Tag Archives: PhD

Researcher position available in SoNet at FBK, Trento, Italy about social side of Wikipedia

A position is available in the SoNet (Social Networking) research unit at Bruno Kessler Foundation, Center for Information Technology, Trento, Italy. The SoNet research unit focuses its research on the social side of Wikipedia and wikis in general.

The successful candidate will join our group working on a project whose goal is to mine, analyze and computationally model the individual and collective behaviour in communities and social networks of Wikipedia users.
The ideal candidate should have:
* Ph.D. level education in a relevant discipline
* A good record of relevant research published in peer-reviewed conferences or journals
* Strong empirical and analytical orientation, with experience in handling large amounts of data coming from user action logs and social networks
* Experience with statistics and with analysis of complex networks
* Knowledge of at least one of Python, Perl, C/C++, R, Java
* Proficiency in both written and spoken English
Additional requirements:
* Prior experience in using social media for disseminating personal research
* Interdisciplinary background
* Experience with GNU/Linux systems

Type of contract: co.co.pro (collaboration contract) for one year. Initial appointments are for one year and renewal is based on performance. Gross Salary offer will be approximately Euro 22.500,00 and can be increased based on experience and skills of the candidate.

Feel free to contact me if you have any question and you can find more information about how to apply.

70 Open PhD Positions in ICT at the University of Trento

The Department of Information Engineering and Computer Science (DISI) at the University of Trento has 70 open PhD positions in the ICT area, almost all of them covered by scholarship.
The deadline for applications is April 20, 2010, before 12 noon, local time.

The Department of Information Engineering and Computer Science is one of the leading and faster-growing research institutions, characterized by a young and international faculty and by a large, international student population. Indicators for scientific production put the department among the very top in Europe. The successful candidate will therefore have the opportunity to work in a dynamic and exciting environment. Trento is a vibrant city with a beautifully preserved historic center, consistently ranked at the top for quality of life in Italy. It offers a variety of cultural and sports opportunities all year around, as well as excellent food and wine.

Great opportunity for post-doc positions in the SoNet (Social Networking) Group at the FBK-irst research institute in Trento, Italy.

Since one year together with my colleague napo, I started and lead a research group in FBK, called SoNet. Our research focus is studying Web2.0 and social networking. You can have a look at our SoNet blog if you are interested (still a bit under construction …)

Well, there is now a great opportunity for post-doc positions in our group here in Trento, Italy.
Find information at http://www.uniricerca.provincia.tn.it/bandi_ricerca_en.asp . If you have any question about the position, please contact me!

UPDATE: I forgot to mention that the deadline is Monday September 14th, 2009.!

The opportunity
* incoming: funding of individual research projects, both “post-doc” and “team”, promoted by *Italian and foreign researchers* who will carry out the research activity inside Trento province;
* re-integration: funding of individual research projects, both “post-doc” and “team”, promoted by researchers who have been carrying out *research activity in a foreign country for at least three years* and aimed at their possible definitive return to Trentino.

What is SoNet
So Net is a research group inside FBK (Fondazione Bruno Kessler) research institute. FBK is located in Trento, north-east of Italy, and counts more than 350 researchers in a variety of areas, such as Information Technologies, Materials and Microsystems, and Humanities.
SoNet’s research focus is Social Networking and its impacts: more info at http://sonet.fbk.eu

Research in Trentino, Italy
Trentino is the right place in Italy for research. It hosts a large number of research labs from environmental studies to high-tech technologies. The Province of Trento allocates several resources such as infrastructure, real estate and funds to encourage research and innovation. Many institutes, both public and private, local, national and international have established their research units in Trento and Rovereto. Trentino is located in north-east Italy in a charming area of mountains and lakes.

Please forward this message to anybody who might be interested.

See you soon in Trento!

Looking for a PhD student for a project on collective memory building.

There is the opportunity for a 3-years PhD scholarship at the University of Trento working with my group on Web2.0 and social networking at FBK. The specific project that is funding the scholarship is about collective building of memory, roughly speaking, about how a community can share and build their collective memory (based on old stories, photos, videos, …) and how Web2.0 tools can support the process. The idea is to offer a contract for around 8 months with the research institute I work on and, if we like each other, to start the PhD.
If you are interested please send me an email: massa AT fbk DOT eu (if I don’t reply, it is because your email ended up in spam, please try to find other ways to contact me).

The “nature”al social network for researchers

After reading this article on the Guardian introducing it as the Facebook for professors, postdocs and PhDers in the sciences, I decided to spend some minutes and creating an identity on Nature Network. Here is my profile on Nature Network.The goal is to get people from different institutions and different research fields to talk to one another about the thing they have in common: a love of science. Check the flash quick tour video.
The article quotes Frank Norman saying

One of the nice things is the absence of markers to indicate status. When you read a contribution, you don’t know whether it is from a professor or a student, you just judge it by whether it makes sense.

It is interesting how Guardian stresses this “democratic” aspect of the Web, very wikipedian, very everyone-is-an-expert. It obviously totally resonates with me. In fact, on the other hand of the scope

One lecturer, who does not want to be named, says the scientific community is concerned that Nature Network and other Facebook-style academic communications could be “dangerous” because comments are not peer-reviewed.

Interestingly the more everything we do becomes digital, the more it seems everyone is concerned in measuring it:

Dr Timo Hannay, director of web publishing at Nature Publishing Group, predicts that scientists who post comments, blogs and data from experiments on sites like Nature Network will eventually be allowed to count these as part of their research output. “There should be a way of measuring the impact of a scientist who posts comments on a site like Nature Network. These could be added to their publishing record”.

And Matt Brown adds

Our vision for Nature Network is that every scientist in the world will have a personal profile on the site. Likeminded people and potential collaborators could then be easily found through a tagging system. Ideas can be discussed in the forums. Who knows, many years from now, traditional activities such as writing an academic paper could be peer-reviewed online.

And the article closes with the usual oh-gosh-some-more-content-to-monitor information overload fear:

Some see it another way. “If sites like these can increase awareness of research and provide easier ways to forge collaborative links, that is good,” says Brown. “If they provide more text that needs to be read, digested and responded to, that might not be so good.

By the way, you can check my profile on Nature Network and, if you are in there as well and read this, connect to me, friend me, or do how-they-call-it-on-Nature to me. I’m waiting. Somehow.

UPDATE: I created a group called “Trust Research” on Nature. Join in.

Another randomly generated paper accepted in a Journal

Scigen is a program that generates random Computer Science research papers, including graphs, figures, and citations.
According to Scigen blog, the randomly generated article “Cooperative, Compact Algorithms for Randomized Algorithms” by Rohollah Mosallahnezhad of the Iran Institute of Technology was accepted for publication in the Applied Mathematics and Computation journal. You can check by yourself on the publisher site which admits it was accepted and now removed. What is even more sad is that the reviewer provided many corrections to be resolved without realizing that the paper was just 8 pages of randomly generated text, figures, graphs and citations. How depressing is that, eh?
You can generate a paper and check previous random papers accepted in conferences. But for even more fun, be sure not to miss the randomly generated presentation these crazy folks gave during one of these bogus conferences. They presented slides which they were never seen before, which incidentally I think it is a great exercise for a presenter, if you can make it over presenting slides that have no meaning and you have never seen before, nothing can stop you. And I really love the guy dressed up as Einstein with fake mustaches.

Welcome back to myself!

Hello everybody!
I’m back, back in the blogosphere I mean. My last post was dated November 23, 2005 so precisely 377 days ago. Wow, this means more than one year without blogging!
Reasons for this long silence? Well, I stopped blogging because I had to write my PhD thesis. I then got my PhD in March 2006 but for different reasons it took me until now to restart blogging.
In the meantime, I took the chance to move to a personal domain, gnuband.org (I’m sure everyone is wondering “why gnuband?“), and to move to WordPress.

So, in case you are interested, please bookmark this new blog URL (http://gnuband.org) and subscribe to the new RSS feed (http://gnuband.org/feed/).

I ‎guess I should now write some clever intuitions about the experience of “living and researching without a blog for more than year” but I’m afraid the reality is that I don’t have any of these. I will try nonetheless to write something about this in one of the following posts.
For now, “Welcome back to myself!”. Stay tuned.

Presentation at the Web Intelligence conference

I just finished giving a presentation at the Web Intelligence Conference in Compiegne (France). I tried to push the concept of VoteLinks. The presentation is in S5 (so pure standard XHTML+CSS+JS) and CreativeCommons licenced: Page-reRank: using trusted links to re-rank authority (presentation) with the accompanying paper (pdf). Nothing earth-shaking at all, really. The main (simple) concept was that “Attention != Appreciation”, the most linked to page is not necessarily the most appreciated: I might link to gwbush.com in order to criticize it but my link increases its PageRank (something I don’t want). At the moment, HTML does not allow to express the reason behind a link, but VoteLinks microformats will allow to add some semantics to linking language. For example, you could say something like
<a href=”http://forza-italia.it/” rev=”vote-against”>berlusconi</a>
<a href=”http://romanoprodi.it” rev=”vote-abstain”>prodi</a>
<a href=”http://ivanscalfarotto.info”rev=”vote-for”>scalfarotto</a>
In the paper I also give evidence of the (intuitive) fact that “Attention!=Appreciation” with a simple experiment on a real, huge community with positive and negative links.
I thought it would be good to have the Web Intelligence community knows about VoteLinks and other microformats. And actually only 1 person (out of a number of people raging from 10 to 30) had heard of VoteLinks before, so the goal of spreading knowledge was accomplished.
And feel free to link to the presentation of course … hopefully not with a rev="vote-against" link!! ;-)
Tomorrow I go to Paris for giving a demo at SonyLabs and then meeting with Alf.
My trip was once more time sponsored by HospitalityClub/CouchSurfing: in Compiegne I was hosted by Jeremy and in Paris by Antonello. Too cool! Try it yourself, you always met great people!