PIPaL: JISC BCE at Loughborough

Archive for September 2009

Update from JISC Rapid Innovation conference

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This post comes to you from the JISC Rapid Innovation conference, held in Manchester on September 3rd and 4th 2009.

The event was aimed primarily at developers working on projects in the Rapid Innovation programme, giving people an opportunity to share information, compare notes, and promote their work.  A very valuable part of this was a media coaching exercise, that gave delegates the opportunity to hone their presentation skills, with advice from media professionals and JISC programme directors.

Many of those present were working with leading edge “Web 2.0” technologies, such as Google Wave and Yahoo! Pipes.  This is very interesting from the point of view of a project like PIPaL where we are concerned with information that the institution considers sensitive – e.g. details of potential partnerships.  We can begin by considering the circumstances under which personal information was provided to the University and any restrictions that might apply to sharing this between the University’s departments and functions.  Following on from this, there are further Data Protection implications regarding the use of third party Internet services for modelling, visualisation etc.

Whilst it’s no substitute for being at the conference in person, you can follow the discussions via #jiscri Twitter posts, the IE demonstrator blog and Photos from Flickr.  Personal highlights included Scott Wilson’s presentation on the Apache Wookie Widget server, showing W3C standard widgets embedded within the Moodle VLE, and Peter Pratt describing the Walking Through Time Google Maps historical map mashup.  It was also very interesting to hear from Symplectic’s Richard Jones on their work on Institutional Repository deposit architectures, and to catch up with my old eLib colleague Jasper Tredgold on the Mobile Campus Assistant project.

Several bar and BoF discussions were had around the typical research focus of the Institutional Repository versus the VLE’s role as “Learning Object Repository”, and the feeling of personal ownership of the material uploaded to the VLE – inhibiting information sharing and re-use.  There is a clear parallel here with partner relationship information gathered by individuals or departments/sections.

Written by Martin Hamilton

September 4, 2009 at 12:35 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Interesting uses for existing data #2

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Here’s another Wordle map, this time looking at the public data on staff members’ home pages from our Engineering Faculty.  Although the data itself is fairly unstructured, a decision had been made across the Faculty to use consistent section headings.  Another five line Perl script pulls out all of the info in the “Broad Interests and Expertise” section.  Not surprisingly given Loughborough’s background, systems engineering looms large in this.  It’s very interesting to see that renewables and in particular renewable energy do not feature particularly highly as yet.  We can expect that this will change quite drastically over the next few years, particularly with the formation of the Sustainability Research School.

Engineering Faculty interests and expertise

Written by Martin Hamilton

September 4, 2009 at 11:59 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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