Almila Akdag Salah, Samir Passi, Andrea Scharnhorst & Sally Wyatt ,eHumanities Group - New trends in eHumanities

Almila Akdag Salah, Samir Passi, Andrea Scharnhorst & Sally Wyatt (eHumanities Group)


February 14, 2013


Almila Akdag Salah, Samir Passi, Andrea Scharnhorst & Sally Wyatt (eHumanities Group)

Introducing the EU Network of Excellence about Internet Science: What does it mean for e-Humanities?

The EU Network of Excellence in InterNet Science (EINS) is funded under the Seventh Framework Programme. It aims to develop a network of researchers and professionals to analyze internet systems from a multidisciplinary perspective. The presentations on 14 February will not only showcase the early results of two working groups (JRA1 and JRA5) but will also provide insight into what EINS implies for digital humanities

JRA1 is concerned with the development of a multidisciplinary scientific approach to understanding internet networks from a wide variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives such as mathematics, physics, sociology, information science, information visualization, and performance analysis. For JRA1, Andrea Scharnhorst will give a talk about the nature of the publishing and citation network that exists within the EINS community, drawing on work she did together with Almila Akdag Salah.

JRA5 is concerned with online identity, privacy, reputation, and trust mechanisms. Through a multidisciplinary perspective, JRA5 explores issues of privacy and trust on online social networks, analyzes online privacy beliefs and behaviors, and enquires into the heuristics of online identity formations. Concerning JRA5, Samir Passi will talk about the issues of collapsing contexts owing to large-scale convergence of information within mobile applications. Finally, Sally Wyatt will talk about what the EINS project means for the discipline of digital humanities.

See for details of all EINS activities.

(Presentation slides)


Alkim Almila Akdag Salah has received her BS in industrial design and MA in art history from Istanbul Technical University. Her master thesis was on semiotic analysis of perfume bottles, which exemplify how industrial objects carry artistic and historical meaning through an ever-developing symbolic language. She continued her doctoral studies at the Art History Department of UCLA, under the supervision of Prof. Donald Preziosi, focusing on technoscience art and its place in the art historical canon. She obtained her PhD degree in 2008.

During her PhD at UCLA, she worked two years as an ITC (Instructional Technology Consultant) at the Center for Digital Humanities. She was one of the first Digital Humanities Fellows of UCLA. Her focus as a fellow was on citation networks, through which she aimed to map out the network of three semi-related discipline’s (cognitive science, visual culture and art history) interaction with each other.

She obtained a three month Postdoc fellowship at Virtual Knowledge Studio (reorganized as e-Humanities Group KNAW), she followed up on her digital humanities project, but this time trying to locate a single journal’s place in the interdisciplinary arena by using Bibliometrics.

She became a part of Knowledge Space Lab, a project that contributed to the new research area of “maps of science”. The project developed an innovative research line addressing the difference between representing scholarly knowledge in (external) classifications systems (such as thesauri, ontologies, bibliographic systems) and “internal” representations based on data and user-tagging (such as network analysis, user annotations/tagging, folksonomies). As a case study, the category structure of Wikipedia is compared to the Universal Decimal Classification system. The resulting map has won the Places Spaces Exhibition competition, and can be found here:

“Design vs Emergence: Visualization of Knowledge Orders”

Current research: Almila has received a Veni award from NWO to conduct her own research for 3 years. The project is a combination of the application of various scientific methodologies (mostly social network analysis and analysis of image archives) to answer humanities questions. In that sense, it is a Digital Humanities project, one that will contribute to theoretical discussions about the nature of (high/low) art and the art market, and its relation to online art communities.

Samir Passi is currently working on the EINS project with the e-Humanities group at KNAW. Within the project, his work involves researching the social shaping of the notions of privacy and trust in relation to online social media technologies as well as analyzing how various online technologies handle user privacy. He is especially interested in working at interdisciplinary projects operating at the intersection of Information Technology (IT) and society.

His academic and research experiences stem from the disciplines of sociology of science and technology and IT engineering. He finished his Research Masters in Cultures of Arts, Science and Technology (CAST) at Maastricht University, The Netherlands. At an undergraduate level, he has been trained as an engineer of ICT at DA-IICT, India.

Research Interests: Sociology of scientific knowledge, social media, usability studies, media studies, UX design, sociology of testing, solution architecture, sociology of user expectations, and emerging technologies.

Sally Wyatt is Professor of ‘digital cultures in development’, Maastricht University, Programme Leader of the eHumanities Group, KNAW, and Director of WTMC (Wetenschap, Technologie en Moderne Cultuur). Her background is in economics (BA McGill, 1976; MA Sussex, 1979) and science and technology studies (PhD Maastricht, 1998). She has more than 25 years experience in teaching and research about technology policy and about the relationship between technological and social change, focusing particularly on issues of social exclusion and inequality. She has worked at the Universities of Sussex, Brighton, East London and Amsterdam as well as at the British Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). She co-ordinated PhD training in the Dutch Research School for Science, Technology and Modern Culture (WTMC) between 2005-10. She was President of EASST (European Association for the Study of Science and Technology) between 2001-4. Recently, she has worked on the internet and social exclusion and the ways in which people incorporate the internet into their practices for finding health information. Together with Andrew Webster, she is editor of a book series, Health, Technology and Society (Palgrave Macmillan).

Andrea Scharnhorst is Head of Research at DANS and member of the e-humanities group at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in Amsterdam. Her work focuses on modelling and simulating the emergence of innovations (new modes of behaviour and learning, forms of communication, technologies or scientific ideas) in social systems. She has worked on transfer of concepts and methods at an interface between physics and social sciences and humanities.

Dr. Scharnhorst has developed a specific framework (Geometrically Oriented Evolutionary THEories) to describe processes of problem solving and learning as an evolutionary search process in unknown knowledge landscapes. She has coordinated and participated in several EU- and national funded projects, such as “Web indicators for scientific, technological and innovation research”,”Competence and innovation in research networks – modeling self-organized learning of heterogeneous agents”, “Dissimilar simulation – the epistemics of simulation in the humanities” and “Critical Events in Evolving Networks”.

Currently, she coordinates the Computational Humanities Programme at the e-humanities group. She leads the working group “Information and Knowledge” of the COST action MP0801 “Physics of Competition and Conflicts”. Together with Andreas Pyka she edited a book on “Innovation networks” (2009), a special issue together with Katy Börner on “ Science of Science” in the Journal of Informetrics (2009), and another special issue on “Modeling science: studying the structure and dynamics of science” (together with Katy Börner, Wolfgang Glänzel and Peter van den Besselaar). Another book on “Models of Science Dynamics – Encounters Between Complexity Theory and Information Sciences (co-edited with Katy Börner and Peter van den Besselaar) will appear in 2011.Main research interests: – Simulating innovation – innovation as simulation – Models of self-organisation for complex systems – Innovation dynamics and evolution of social systems – Bibliometric analysis and evaluation – “Landscape theories of social change” – G_O_E_THE – Evolution of research technologies, in particular Web technologies – Web based science, technology and innovation indicators.