Wednesday, April 26, 2006

hey...what a crowd (part 2)

On monday I gave my first lecture on webtechologies for this semester. In difference to the semantic web seminar the lecture room really was crowded. I guess there were about 30 students - computer science majors and minors also as bioinformatics. Of course its much more fun if there are a lot of students in the least if I'm going to pretend that they are there because my lecture is somehow interesting for them. on the other hand, the semester takes 14 weeks....but there will be at most 11 lectures because of holidays and because of the semester was starting at tuesday. I guess, I have to talk even faster than usual :)
But there is also good news for the semantic web seminar. We have 6 students now enlisted for talks and there will be at least 11 talks (including those given by Heiko and myself).

BTW, there has been report on a new way to determine Google's index size. You simply try to find the most popular search keyword and examine the number of page hits. For the english article 'a' there are almost 25 billion hits....this means that there are 25 billion pages in Google's index containing the word 'a' (which includes at least every english web document).

Friday, April 21, 2006

Finally, I have an URI...

I've just read about in Tim Berners-Lee's Blog and so I have an URI now. It just refers to personal information about myself listed in my FOAF file. My URI is now

As proposed in the referred article, everybody should have least if you want to become part of the semantic web.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

hey...what a crowd

Summer semester started today...right at 8 a.m. with the Semantic Web seminar. And what should I tell ya...what a crowd...I was looking into the more or less sleepy faces of three students. Shouldn't you think, the semantic web isn't something interesting??
I wonder, where all the computer science students do their seminars.....databases, I guess. It's so much more related to "practical" work and yes, it's so interesting to find the 27th normal form in fuzzy object quadrupels...not to mention that, if you really choose to become a database "expert", you will spend your entire life creating, maintaining, and programming databases of a certain (within here never to be mentioned) distributor (...a three letter word...pssst). Life could be so exciting....
O.K....there's always something good about bad least I don't have to get up too early this semester. We will do the seminar "en block" at the end of the semester. Have a nice life :)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

and again ... a new semester starts next week

Next week, on April 18th , the summer semester starts....and for me it starts right at 8 a.m.
For years now, I'm struggling with those 8. a.m. lectures...I have always bad luck. Every year, again and again, they give me the 8 a.m. lectures... summer it's not as bad. At least the sun is already up in the sky (if it's not overcasted, and it is many times), and you avoid the "sleepy" summer afternoons. But, you know the students....who wants to get up so early, who isn't sleepy that time of day (at least I am...). This year I boldly arranged my "Webtechnology" lecture on mondays 10 a.m. ... but I didn't realized that they have scheduled my seminar "Semantic Web" on thuesday/thursdays at 8 a.m....
O.k....for two days in the week get up early, no chance for sports before work (only if I want to get up at 5 a.m.)...and of course looking into the face of sleepy students.....
Oh...wait! It's a seminar....this means that most times the students have to give the talking and I'm the one who listens. But - even worse - I have to listen carefully to give a sound critic afterwards...

So, everybody who wants to sleep longer (and who is able to understand german) might watch my lectures/seminars on the web. Unfortunately - at least up to now - I can't give them from home. Just imagine....get up at 7.45 a.m., brush teeth, get a cup of coffee, arrange yourself in front of your webcam, and give the lecture.....

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Retreat "E-Teacher" in Dornburg

April 3-4th, I visited a retreat at the "Altes Schloß Dornburg" (old palace Dornburg) about a project called "E-Teacher". The medieval palace is located high above the river Saale with a beautiful view over the Saale valley. Rather interesting to watch because of the current spring flooding...
The E-Teacher project is about feedback based learning. I know...E-Learning is anything else but new. But the only feedback provided to regular E-Learning software nowadays are multiple choice tests etc...The E-Teacher system is supposed to watch the student closely. Facial Action Codes (FACS) are translated into emotions, giving advice about how to proceed within the learning scenario. In doing so, the system needs representations for the knowledge to be taught, for the student (how does she feel...), and for various didactic strategies.
The chosen topic to teach are NP-complete probems (btw one of the millenium price problems). I was giving a talk about NPBibSearch, a bibliographic search engine focused on papers related to NP-complete problems....and of course based on an ontology representing knowledge about NP-complete problems.