archive 2008 October

How India flew to the moon economy class-India-The Times of India

Posted on Sunday 26 October 2008

CHENNAI: Chandrayaan-1, now on its way to the moon, has cost less than one-tenth of the Indian Premier League (IPL) rights bagged by Sony

Entertainment. Rocket science may be no match for cricket when it comes to listing some of India’s favourite things, but the frugality of its space odyssey could be a lesson to the world.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) spent just over Rs 380 crore (about half the price of a Jumbo Jet) on Chandrayaan-1, with 1,000 scientists toiling over it for three years. A similar effort by NASA or any other space agency would have cost at least five times more. In real terms, Chandrayaan-1 cost only about 4% of Isro’s budget over three years.

How India flew to the moon economy class-India-The Times of India.

The Network Thinker: Non-Obvious Ties

Posted on Tuesday 21 October 2008

From Valdis Krebs:

How many NOTs in your network? [NOT = Non-Obvious Tie]

You probably can’t answer that, because the connections are…

n o n – o b v i o u s .

Ties/links/connections/relationships that are not obvious to me may be obvious to someone else, and vice versa. Unfortunately, the knowledge of those ties may not be as valuable to those those who know, than to those who do not know.

Confused? Let me share a few stories…

T N T — The Network Thinker: Non-Obvious Ties.

Tenure-Track & Open Rank Positions in Media, Technology, and Society @ Northwestern University

Posted on Tuesday 21 October 2008

Tenure-Track & Open Rank Positions in Media, Technology, and Society

@ Northwestern University

The Department of Communication Studies at Northwestern University’s School of Communication seeks to hire three tenure-track appointments beginning September 1, 2009.  Two positions will be at the level of assistant professor, and one will be open as to rank.

We are looking for candidates who can work in a strong interdisciplinary program and advance a vital area of research. Possible areas of expertise include but are not limited to: media industries, institutions, publics, and policy; digital media; media and social networks; technology, work, and organizations; computer-mediated communication, human-computer interaction, global media, information infrastructures, and history of communication and information technologies.

The Department of Communication Studies supports a popular undergraduate
major and graduate programs in Media, Technology, and Society, Interaction and Social Influence, and Rhetoric and Public Culture. Scholarship includes leading work on new media, technology and society, social networks, and the cultural determination of the public sphere. Through special resources for research support and scholarly event programming, the department is able to offer rich opportunities for scholarly development.

Northwestern University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action educator and employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent on eligibility to work in the United States.

Applications should be sent via email to or to Professor Noshir Contractor, Chair, MTS Search Committee, Department of Communication Studies, Northwestern University, 2240 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208-3545. Applications should include a CV, evidence of teaching effectiveness, and three letters of recommendation.

Initial review of applications will begin on October 31, 2008, with continual reviews of subsequently-received applications until all positions are filled or a final review deadline of December 31, 2008 is reached.


Posted on Sunday 19 October 2008


Using social networking to breakdown research silos By John Halamka

Posted on Wednesday 1 October 2008

Using social networking to breakdown research silos
By John Halamka

On September 4, a group of collaborators at Harvard launched a new website called Catalyst <>  that is publicly available. I encourage you to visit it.

This site is remarkable in many ways. It brings together all the people, lifelong learning, and resources for the Life Sciences across Harvard and its affiliates.

In the People area, you’ll find social networking for the research community called Profiles. . It not only shows traditional directory information, but also illustrates how each person is connected to others in the broad research community.


When you view a person’s profile, three types of information are displayed:

1. Managed Descriptions
This is the typical information listed in a research profile, including name, titles, affiliation, phone number and email address. Faculty can edit their own profiles, adding publications, awards, narrative, and a photo.

2. Passive Networks
Passive networks are formed automatically when faculty share common traits such as being in the same department, working in the same building, co-authoring the same paper, or researching the same topics (as defined by the “MeSH” keywords assigned to their publications). The passive networks a person belongs to are shown on the right side of the page when viewing a profile.

3. Active Networks
Active networks are the ones that users define by choosing collaborators, advisors, or advisees. Currently, users can manage their own networks. In the future they will be able to share these lists with others.

The website is open to the general public. However, people with a Harvard Medical School login can access additional features, such as “active networking”, described above.

All data shown by default on the website is currently available on other public websites, but Profiles integrates the data in novel ways. Directory information was obtained from the Harvard White pages, and publications and keywords were copied from PubMed. If faculty had previously entered awards and narratives in the Faculty Affairs CV/Promotion management application called FIRST, then that information can be displayed on this website, but only if those faculty approve it. Default photos are from Harvard IDs, but faculty must also approve the use of those before they are shown on this website. Lists of co-authors and similar people are derived automatically from publications, and the “department” and “neighbor” lists are determined automatically from directory information.

Keywords, co-authors, and list of similar people are derived automatically from the PubMed articles. Keyword rankings and similar people lists are based on complex algorithms that weigh multiple factors, such as how many publications users have in a subject area compared to the total number of faculty who have published in that area.

Breaking down silos in the research community at Harvard via social networking is a great first step toward catalyzing research acceleration. You’ll see many new features and functions on this new website over the next year, so stay tuned

John D. Halamka, MD, MS, is Chief Information Officer of the CareGroup Health System, Chief Information Officer and Dean for Technology at Harvard Medical School, Chairman of the New England Health Electronic Data Interchange Network (NEHEN), CEO of MA-SHARE (the Regional Health Information Organization), Chair of the US Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP), and a practicing emergency physician.

CALL FOR PAPERS – 5th International Conference on e-Social Science, Cologne.

Posted on Wednesday 1 October 2008

Submission categories include: full and short papers, posters, demos, workshops, tutorials and panels.

Topics of interest include, but are not restricted to, the following:

– Case studies of the application of e-Social Science methods to substantive social science research problems

– Case studies of e-Research, including benefits and problems in collaboration across organisational, disciplinary and geographical boundaries

– Case studies of ‘Open Access Science’, social networking and ‘Science 2.0’

– Best practice examples of social research data infrastructure, including virtual distributed databases, open access repositories, self-archiving

– Advances in tools and services for data discovery, harmonization, integration, management, annotation, curation and sharing

– Challenges of exploiting new sources of administrative, transactional and observational data, including security, legal and ethical issues in the use of personal and sensitive data

– Advances in analytical tools and techniques for quantitative and qualitative social science, including statistical modelling and simulation, data mining, text mining, content analysis, socio-linguistic analysis, social network analysis, data visualisation

– Case studies of collaborative research environments, including user engagement, development and use

– User experiences of e-Research infrastructure, services and tools

– Factors influencing the adoption of e-Research, including technical standards, user engagement and outreach, training, sustainability of digital artefacts, IPR and ethics

– New methods, metrics and tools for measuring the adoption and impact of e-Research and for informing policy-making

– The evolving research infrastructure technology roadmap, including grids, cloud computing and web 2.0

– National e-Infrastructure development programmes, international cooperation in e-Infrastructure development

Authors are requested to submit an abstract of approximately 1000 words.

Workshop, tutorial and panel organisers are requested to submit a one page outline of the topic, format, likely audience, special requirements.

Deadlines and submission instructions

Paper abstracts: 26 January 2009.

Workshop, tutorial and panel outlines: 23 February 2009.

Poster and demo abstracts: 23 March 2009.