Whither Web Science??


Dr. Pat Hayes


Pat Hayes received a BA in mathematics from Cambridge University and a PhD in Artificial Intelligence from Edinburgh. He has held academic positions in computer science at the University of Essex (England), in philosophy at the University of Illinois and as the Luce Professor of cognitive science at the University of Rochester. He has been a visiting scholar at Universite de Geneve and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Studies at Stanford, and has directed applied AI research at Xerox-PARC, SRI and Schlumberger, Inc.. At various times, Pat has been secretary of AISB, chairman and trustee of IJCAI, associate editor ofArtificial Intelligence, a governor of the Cognitive Science Society and president of AAAI.

I am a member of a self-appointed group calling itself the "Web Science Research Initiative" ( see http://webscience.org/ ), whose purpose is to nurture and maybe create a new interdisciplinary field called Web Science, bringing together parts of network theory, economics, sociology, computer science, AI and other activities which are harder to pin down exactly, all focussed on describing and analyzing the World Wide Web.

I recently attended a meeting of the WSRI Council in Boston, and this seminar is a report back on the current state of Web Science as represented there, with my somewhat idiosyncratic perspective on what parts of it are most likely to actually become something resembling an actual science any time soon (and, of course, which aren't.)