CWI is the national research institute for mathematics and computer science in the Netherlands and is an institute of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The institute was founded in 1946 and is located at Amsterdam Science Park.
CWI’s Information Access group investigates how access to information can be improved with humans ‘in the loop’: tasks where the amount of information is too large to be interpreted by humans without help from computers, and the information is too rich and heterogeneous to be interpreted by computers without help from humans. In most projects, we focus on applications from the Digital Humanities or the Computation Social Sciences, working with Amsterdam Data Science partners, the National Library, Rijksmuseum, NIOD and our spin-off search company Spinque.
Data science for Computation Social Science and Digital Humanities
From a data perspective, we aim to understand how information representations (should) evolve based on observed interactions from users, automatic descriptions from computer vision and natural language processing as well as manually provided annotations. Members of the group have worked on political linked data in projects such as PoliMedia and Talk of Europe, historical search tools in the researcher-in-residence program of the National Library.
Supporting Tool and Digital Source Criticism
From a tool perspective, we aim to measure both qualitatively and quantitatively the impact of (the limitations of) technology on the user’s research task. We design and develop innovative data science tools, focusing on algorithmic transparency and reproducibility, and
how to achieve these goals under the constraints of privacy or copyright-sensitive research data. In this context, members of the group have researched the impact of crowdsourced research data in the COMMIT/ project and of Web archiving in the CATCH WebArt project. Within VRE4EIC, we are collaborating with CLARIAH on secure shared access to sensitive research data. In May 2015, our group co-organized the first workshop on Tool Criticism in the digital Humanities with ADS and KNAW.