WS4D PhD Colloquium

WS4D PhD Colloquium

Feb 14, 2020 | 10AM to 4PM | IIIT-Bangalore

Register HERE

The goal of this session is to have research discussion among the PhD research scholars across multiple institutes who are working in the areas related to Web Science. We hope these discussions will be useful and will foster research collaborations in future!


Moderators: Faculty
Panelists: PhD Research Scholars
Audience: Research Scholars

Agenda of each Theme Discussion

  • Theme Introduction by Moderator
  • Short introduction by panelists (5 panelists 5 mins each)
  • Q&A (30 mins)

PhD Colloquium Themes

  1. Empowerment
    In this theme, we discuss how the WWW and digital technologies in general can be used for education and upskilling of the population at scale. As mobile phones and high-speed data connections become ubiquitous, this has created a huge opportunity for disseminating knowledge and skills to a vast population efficiently. However, a dearth of sound understanding of how this can be achieved, is still an impediment. We can also discuss how digital empowerment is essential and how access to resources can help in that context.
  2. Inclusion & Accessibility
    In this theme, we discuss how inclusion is necessary and not just preferable to build models or solutions which are useful, relevant and applicable to all. In this context, inclusion might be in terms of gender, race, color etc. It will be relevant to also discuss how web and digitization can be conducive in building solutions which are designed keeping accessibility into account. Topics like rennaration, multi-language support, transcriptions, alternate text of images etc might be relevant.
  3. Digital Governance + Privacy  + Security
    In this theme, we discuss how different forms of data management processes can be woven into the fabric of administrative decision-making. These include structured data generated by different government departments, corporates and other organisations; as well as the so-called Big Data, generated from several sources like sensors, social media posts, etc. that often contain useful inputs for decision-making. We also discuss topics like privacy and security in this context.
  4. Social Cognition
    In this theme we address questions about how the web, and particularly social media and open online knowledge portals like Wikipedia, is affecting collective opinion and worldview. Social cognition is playing a central role in the making and breaking of reputations of individuals, businesses, and countries. There is a pressing need to understand social cognition in the post-web world. We also discuss topics like opinions, campaigns in networks, marketing and recommendation and discourse modeling.

WS4D Research Workshop


0900-0915Inauguration and Address by Dean (Academics) Prof. R Chandrashekar
0915-1015Keynote – 1: Speaker: Dame Wendy Hall, Web Science Institute
1015-1045Invited Talk – 1: Speaker: Prof. Bidisha Chaudhuri, IIIT Bangalore
1045- 1115Invited Talk – 2: Speaker: Prof. Jaya Sreevalsan Nair, IIIT Bangalore
1115-1130Tea Break
1130-1200Invited Talk – 3: Speaker: Jai Ganesh, Mphasis Inc.
1200-1230Invited Talk – 4: Speaker: Sabu Padamdas, University of Southampton 
1230-1300Invited Talk – 5: Speaker: Nandan Sudarsanam, IIT Madras
1300-1400Lunch Break
1400-1500Keynote – 2: Speaker: Noshir Contractor, Northwestern University 
1500-1515Tea Break
1515-1545Invited Talk – 6: Speaker: Pauline Leonard, Web Science Institute
1545-1615Invited Talk – 7: Speaker: Srinath Srinivasa, IIIT Bangalore
1615-1645Invited Talk – 8: Speaker: Pathik Pathak, University of Southampton
1645-1700Report on Brave Conversations: Speaker: Anni Rowland-Campbell, University of Southampton
1700-1730High Tea and Closing

Talk and Speaker Details

Dame Wendy Hall

Dame Wendy Hall, DBE, FRS, FREng is Regius Professor of Computer Science, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International Engagement), and is the Executive Director of the Web Science Institute at the University of Southampton. Dame Wendy was co-Chair of the UK government’s AI Review, which was published in October 2017, and has recently been announced by the UK government as the first Skills Champion for AI in the UK.

With Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Sir Nigel Shadbolt she co-founded the Web Science Research Initiative in 2006 and is the Managing Director of the Web Science Trust, which has a global mission to support the development of research, education and thought leadership in Web Science.

She became a Dame Commander of the British Empire in the 2009 UK New Year’s Honours list, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society.

She has previously been President of the ACM, Senior Vice President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, a member of the UK Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology, was a founding member of the European Research Council and Chair of the European Commission’s ISTAG 2010-2012, was a member of the Global Commission on Internet Governance, and until June 2018, was a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Futures Council on the Digital Economy.

Noshir Contractor

Noshir Contractor is the Jane S. & William J. White Professor of Behavioral Sciences in the McCormick School of Engineering & Applied Science, the School of Communication and the Kellogg School of Management and Director of the Science of Networks in Communities (SONIC) Research Group at Northwestern University.  

Professor Contractor has been at the forefront of three emerging interdisciplines: network science, computational social science and web science. He is investigating how social and knowledge networks form – and perform – in contexts including business, scientific communities, healthcare and space travel.  His research has been funded continuously for 25 years by the U.S. National Science Foundation with additional funding from the U.S. National Institutes of Health, NASA, DARPA, Army Research Laboratory and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

His book Theories of Communication Networks (co-authored with Peter Monge) received the 2003 Book of the Year award from the Organizational Communication Division of the National Communication Association.  He is a Fellow of the International Communication Association (ICA), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).  He also received the Distinguished Scholar Award from the National Communication Association and the Lifetime Service Award from the Organizational Communication & Information Systems Division of the Academy of Management. In 2018 he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras where he received a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering. He received his Ph.D. from the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Southern California.  

Jai Ganesh

Dr. Jai Ganesh is the Senior Vice President and Head of Mphasis NEXTLabs. He is a Product and Service Innovation leader with extensive experience in inventing, conceptualizing, building and commercializing successful technology product and service innovations. Under his leadership, NEXTLabs has created several global award-winning solutions, products and service offerings. Recent awards won include AIconics 2017 for ‘Best application of AI in Financial Services’ and Business Intelligence Group’s ‘2018 Stratus Awards for Cloud Computing’. Jai consults and co-creates with leading global corporations to formulate their digital transformation strategy and build advanced AI driven solutions. He focuses on applied research and innovation in areas such as Data Science, Social Network Analysis, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing, Cloud Computing and Automation. Jai is a prolific inventor with several granted patents as well as publications in leading peer reviewed journals and conferences. He is a PhD from Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB) and also has an MBA. Jai is a recipient of the Chevening Rolls-Royce Science and Innovation Fellowship at the University of Oxford.

Sabu Padamdas

Professor Sabu S. Padmadas is Associate Dean (International) of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Professor of Demography and Global Health, and Founding Co-Director of the Centre for Global Health, Population, Poverty and Policy (GHP3) at the University of Southampton.

Padmadas obtained a PhD degree in Demography in 2000 from the Faculty of Spatial Sciences of the University of Groningen in The Netherlands, an MSc degree in Demography in 1995 and a BSc degree in Mathematics with Statistics and Physics in 1992 from the University of Kerala in India, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice in 2006 from the University of Southampton. Padmadas joined the University of Southampton as a Lecturer in Demography in 2002 after completing a two-year term as post-doctoral fellow of the Dutch Royal Academy of Sciences at the University of Groningen. He is currently a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy, and an honorary Senior Research Fellow at the China Population & Development Research Centre, a think-tank attached to the National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China.  

His research interests focus broadly on population dynamics and the application of demographic analysis and statistical modelling of global health and wellbeing outcomes in low-middle income and transition economies. He has international expertise in programme impact evaluation and quantitative demography using census and survey data including calendar data, life course and birth history analyses, and population projections. The specific areas of his research cover a broad spectrum of challenging population health topics including: family planning, reproductive and child health, inequalities in health and healthcare outcomes, nutrition, life course epidemiology, population health policies and social determinants of disease outcomes. The journey to his multidisciplinary research career began with the publication of his doctoral thesis entitled ‘Intergenerational Transmission of Health: Reproductive Health of Mother and Child Survival in Kerala, South India’ – and inspired by his mentors: Professor Frans Willekens, Professor Inge Hutter and Professor PS Nair. 

A significant achievement of Padmadas’ academic career is the research spanning over a decade (since 2003) evaluating three cycles of the United Nations Reproductive Health and Family Planning programme in China, which generated high impact and policy response at the national level. This was a high profile collaborative programme with the then National Population and Family Planning Commission and the Ministry of Health of the People’s Republic of China, and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Padmadas has an excellent track record of successful research grants funded by the UK and International Research Councils, British Academy, UK Department for International Development, UK Royal Society, International Development Research Centre (Canada), Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Norway Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), United Nations and the World Health Organisation. He has published over 70 peer-reviewed articles in international journals, and has served as referee for research councils and for over 30 leading international journals. Over the years, his research has attracted attention from governmental and international think-tank agencies, policy decision-makers and other international media including BBC World Services and New York Times. 

Nandan Sudarsanam

Dr. Nandan Sudarsanam has domain expertise in the areas of finance, demographic and experimental data (across different engineering disciplines). The primary area of research for Nandan is in experimentation and machine learning, with a specific focus on algorithmic approaches in these fields. During his PhD from MIT, he created new algorithms for experimentation, as well as the creation of meta-models from data which could be used to simulate the performance of various experimental algorithms. He has applied his techniques to various industries including commercial banking (Bank of America – Boston), automotive (Ford Motor Company – Detroit), manufacturing (Brakes India – Chennai), and over the last five years in high-frequency algorithmic trading (with Rackson Asset Management – New York). During his last stint as the Head of research at Rackson Asset Management, he has worked with large data sets and deployed data analytic techniques which lead to highly profitable trading strategies

Pauline Leonard

Professor Pauline Leonard is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Web Science Institute at the University of Southampton. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social and of the Royal Society of Arts.  

Pauline’s principle research interests are in diversity and work and she has published widely on gender and organisations, race and professional migration, age, employability and careers.

Srinath Srinivasa

Srinath Srinivasa heads the Web Science lab and is the Dean (R&D) at IIIT Bangalore, India. Srinath holds a Ph.D (magna cum laude) from the Berlin Brandenburg Graduate School for Distributed Information Systems (GkVI) Germany, an M.S. (by Research) from IIT-Madras and B.E. in Computer Science and Engineering from The National Institute of Engineering (NIE) Mysore. He works in the area of Web Science — that models of the impact of the web on humanity. Technology for educational outreach and social empowerment has been a primary motivation driving his research. He has participated in several initiatives for technology enhanced education including the VTU Edusat program, The National Programme for Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) and an educational outreach program in collaboration with Upgrad.  He is a member of various technical and organizational committees for international conferences like International Conference on Weblogs and Social Media (ICWSM), ACM Hypertext, COMAD/CoDS, ODBASE, etc. He is also a life member of the Computer Society of India (CSI). As part of academic community outreach, Srinath has served on the Board of Studies of Goa University and as a member of the Academic Council of the National Institute of Engineering, Mysore. He has served as a technical reviewer for various journals like the VLDB journal, IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering, and IEEE Transactions on Cloud Computing. He is also the recipient of various national and international grants for his research activities.

Pathik Pathak

Dr. Pathik Pathak is Faculty Director of Social Entrepreneurship and Founding Director of the Social Impact Lab at the University of Southampton.

He is passionate about innovation in higher education, and has pioneered the use of challenge-based education.

As Founding Director of the multi award-winning Social Impact Lab he leads the University’s international work on social entrepreneurship. This includes leading a team which delivers a range of activities for our students, including the Social Enterprise module, Spark India, the Social Impact Leaders Speaker Series, our Placements scheme, our in-house Ventures and mentoring start-up social entrepreneurs.

As a result of his work in social entrepreneurship education, he has been made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and was awarded the Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Samann in 2015 for outstanding contributions to education.

Jaya Sreevalsan Nair

Professor Nair obtained her Ph.D. in Computer Science from University of California, Davis; after a B.Tech in Aerospace Engineering from IIT-Madras and an M.S. in Computational Engineering from Mississippi State University. Prior to joining IIITB, she worked as a scientific programmer at Enthought Inc. Austin and as a research associate at Texas Advanced Computing Center, the University of Texas at Austin. Her areas of interest are visualization, scientific computing, computer graphics, and computational geometry.

She leads the  Graphics-Visualization-Computing Lab at IIITB. She is also the core team member of the E-Health Research Center at IIITB. 

Bidisha Chaudhuri

Bidisha Chaudhuri is an Assistant Professor in the domain of IT and Society. She received her PhD from South Asia Institute at Heidelberg University, Germany. She completed an M.A in Sociology from Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi and a Joint European Masters in Global Studies from University of Leipzig (Germany) and Vienna University (Austria). She has worked in research institutions and developmental organizations in India and abroad. Prior to joining IIITB, she worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at ISEC, Bangalore. Her current research projects include, information systems for sustainable development, conversational agents in everyday practices, politics of algorithms, gender and ICTs, political economy of digital identity and sociology of work and automation.

Activity Log 2020

24 December 2020. Srinath Srinivasa participated as an Expert Committee member of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI), for their workshop on “Data for NSDI Applications”, New Delhi.

16-18 December 2020. WSL Research Workshop.

12 December 2020. Srinath Srinivasa presented a talk entitled “Democracy and the Global Opinion Marketplace” as part of the CITAPP Winter School, IIIT Bangalore.

19-21 November 2020. Traffic Simulation Project presented at Bangalore Tech Summit 2020. YouTube Link

10 November 2020. Jayati Deshmukh successfully completed the Comprehensive exam qualifying as a PhD candidate.

07 November 2020. Raksha P S and Gaurav Koley were invited speakers at DSC SAMVAD tech talk titled ‘Behind the Scenes of Research’ organised by JSS Science & Technology University, Mysuru. Details of the talk are available here.

6 November 2020. Jayati Deshmukh invited as a panelist at curtain-raiser event lecture of LTC 2021 by Prof. Samir Brahmachari titled “eScience and the Fourth Paradigm in Research.” Link

10-11 October 2020. Jayati Deshmukh attended “Towards the Logic of Scientific Discovery – Will AI ever win a Nobel Prize?” organized by E4R at ThoughtWorks. YouTube Playlist

28th September 2020. Srinath Srinivasa gave an inaugural talk entitled “Education post 2020” as part of a program called LEAD MindMatrix, organized by IBM and CL Infotech Pvt. Ltd.

14th September 2020. Dr. Aparna Lalingkar was interviewed by All India Radio Mumbai in their program “Vidnyananjanhitay” which is organized in collaboration with Marathi Vidyan Parishad. This program is to highlight the understanding of the use of science and technology in day to day life for common people who do not have scientific background. She was interviewed as a mathematician and educational technologist. The link of the interview is here.

28 August 2020. Raksha P S participated as a panelist in an online webinar on NLP and Fake News as a part of AI for Decision-Making webinar series, conducted by the MINRO research centre. Link for the video

17 August 2020. Jayati Deshmukh presented her initial research at RISE-Samvaad Ph.D. Colloquium 2020 with a talk titled “Computational Transcendence in Ethical Autonomous Agents”. YouTubeLink

30 July 2020. Raksha P S successfully presented open seminar of her PhD thesis titled “A Computational Model For Online Social Discourse”.

9th July 2020. Dr. Aparna Lalingkar presented a paper titled “Building a Model for finding Quality of Affirmation in a Discussion Forum” at The 20th  IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies 2020, organized online by University of Tartu, Estonia during 6th July to 10th July 2020.

7 July 2020. Raksha P S presented paper titled “Computational Model for Online Social Discourse” at PhD Symposium of The 12th ACM Conference on Web Science – WebSci’20.

18 June 2020. Srinath Srinivasa gave Samvaad talk titled “Simulation of epidemiological models for COVID-19 for Karnataka”. YouTubeLink

17 June 2020. Raksha P S presented a webinar talk titled “Introduction to Web Science” organised by Global Institute of Management Sciences.

12 June 2020. Srinath Srinivasa and Jayati Deshmukh. Presented the IIITB Covid Dashboard to the global network of Facebook Covid response team.

8 June 2020. Srinath Srinivasa. Participated as a panelist in an online webinar on AI for Decision-Making, conducted by the MINRO research centre.

11 Mar 2020. Sharath Srivatsa successfully defended his MS by Research thesis entitled “Narrative Plot Comparison Based on a Bag-of-actors Document Model”.

5th March 2020. Aparna Lalingkar visited Mphasis Office for showing demo of Precision Learning Portal to a delegation from Cardiff University, Canada.

24 Feb 2020. WSL hosted Prof. Peter Edwards from the University of Aberdeen on a research visit.

12 – 14 Feb 2020. WSL conducted the Second Workshop on Web Science for Development (WS4D 2020), spanning over 3 days.

20 – 21 Jan 2020. Srinath Srinivasa presented keynote talk titled “Nagar: A Living Lab Architecture or Urban Mobility Observatory” at 1st International Conference of Urban Data Science. Raksha PS and Jayati Deshmukh also attended the conference. IIT-Madras, India

WSL Research Workshop – Dec’19

WSL conducts research workshop at the end of every semester at IIITB. Aim of the workshop is to share, discuss and reflect upon the research that has happened in the last semester at WSL. Also to discuss and design the future roadmap of research at WSL. All research scholars will present their latest work and show demos if any.

Date: 11 Dec 2019

Time: 10:00 AM to 6:15 PM

Venue: R-110

Agenda of the workshop:

Time Speaker(s) Title
09:30 – 10:00 AM BREAKFAST
10:00 – 10:40 AM Talk by Raksha + Pooja Characterizing the Online Social Discourse
10:40 – 11:10 AM Talk by Aparna Discussion Analyzer- Building models for automatic discussion analysis
11:10 – 11:20 AM BREAK
11:20 – 11:50 PM Talk by Jayati Verification and Validation of Autonomous Systems
11:50 – 12:20 PM Talk by Prakhar Automatic Trailer Generation of Narratives
12:20 – 12:50 PM Talk by Naman Automatic detection of Topic Transitions in Lecture Videos
12:50 – 02:30 PM LUNCH
02:30 – 03:00 PM Talk by Sharath Introduction to Narrative Discourse Anachronies
03:00 – 03:40 PM Talk by Chaitali + Shyam Cartographic Aggregation of Learning Resources and Learning Pathways
03:40 – 04:00 PM BREAK
04:00 – 04:30 PM Talk by Anurag Knowledge Graph Embeddings in Continuous Vector Space for Education Modules
04:30 – 05:00 PM Talk by Niharika Automatic story generation
05:00 – 05:15 PM BREAK
05:15 – 05:45 PM Talk by Prof. Sridhar  –
05:45 – 06:15 PM Closing remarks Prof. Srinath  –