Pitt’s School of Information Sciences Hosts International Conferences Exploring Online Social Networking and Digital Libraries

Issue Date: 
June 9, 2008

Reflective of Western Pennsylvania’s burgeoning technology sector, the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Information Sciences (SIS) will host two international conferences this month that premiere the latest trends and ideas in digital communication and information. Both the Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL), June 16-20, and the 2008 Hypertext Conference, June 19-21, will take place at the Omni William Penn Hotel, 530 William Penn Place, Downtown, with 400 researchers and professionals from Pittsburgh and around the world expected to attend the two conferences.

The JCDL serves as the major international forum on digital libraries and associated technical, practical, and social issues. Chaired by SIS dean and professor Ronald Larsen, JCDL addresses research, development, and policy supporting new forms of digital information content and organization, including theoretical and experimental models of information media, document genres, and distributed digital content. Representatives from academe, government, and industry participate in this annual conference. The conference draws from such disciplines as computer science, information science, librarianship, archival science, museum studies, medicine, the social sciences, and the humanities. For a schedule and more information, visit the JCDL Web site at www.jcdl2008.org.

The 2008 Hypertext Conference will for the first time address social networking—the people communicating on the Web, what they are saying, and how the information is used in life. These topics will be explored in tandem with the conference’s traditional focus on information links—the paths from one Web site to another—to determine how people connect and spread ideas via Web pages and who initiates and leads social networks. Topics also include the information that online communication reveals about its users and the influence of online socializing on such real world situations as the stock market and popular entertainment. Among the conference’s keynote speakers is Cornell University Professor Jon Kleinberg, well-known developer of the HITS (Hyperlink-Induced Topic Search) algorithm now widely used to identify high quality Web sites. SIS professor Peter Brusilovsky coordinated the conference and SIS professor Stephen Hirtle chaired the local organizing committee. For a schedule and more information, visit the Hypertext Web site at www.ht2008.org.