The WSTNet Web Science Summer School 2016 was held from Thursday, 30 June to Wednesday, 6 July 2016. The Summer School is the first edition of the oncoming WSTNet Summer School series on Web Science. It is organised by the Institute for Web Science and Technologies (WeST) at the University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany. Keynotes, tutorials and project work in the following areas of Web Science: Introduction to Web Science, Computational Social Science, Social Machines, Politics, Entrepreneurship, and Law. The summer school featured keynote lectures such as Leveraging Web/Internet/Network Sciences (WINS) to address Grand Societal Challenges by Prof. Noshir Contractor and Social Machines 2.0: The Coming Collision of Artificial Intelligence, Social Networking, and Humanity by Prof. James Alexander Hendler.
Apart from the lectures and tutorials each participant presented their research in a poster session where I shared my PhD research topic that I am currently working on in KMi under the supervision of Dr. Miriam Fernandez and Prof. Harith Alani. My research is in Natural Language Processing (NLP); I am focusing on extracting sentiment from dialectal social data "specifically for Arabic”. We have done some studies on the language usage on Twitter within Arab regions and the identification of Romanized Arabic from multilingual data streams. Next, we will investigate dialect identification and sentiment analysis.
The organisers of the summer school also distributed us into teams of 4-5 students and assigned projects for us to work on and present by the end of the summer school. Our project title was “Detecting Hate Speech from Reddit Data” supervised by Dr. Claudia Wagner and Dr. Fabian Flöck. We implemented an unsupervised approach that relies on a hate database to extract hate scores from reddit comments.
I am a first-year PhD student and this was my first summer school, in short, I am very delighted by the rich experience. Besides the academic part, the Webscience Summer School has a great value by connecting students and professors from different disciplines and different parts of the world. I have to thank my supervisors for giving me this opportunity and Prof. Steffan Staab and Dr. Ulrich Wechselberger for a great Webscience Summer School.