Sunday, March 27, 2011

Invited Talk in Research Universities of Malaysia: The Web Goes Social

As I write this blog post, I am packing stuff and getting ready to leave Malaysia where I came for invited research talks in 3 best schools, namely UTM, MMU and UPM. It was indeed a very hectic but fun-filled trip nevertheless with lots of interaction with faculty and students. Many of the faculty members at Malaysian universities gave an overwhelming response, and inquired about dimensions for research using social media. It was a great learning experience for me to answer their questions, and also to share mutual research discussions that can prove fruitful for joint research collaborations in future.

At UTM I presented my work on Web crawlers done in the Database and Multimedia lab of KAIST as part of my Master's thesis, while at the other two universities I presented my work on Social Web Mining which has been done in collaboration with different institutes of Pakistan.

As many researchers know that social media is not just a toy for masses but also a pool of Web data where Web mining researchers can have lots and lots of data to further their research in various dimensions. The dimension I took up in the talks was related to my research area "Web Search" and it focused on what social media tools have to offer to search engines and how social media along with its vast pool of data serve as an effective enhancement tool for search engines. Not only that I talked about how my research (in particular on Twitter) can provide an effective news monitoring platform that can be useful for media outlets, journalists, political organizations and even governments. I then focused on two works by my research group in this dimension: 1) blogosphere clustering, and 2) Twitter as real-time news analysis service.

Slides are attached here, also I managed to make a video during the last talk at UPM (Universiti Putra Malaysia), and those interested can listen to the talk along with viewing the slides. As before, interested students/researchers may contact me personally if they wish to work in any of these areas as my research group is now actively seeking for students to work on research publications of this domain.

The talk is in four parts which I have included in this post:

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Good Bye Korea: Memories of Database and Multimedia Lab of KAIST

Tonight happens to be my second last night in Korea and Korea for me was for the most part limited to my lab which is the Database and Multimedia Lab of KAIST. Even tonight as I am about to leave the land of Kimchi I am working in the lab doing some final experiments as part of my Web crawling paper. I still have lots and lots of work remaining, cleaning the home, packing many small things and yet here I am in the lab doing final jobs for my paper.

It is said that the path of a graduate student and that too in a subject as innovative as Computer Science is really hectic and requires a lot of patience. This was practically experienced during my Master's degree at KAIST. Though it's been a journey of immense stress and pressure, yet it has been enjoyable and fun all along. In particular life in the Database and Multimedia lab has a culture of its own. Even in the "kaali raats" (the term used by Database and Multimedia Lab members to refer to a night which we completely spend in the lab), we had fun and I will surely miss each and every member of this family of mine. I may or may not come back to Korea, that is still undecided but with this video I wish to thank my family at KAIST. We have had some extreme tough times but we have been a family, times spent in this lab are one of the most precious memories for me where I learned a lot both from point of view of scientific research and enjoying work.