins
varnum: | Question from floor: What constitutes authorship or participation in collaboratory? Contributing a piece or sharing the whole? #UMAtkins
varnum: | True cross-institution cross-discipline cross-border collaboration is really hard. Part of what makes it fun! #UMAtkins
pfanderson: | @2020science GK’s still on stage for ~ten minutes. They are videotaping, but focus is on strategies for cooperation in science #umatkins
varnum: | 4th panel: Cyber-Enabled Learning: John Seely-Brown, Dan Russell, Cora Marrett, Connie Yowell. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Seely-Brown: half-life of a skill is now 5 years. You need to constantly retool & retrain. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Seely-Brown: Entrepreneurial learner has a question, connecting, making & doing disposition. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Seely-Brown: To meet challenges of the future, we need a new tool set. Essence of this tool set is in cyberinfrastructure. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Seely-Brown: Materials science is gone in the garage. We have access to tech that lets us do new stuff on an individual scale. #UMAtkins
pfanderson: | John Seeley Brown: “we make context as much as content” #umatkins #education #learning “How do we move from sensemaking to world building?”
varnum: | Seely-Brown: Context is as important as content. What is selected for sharing vs. what could be shared? #UMAtkins
pfanderson: | JSB: Building the tools to build the what-ifs #umatkins
pfanderson: | @varnum I thought he said materials science has returned to the garage? #umatkins
yardi: | Cyber-enabled learning panel w/ @dmrussell @Connie @jseelybrown Cora B. Marrett. Good end to a symposium. #UMAtkins
varnum: | @pfanderson “done” is what I meant to say, not “gone”. #UMAtkins
pfanderson: | Panel 4 #umatkins Cora B. Marrett, NSF; Connie Yowell, Dir Educ, MacArthur Foundation (macfound); and Dan again
niftyc: | @jseelybrown / @Connie / Dan Russell (@google) / Cora Marrett (@NSF) speaking on Cyber-Enabled Learning at #UMAtkins
rbaier: | Dan Atkins: “the connected, rather than digital, age.” #danatkins #UMAtkins
britain: | Bring together peers, deep interests, and academics — the “greatest learning” occurs with these 3 together, online – Connie Yowell #UMAtkins
rbaier: | Vint Cerf: concerned about the “digital rotten,” deterioration of data and ways to recover it. #danatkins #UMAtkins
rbaier: | .@yardi I think Cornell was the other i+c program #danatkins #UMAtkins
niftyc: | @Connie says: What’s at stake in Digital Media & Learning? In 1 word: Children. 2 words? Democracy. 3 words? Revolution. #UMAtkins // fiery!
mcburton: | “Our institutions are suppressing the revolution our children are already ready for” —AMEN #UMAtkins
britain: | Kids like Yowell’s value the potential for remix and enhancement of his work more than protecting his rights to that work. #UMAtkins
mcburton: | Last quote by @connie, who is killing it at #umatkins symposium right now. “School is just one node in children’s learning networks”
niftyc: | Re: “systems thinking” … Isn’t it weird that cybernetics c. 1971 is back in fashion? Feel the ‘cyber-‘ ! #UMAtkins
bagabot: | so why keep them around? “@mcburton: “Our institutions are suppressing the revolution our children are already ready for” —AMEN #UMAtkins”
niftyc: | @dmrussell at Google says we built the first #MOOC in 6 weeks. #UMAtkins
bagabot: | Why am I working in higher ed when I could be working with kids? #UMAtkins
niftyc: | @dmrussell says: How many profs usability test their courses? (No one.) #MOOC #HigherEd #UMAtkins
Vaguery: | RT @mcburton: “Our institutions are suppressing the revolution our children are already ready for” —AMEN #UMAtkins
yardi: | .@dmrussell and team @ Google built a MOOC in 6 weeks and now his MOOC (code) is birthing new MOOC’s. #UMAtkins
yardi: | >50% of @dmrussell’s students in his MOOC are from India. Says traditional classrooms aren’t going away but something new is here. #UMAtkins
CoreyLordCPA: | RT @mcburton: “Our institutions are suppressing the revolution our children are already ready for” —AMEN #UMAtkins
britain: | Cora Marrett, NSF: We need to forge networking not just for the privileged, but across populations. #UMAtkins
britain: | JSB: The real question is “how are we going to clone Dan? We need 20 copies… maybe 40.” #UMAtkins
britain: | Vint Cerf back at the audience mike dressed to exit. Is he going to start a conversation and then leave? #UMAtkins
britain: | “Overheard at break: “Where is Vint Cerf’s office?” “In the Cloud.” #UMAtkins”
mcburton: | Gary Olson point out how MOOC students are getting together for co-located discussion. MOOC Guilds, like WoW Guilds #UMAtkins
britain: | Dan Russell has been refused invitation to “Power Search with Google” FB groups? Did none of them Google him? #UMAtkins
britain: | In intro to session 4, JSB noted that the half-life of a skill’s relevance is ~5yrs. I just reviewed my 2007 job description… yup. #UMAtkins
britain: | @clluke2edu if I weren’t here at #UMAtkins, I’d love to hear Lessig. Too many good talks on campus.
bagabot: | “the holy grail for scaling is context.” @Connie in other words, remixing IS scaling. Stop trying to duplicate. #UMAtkins
mcburton: | In focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Medicine we forget the Arts. STEM to STEAM. Steam power! #umatkins
umsi: | Thanks to all our livetweeters at today’s Dan Atkins Symposium – 90 pages of tweets! Check out the brain trust (and pics) @ #umatkins
pfanderson: | @amyewest @smiff @vdglenn The #umatkins GK was Gerhard Klimeck, Director, Network for Computional Nanotechnology, Purdue University
pfanderson: | @britain @clluke2edu Boy do I know that feeling! And Lessig is a great speaker! #umatkins
varnum: | Yowell: Findings from Macarthur Foundation studies. Wanted to study how youth were using digital media to learn. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Yowell: Kids have those experiences online — in interest-driven communities. Not Facebook, but in multiplayer games, many-to-many #UMAtkins
varnum: | Yowell: This kind of learning doesn’t happen off-line, in real world. Huge disconnect between online and real world institutions. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Yowell: Finding: Most robust learning happens w/simultaneous use of peer culture, their passion, and their academics. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Yowell: Is the digital revolution we are seeing at stake? Participation is fragmented. What does that mean for next generation? #UMAtkins
varnum: | Yowell: there’s a participation gap between school and online communities among youth. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Yowell: Only kids recognized that they were learning elsewhere. Adults in all roles did not. No connecting of the dots. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Yowell: 4th finding: kids said learning happened in school, but also elsewhere. School not the critical place for learning. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Marrett: Lifelong learning is another part of the whole process. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Marrett: “Dumb luck” is a strong force for creativity and discovery. Don’t discount it. Give students access to data & tools. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Marrett: Education should foster connections to world of creativity. Not just what has taken place, but to future, too. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Marrett: Real learning is not just from several generations ago. It’s from now. Connectedness matters. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Marrett: Learning is not being received from what teacher presents. It comes from fellow students. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Question from Gary Olson: Is there still a need for in-person meet-ups with MOOCs? Seems there is. #UMAtkins
varnum: | Vint Cerf refers to David Brin’s “Practice Effect” for how to build good systems: use them (and fix them) and they’ll get better. #UMAtkins
pfanderson: | My profound gratitude to @varnum for his wonderful tweet coverage of #umatkins (especially since I couldn’t get stable network connection!)
varnum: | @lorcanD Thanks for the #ischool links! #umatkins
stevelonn: | I am attempting to crowdsource and compile events from the #umatkins symposium — please share! Here’s mine:
djpoptart: | Interesting MT @stevelonn: Attempting to crowdsource and compile events from #umatkins symposium – please share! Mine:

Health Informatics Grand Rounds, November 22: Martin Hofmann-Apitius

I livetweeted this event. The emphasis in the marketing & early portion of the talk was about how to create bridges and facilitate communication across different scientific research communities and specialities. I found the approach taken to this end provocative and illuminating. As someone who attempts to follow the activities of the open-science / Science 2.0 communities, I was expecting something that would connect to that, something that focused on communication, collaboration, and tools to foster those types of social connections. Instead, as I should have perhaps expected, the talk focused on developing computational strategies and tools to create data and images that could potentially be used and comprehended by researchers in the different specialties. There seemed to be an “if we build it, they will come” mentality to the project — to paraphrase, perhaps something like: if we want you to understand what we are saying, then we will say our ‘stuff’ in terms or images you can understand, and then you will understand. Perhaps, I am misunderstanding? The tools looked very intriguing and useful, but I would really like to see this project embedded in a social context that facilitated communication across boundaries in an active rather than passive way.

Here are the tweets, with links.

November 22, 2010
2:09 pm pfanderson: Livetweeting Martin Hofmann-Apitius, Bioinformatics @ Fraunhofer “Integrating knowledge-drive & simulation-driven approaches #umgrndrds
2:10 pm pfanderson: Using information extraction to build bridges between people who usually apply equations & those who use statistics #umgrndrds
2:14 pm pfanderson: Data mining vs engineering simulation as a cultural issue. Need to be explicit about assumptions #umgrndrds
2:15 pm pfanderson: MHA describes how simulator folks sometimes believe it is unnecessary complexity to model dynamics of biological systems #umgrndrds
2:16 pm pfanderson: Examples @neurIST project #umgrndrds
2:17 pm pfanderson: MHA emphasizes importance of scientists in different domains communicating & collaborating #umgrndrds
2:18 pm pfanderson: “Mickey Mouse Slides” as how to tease abt the lovely simulation images that no one understands except the creator #umgrndrds
2:20 pm pfanderson: Intracranial aneurysms have high prevalence, low incidence. Gdlns fro Tx are diameter > 7, Tx + risk of rupture. Shape analysis? #umgrndrds
2:22 pm pfanderson: Rupture risk based on morphology (shape) seems 2improve decision making (but intro stratification/variables) >1d vs 2d analysis #umgrndrds
2:24 pm pfanderson: MHA describes SCAIview Article: #umgrndrds
2:24 pm pfanderson: Fraunhofer ProMiner tool #umgrndrds
2:27 pm pfanderson: ProMiner: Uses of textmining in professional literature to get at both sides of the literature #umgrndrds (Love of color to get grants?)
2:28 pm pfanderson: Application side/clinical = who cares about the tool unless it gives you the ifnormation you need? #umgrndrds
2:29 pm pfanderson: Oh I love this >> extracting information from chemistry patents #umgrndrds
2:30 pm pfanderson: Neat. Query: Find all patents that INvalidate proposed new patent. << what inventors / lawyers have always wanted #umgrndrds
2:32 pm pfanderson: More on the Fraunhofer patent search tests #umgrndrds
2:33 pm pfanderson: MHA is talking abt the I2B2 Challenge ’10, (mining health records) but I can’t find a link fast #umgrndrds
2:36 pm pfanderson: Brian Athey talking abt need for strong collaborations/partners between USA scientists & EU #umgrndrds
2:40 pm pfanderson: Measures: Concept identification task, statistical significance of performance, assertion classification task #umgrndrds
2:47 pm pfanderson: MHA: Direct use of information extraction fr scientific text for modeling and simulation in the life sciences #umgrndrds
2:47 pm pfanderson: W/ Model of disease state as network, what are the best network nodes to target for intervention? #umgrndrds
2:49 pm pfanderson: Direct Use of Information Extraction from Scientific Text for Modeling and Simulation in the Life Sciences #umgrndrds
2:50 pm pfanderson: “network of brain biomarker proteins in alzheimer’s” >> pretty picture 😉 #umgrndrds
2:51 pm pfanderson: Innovative Medicine Initiative #umgrndrds
2:55 pm pfanderson: PLIO – protein-ligand interaction ontology (can’t find a link) by Ivchenko #umgrndrds
2:57 pm pfanderson: PLIO search: Simulation vs experiment / confirming stmts vs. conflicting = information gain #umgrndrds
2:58 pm pfanderson: Can connecting semantics to mathematical terms help bridge the communication/comprehension divide between disciplines? #umgrndrds
3:00 pm pfanderson: All laugh @ MHA’s “Thank You” slide, debate erupts whether typewriter is IBM Selectric or Wheelwriter, illus avg age of audience #umgrndrds
3:01 pm pfanderson: What to do when best practice guidelines / Cochrane reviews contradict each other? Potential 4 recombination / textmining systems #umgrndrds
3:02 pm pfanderson: MHA: “Clinicians confronted w/ something they aren’t prepared to deal with – the informed patient!” #umgrndrds
3:03 pm pfanderson: MHA: Re emerging treatment options “It will come, and driven by the patients.” #umgrndrds
3:04 pm pfanderson: MHA: “How do we get medical doctors at least as informed as the patients are?” #umgrndrds
3:04 pm pfanderson: Q fr audience: How could we use textmining to link importance of case reports in detecting rare events? #umgrndrds
3:06 pm pfanderson: EU-ADR project on textmining in drug reactions (fyi >> @fda #fda #pharma) #umgrndrds
3:07 pm pfanderson: MHA proposes using textmining to compare individual patient path to best practices #umgrndrds < what abt clinician judgement?
3:08 pm pfanderson: The Q&A is often the best and most informative part of the talk. Clarifies the jargon & proposed implementation, ramifications #umgrndrds

What Every Librarian Should Know About the Semantic Web

The past few days I’ve been seeing this video tweeted all over. Basically, it’s gone viral, at least for geeks, and despite not being on Youtube! It is from Kate Ray, a recent student at NYU. Kate sifted through hours of interviews, identified themes, clipped snippets, sorted and reorganized the content, grouped them in significant clusters, did some editing, and generally made a significant intellectual contribution as part of an assignment. (Educators, take note – video can be a great way to show you’ve done your research!)

The video is called, very simply, Web 3.0. This is about as meaningful as Web 2.0, i.e. not very, however the way Web 2.0 has come to mean roughly social media & technologies, Web 3.0 is being used by some to mean semantic technologies and the semantic web.

Semantic technologies are, to oversimplify dramatically, tools to allow real people to easily find, aggregate & make use of web content. I almost said “make sense of”, but I think sense-making is still pretty much limited to wetware (as in brains). Most of the geeks I know best working with semantic tech are librarians. YAY, LIBRARIANS! They aren’t the only ones by a far cry, but I think librarians are absolutely core to making semantic tech really pay off in useful ways. I said something pretty similar in my 1988 article on expert systems.

P.F. Anderson, Expert Systems, Expertise, and the Library and Information Professions. Library and Information Science Research 10 (October 1988), pp. 367–388.
Abstract: “The research problems of expert system development are of potential interest to librarians for two reasons. One, artificial intelligence has increasingly moved into the library and information field, both as a tool for library applications, such as technical services and reference, and as a potential information medium. Two, the professionals involved in creating expert systems have targeted increasingly needed skills for development among their cohorts, some of which dramatically overlap with long standing interests of library and information professionals.”

The basic idea then, around the time of the birth of expert systems, was that expert system research was asking questions about topics like knowledge domain organization and reference interviews that are areas librarians have researched, taught and practiced professionally for over a hundred years. The idea now is similar. Semantic tech is more of the organization / categorization / sorting type of questions with which librarians have hundreds of years of experience. In conversation, I’ve found many librarians think I am a geek and they are not. FALSE. Librarians are far far geekier as a profession than popularly believed. So, for the librarians who aren’t sure what the semantic web is, who the leaders are, what the views and problems are, take a look at this short video (about 15 minutes) one time to see what the buzz is about, and then a second time, listening for those core librarian concepts mentioned above.

Kate Ray: Web 3.0: