The First #ESWC2011 Summer School

Just under 50 students from twenty countries attended the first ESWC Summer School, which took place in Kalamaki, Crete during the last week of May. The event, directed by Prof John Domingue, and including Tutors who are leading researchers in the field, provided an opportunity for Masters and Ph.D. students in the area of the Semantic Web as well as researchers from academia and industry to learn about the latest hot topics in the area. Specifically, the school covered: advanced reasoning, Linked Open Data theory and practice, vocabulary construction and alignment, Semantic Web APIs and services, and Semantic Web front ends. Building on an extensive set of previous schools, the ESWC School followed the principles of mixing theory and practical hands-on sessions and emphasizing some of the soft skills that accomplished researchers require. The keynote speakers comprised of the following leaders in the area: Ian Horrocks (Univ. of Oxford, UK), Chris Bizer (Free Univ. Berlin, Germany), Mark Greaves (Vulcan Inc., USA), Chris Welty (IBM Watson Research Center, USA), and Fausto Giunchiglia (Univ. of Trento, Italy). Communication and networking between students, tutors and invited speakers ensured that the overall experience was engaging, fruitful and immense fun. The poster session of the summer school provided students with opportunities to present and discuss their research work with tutors as well as with fellow students. The student project allowed students to bring together and apply what they had learnt and we know of a number that are currently being written up for publication. Prizes were awarded to the best student poster and best student project at the end of the school.

The school is aligned with the ESWC Conference with the aim of ensuring that the emerging and next generation of organizers and contributors to the conference continues to grow and become en-cultured in the general Semantic Web community. 

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