Garden International School (GIS) was pleased to receive Professor Dame Wendy Hall, DBE, FRS, FREng to present a talk titled “Internet Histories and Futures” to students from GIS, The International School @Park City, Kolej Tuanku Ja’afar, and Epsom College. Co-hosted with the British High Commission, the talk described the latest developments in The Web Observatory (WO) project. This project aims to develop the standards and services that will interlink a number of existing or emergent Web Observatories to enable the sharing, discoverability and use of public or private datasets and analytics across different observatories on a large, distributed scale. It also showed how it is being applied to the study of Internet histories and futures.
“The discipline of Web Science views the Web as a socio-technical system that grows because of the actions taken by individuals, companies and organisations to put content onto the Internet and our collective actions to access information from the social and technical networks created as a result. Our thesis is that in order to understand this new type of ecosystem we need to study both its past and its present in order to forecast its possible futures,” said Professor Hall in a statement.
“Studying the Internet from a Web Science perspective provides us with critical insights about how we as individuals and society operate in the digital world. The actions, communications, interactions, and transactions produced by humans and machines have the potential to offer rich insights into this world, allowing us to better understand how it operates at both micro and macro scales. However, there are a number of barriers that prevent researchers from making the most of those data resources,” explained Professor Hall during the talk.
Dame Wendy Hall is Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton, UK. She is the Executive Director of the Web Science Institute, and a University Ambassador and was recently named one of Debrett’s most influential 500 people in the UK.
As the first female professor of engineering in the UK and one of the first computer scientists to undertake serious research in multimedia and hypermedia, she has been at its forefront ever since. The influence of her work has been significant in many areas including digital libraries, the development of the Semantic Web, and the emerging research discipline of Web Science. Her current research includes applications of the Semantic Web and exploring interfaces between the social, life and physical sciences.
She is currently a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Council on Digital Economy and Society, and a member of the Global Commission on Internet Governance. She is chair of the British Council’s Education Advisory Group and holds a number of non-executive directorships, chair of the ACM Europe Council and Chair of the International World Wide Web Conference Committee.