John S. Erickson Calendar

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John S. Erickson
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WebSci17 is taking place at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, New York, co-chaired by Professor Deborah L McGuinness (Tetherless World Senior Constellation Chair and Professor of Computer and Cognitive Science at RPI) and Professor Peter Fox (Tetherless World Constellation Chair and Professor of Earth and Environmental Science, Computer Science and Cognitive Science at RPI). Program Chairs are Dr Katharina Kinder-Kurlanda (GESIS) and Professor Paolo Boldi (Univ Milano).

Dates: June 26, 2017 - June 28, 2017
TWed Discussion: Semantic Markdown: Embedding Workflow Semantics via R Markdown
TWed Talk: Weds, 01 Feb (6p Winslow 1140)
TITLE: "Semantic Markdown: Embedding Workflow Semantics via R Markdown"
LEADER: John Erickson
VIDEO: (TWed video streams)
EVENT: You Tube
KEYWORDS: Semantic Workflows, Reproducibility, Data Analytics

Please join us this Weds (6p, Winslow 1140) as I discuss recent thoughts on using esp. R Markdown to extend the RStudio environment to enabling data analysts to directly generate and publish RDF that richly describes the semantics of their scripts. This is a possible next step towards best practices for "in situ" embedding of appropriate concepts and vocabulary from established ontologies (including ProvONE and domain ontologies) into practical workflows.

DESCRIPTION: I'll discuss new work that aims to explore extending markdown syntax (esp. R Markdown) in concert with 'knitr' to directly produce workflow markup, in a human-compatible way. One example of an outcome: An RStudio user can "knit" a markdown rendition that, instead of generating (e.g) PDF or HTML, an extension will generate RDF (TTL or JSON-LD) or HTML+RDFa. By "human readable," we mean markdown best practices will be developed that are reasonable for a data analyst to use; methods (possibly based on templates) must be developed that do not require the user to "know" RDF. Today we can create cumbersome R Markdown (Rmd) files that produce HTML+RDFa outputs with correct embedded workflow semantics, but the user must be an HTML and RDFa hacker to understand the code. Workflow reproducibility requires tools that data analysts will actually use.

This work will be an advancement of the semantic workflow work inspired by YesWorkflow, and leverages an approach using standard practices for R extensions, markdown and publication, creating a direct path for data analysts to get their workflows represented in knowledge graphs. This approach broadens the potential user base by helping to ensure their workflows and results are easier to discover, conceptually easier to understand, and therefore increasing the likelihood they will be cited, reused and reproduced.

BIO: John S. Erickson, Ph.D. has spent over two decades studying the unique social, legal, and technical problems that arise when managing and disseminating information in the digital environment. Currently Director of Research Operations for the Rensselaer Institute for Data Exploration and Application (The Rensselaer IDEA) and Deputy Director of the Web Science Research Center of the Tetherless World Constellation (TWC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), John coordinates, contributes, and teaches.

  • ALL TWC STUDENTS are STRONGLY encouraged to attend, regardless of whether the talk is in your specific research area.
  • SIGN UP NOW to give YOUR Spring 2017 TWed talk!
  • Sign up for RPIrates, the RPI R Users Group
TWed Logistics (Spring 2017):
  • TWed schedule
  • Snacks will be provided for TWed Talks
  • Live video streams of TWed Talks are now available via YouTube
  • TWed Talks from previous terms are archived

Dates: February 1, 2017 - February 1, 2017
Concepts: Semantic Web
International Provenance and Annotation Workshop (IPAW) 2016

ProvenanceWeek 2016 June 6-9, 2016 • McLean, Virginia

Co-located events: 6th International Provenance & Annotation Workshop 8th USENIX Workshop on the Theory and Practice of Provenance

Dates: June 6, 2016 - June 9, 2016
Concepts: Provenance, Scientific Workflow
TWeD Talk: A First Look at the Deep Carbon Observatory Data Portal
"There's always something happening Wednesday evenings in the Tetherless World!"

TWed Talk: Weds, 23 Oct (7p, Winslow 1140) TITLE: A First Look at the Deep Carbon Observatory Data Portal
LEADER: John Erickson and members of the DCO Data Science Team (TWC RPI)

Please join us as members of the DCO Data Science Team demonstrate and discuss the DCO Data Portal!

ABSTRACT: In support of the Deep Carbon Observastory[0] the DCO-Data Science Team has adapted, extended, and integrated several open source applications and frameworks to create a novel Web-based collaborative research plaform well-suited to emerging science networks. In this talk the DCO-DS team will discuss how we have combined platforms including Drupal[1], VIVO[2], CKAN[3], and the Handle System[4] in ways that leverage and reinforce knowledge networks inherent to the distributed research enterprise.

The DCO Data Portal is a Web-based service integrating an object-type repository, collaboration tools, an ability to identify and manage all key entities in the platform, and an integrated portal to manage diverse content and applications, with varied access levels and privacy options. In this informal talk we'll demonstrate how global science networks composed of people, diverse intellectual artifacts produced or consumed in research, organizational and/or outreach activities, as well as the relations among them can be modeled as knowledge networks, documented using formal ontologies and instantiated within platforms including the DCO Data Portal. Nodes within such networks may be people, organizations, datasets, events, presentations, publications, videos, meetings, reports, groups, and more. In such a heterogeneous ecosystem, common informatics approaches are used to co-design and co-evolve the needed research platforms to help ensure they reflect what real people want to use them for.[5]

[0] DCO
[1] Drupal
[2] VIVO
[3] CKAN
[4] Handle System
[5] See esp. Peter Fox, "Progress in Open-World, Integrative, Web-based Collaborative Research Platforms." Presented at the ICSTI 2013 Workshop - Data and Non-Data Integration.

Leaders of this talk will include: John Erickson, Marshall Ma, Yu Chen, and Han Wang. Contributors to this work also include Patrick West, Harsha Vardhan Mudumba Venkata, Anusha Akkiraju, Boliang Zhang, Xixi Lou and of course Peter Fox.

==== TWed Logistics (Fall 2013):
  • TWed schedule:
  • 7p-8p, 1st floor Winslow (1140)
  • We try to alternate TWed Talks with TWed Hackspaces. The alternating pattern of TWed Talks and TWed Hackspaces may "off" due to leader availability and Institute scheduling.
  • Pizza or snacks will be provided for TWed Talks
  • Live video streams of TWed Talks will usually be available via ustream
  • An archive of past TWed Talks are also available on ustream. Direct links can be found in the schedule (below)
  • TWed Talks from previous terms are archived; topical archive coming soon!
About TWed:
  • "TWed is the Tetherless World Educational Series
  • "TWed Talks" are informal overview talks and tutorials on topics of interest to the Tetherless World community. TWed gives members of the lab the chance to share tools and expertise. TWed talks are not lectures; they are expected to be highly interactive and fun. TWed leaders are encouraged to include live "hack" activities in their session plans.
  • "TWed Hackspaces" during the TWed time are informal group work sessions inspired by the Hackerspace movement. This is a time when TWC people will "be around" and you can rely on the "right" people being available to answer your questions and help with your hacks. This is also a great opportunity for project teams to "hack" together on problems, with the knowledge and resources of TWC surrounding you.

Dates: October 23, 2013 - October 23, 2013
Concepts: Data Visualization, Data Science, Data Management Plan, eScience, Data Steward, Data Management
Research Data Alliance Plenary March 2013
Over the last decade, significant investments have been made all over the globe for developing scientific data infrastructures to support the work of research communities and improving shared access to data. There is a common understanding that solutions must be global and that the development of an integrated and interoperable data domain can only be achieved through increased global cooperation.

As "big data" emerges as an international priority, plenty of scientists have been campaigning for a shift to open science. The Research Data Alliance (RDA) is a newly formed organization whose goal is to accelerate international data-driven innovation and discovery by facilitating research, data sharing and exchange, use and re-use, standards harmonisation for specific communities and across scientific disciplines. These goals are achieved through the development and adoption of infrastructures, policies, practices, standards and with the support of a structure that includes a council, plenary, secretariat, non-governmental structures (NGSs), and working groups.

The RDA Launch Event and its First Plenary is scheduled for 18-20 March 2013 in Gothenburg, Sweden, and it follows the First RDA Planning Meeting held in Washington DC, 1-3 October 2012. The event will be launched by sponsors from the European Commission, the U.S. Government and the Australian Government and leaders in the data community which include Vice-President European Commission Neelie Kroes; Carlos Morais-Pires, Scientific Officer, Excellence in Science DG CONNECT & coordinator, Scientific Data e-Infrastructures, DG CONNECT European Commission; Alan Blatecky, Director Office of Cyberinfrastructure (OCI), National Science Foundation (NSF), US; Ross Wilkinson, Executive Director, Australian National Data Service, Australia; Peter Wittenburg, Head of the Language Archive Unit at Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics at Nijmegen, The Netherlands, and Leif Laaksonen, Collaboration Director at CSC, IT Center for Science, Finland, the latter two representing the iCORDI community. The event is kindly supported by City of Gothenburg, Stadsledningskontoret, Chalmers e-Science Centre and the IT-universitet, Chalmers University of Technology and Gothenburg University. The RDA First Plenary will be a working meeting to accelerate discussion, working and interest group interaction, and data community development. The programme is available at

Dates: March 18, 2013 - March 20, 2013
Concepts: Data Science
Elsevier/Tetherless World Health and Life Sciences Hackathon (27-28 June 2011)
Create apps; Win Prizes!

The Tetherless World Constellation at RPI is excited to announce that TWC and Elsevier's SciVerse Developer Network will be holding a 24-hour Health and Life Sciences Semantic Web Hackathon 27-28 June 2011. The Elsevier-sponsored event will be held at the beautiful Pat's Barn on the campus of the Rensselaer Technology Park in Troy, NY.

Participants will compete with each other to develop apps using linked data from TWC and other sources, web APIs from Elsevier SciVerse, and visualization and other resources from around the Web.

Event website Registration at:

Dates: June 27, 2011 - June 28, 2011