Learning

Making Progress On MOOCs

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Image courtesy palphy/Flickr

As the school year gets into full swing, folks might be starting to think about how MOOCs (massive online open courses) can help them on their own educational journeys – whether towards a degree or simply for growing their own knowledge for personal or career reasons. After a meteoric rise, MOOCs such as those offered by CourseraEdX and Udacity, have taken a few hits. Early results from a study last year by the University of Pennsylvania, for instance, said that MOOC course completion rates average just 4 percent across all courses, and range from 2 to 14 percent depending on the course and measurement of completion. The New York Times reported on some other setbacks here – but also noted that while MOOCs may be reshaped, they’re unlikely to disappear.

Some of that reshaping is underway. Among the efforts is a project announced this summer to take place at Carnegie Mellon University, in a multi-year program funded through a Google Focused Research Award. The announcement says the project will approach the problem from multiple directions, including a data-driven effort that will use machine-learning techniques to personalize the MOOC learning experience.

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W3C Publishes Linked Data Platform Best Practices and Guidelines

Photo of Arnaud Le Hors presenting the LDP at SemTechBiz 2014The W3C’s Linked Data Platform (LDP) Working Group has published a document outlining best practices and guidelines for implementing Linked Data Platform servers and clients. The document was edited by Cody Burleson, Base22, and Miguel Esteban Gutiérrez and Nandana Mihindukulasooriya of the Ontology Engineering Group, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.

For those new to LDP, SemanticWeb.com has recently published the following materials:

WEBINAR: “Getting Started with the Linked Data Platform (LDP)” with LDP Working Group Chair, Arnaud Le Hors, IBM (pictured above presenting LDP work at the SemTechBiz conference last week).

ARTICLE: “Introduction to: Linked Data Platform” by Cody Burleson, Base 22

Those ready to dive into the nuts and bolts of the document will find detailed guidance on topics such as:

  • Predicate URIs
  • Use of relative URIs
  • Hierarchy and container URIs
  • Working with fragments
  • Working with standard datatypes
  • Representing relationships between resources
  • Finding established vocabularies

…and much more. See the full document at http://www.w3.org/TR/ldp-bp/

SemanticWeb.com congratulates the Working Group on this step and looks forward to reporting on use cases and implementations of LDP.

WEBINAR: Getting Started with the Linked Data Platform (LDP)

WEBINAR Title slide: Getting Started with the Linked Data PlatformIn case you missed Monday’s webinar, “Getting Started with the Linked Data Platform (LDP)” delivered by Arnaud Le Hors of IBM, the recording and slides are now available (and posted below). The webinar was co-produced by SemanticWeb.com and DATAVERSITY.net and runs for one hour, including a Q&A session with the audience that attended the live broadcast.

The presenter will also deliver a session that offers a deeper dive into LDP at the upcoming Semantic Technology & Business Conference: “The W3C Linked Data Platform,” and immediately following that session, Sandro Hawke, W3C staff, will present, “Building Social Applications with the W3C Linked Data Platform (LDP).

Registration for the conference is now open.

If you watch this webinar, please use the comments section below to share your questions, comments, and ideas for webinars you would like to see in the future.

About the Webinar

Linked Data Platform (LDP), the latest W3C standard for Linked Data, brings REST to Linked Data. LDP defines a standard way to access, create, and update RDF resources over HTTP. With this new capability, businesses can use Linked Data for data integration in read/write mode.

This webinar will introduce you to this new standard, explaining what’s in it and how it fits with other standards like SPARQL. You will have a basic understanding of what you can expect to be able to do with this new technology so you can plan on how to best leverage it in your future business applications.

(Presentation Video and Slides after the jump…)

The Video:

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5 Ways to Add Machine Learning Java

javaSerdar Yegulalp of InfoWorld recently wrote, “After spending decades in the shadows as a specialty discipline, machine learning is suddenly front and center as a business tool. The hard part, though, is making it useful, especially to the developers and budding data scientists who are being tasked with the job. To that end, we rounded up some of the most common and useful open source machine learning tools we’ve spotted in the wild.” Read more

Princeton Establishes New Center for Statistics and Machine Learning, Names John Storey Director

princeton-university-logoDaniel Day of News at Princeton reports, “Princeton University has established the Center for Statistics and Machine Learning. John Storey, a professor of molecular biology and the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics, has been named the center’s director. The center will anchor the teaching of and research in statistics and machine learning on campus, Storey said, offering an undergraduate certificate as well as graduate training in the field.” Read more

Introduction to: Linked Data Platform

Nametag: Hello, my name is Linked Data PlatformIn its ongoing mission to lead the World Wide Web to its full potential, the W3C recently released the first specification for an entirely new kind of system. Linked Data Platform 1.0 defines a read-write Linked Data architecture, based on HTTP access to web resources described in RDF. To put that more simply, it proposes a way to work with pure RDF resources almost as if they were web pages.

Because the Linked Data Platform (LDP) builds upon the classic HTTP request and response model, and because it aligns well with things like REST, Ajax, and JSON-LD, mainstream web developers may soon find it much easier to leverage the power and benefits of Linked Data. It’s too early to know how big of an impact it will actually make, but I’m confident that LDP is going to be an important bridge across the ever-shrinking gap between todays Web of hyperlinked documents and the emerging Semantic Web of Linked Data. In today’s post, I’m going to introduce you to this promising newcomer by covering the most salient points of the LDP specification in simple terms. So, let’s begin with the obvious question…

 

What is a Linked Data Platform?

A Linked Data Platform is any client, server, or client/server combination that conforms in whole or in sufficient part to the LDP specification, which defines techniques for working with Linked Data Platform Resources over HTTP. That is to say, it allows Linked Data Platform Resources to be managed using HTTP methods (GET, POST, PUT, etc.). A resource is either something that can be fully represented in RDF or otherwise something like a binary file that may not have a useful RDF representation. When both are managed by an LDP, each is referred to as a Linked Data Platform Resource (LDPR), but further distinguished as either a Linked Data Platform RDF Source (LDP-RS) or a Linked Data Platform Non-RDF Source (LDP-NR).

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New Open Source Graph Database Cayley Unveiled (Video – Part 2)

Cayley Logo[Editor's note: This is Part 2 of a 3 part series. See Part 1 and Part 3]

Barak Michener, Software Engineer, Knowledge NYC has posted on the Google Open Source Blog about “Cayley, an open source graph database.”: “Four years ago this July, Google acquired Metaweb, bringing Freebase and linked open data to Google. It’s been astounding to watch the growth of the Knowledge Graph and how it has improved Google search to delight users every day. When I moved to New York last year, I saw just how far the concepts of Freebase and its data had spread through Google’s worldwide offices. I began to wonder how the concepts would advance if developers everywhere could work with similar tools. However, there wasn’t a graph available that was fast, free, and easy to get started working with. With the Freebase data already public and universally accessible, it was time to make it useful, and that meant writing some code as a side project.”

The post continues: “Cayley is a spiritual successor to graphd; it shares a similar query strategy for speed. While not an exact replica of its predecessor, it brings its own features to the table:RESTful API, multiple (modular) backend stores such as LevelDB and MongoDB, multiple (modular) query languages, easy to get started, simple to build on top of as a library, and of course open source. Cayley is written in Go, which was a natural choice. As a backend service that depends upon speed and concurrent access, Go seemed like a good fit.”

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New schema.org Technical Brief Available from LRMI and Cetis

Image of Technical Brief by LRMI about schema.org.The Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI) has released a technical briefing about schema.org. The paper was co-authored by Phil Barker and Lorna M. Campbell of Cetis, the Centre for Educational Technology, Interoperability and Standards.

LRMI, which we have reported on here, “has developed a common metadata framework for describing or ‘tagging’ learning resources on the web.”

The Cetis website says, “This briefing describes schema.org for a technical audience. It is aimed at people who may want to implement schema.org markup in websites or other tools they build but who wish to know more about the technical approach behind schema.org and how to implement it. We also hope that this briefing will be useful to those who are evaluating whether to implement schema.org to meet the requirements of their own organization.”

In making the announcement in a W3C list, Barker explained, “We often find that when explaining the technology approach of LRMI we are mostly talking about schema.org, so this briefing, which describes the schema.org specification for a technical audience should be of interest to anyone thinking about implementing or using LRMI in a website or other tool. It should also be of interest to people who plan to use schema.org for describing other types of resources.”

The technical brief can be downloaded from:

http://publications.cetis.ac.uk/2014/960

New Free Online Semantic Web Technologies Class Beginning in May, 2014

hpi

A new article reports that the Hasso Plattner Institute will be launching a free online course on Semantic Web Technologies which should begin on May 26, 2014. According to the article, “Anyone wishing to keep up with the current university knowledge on information technology will again have the opportunity in the coming year with the five free online courses to be offered by Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI). The new courses listed in the just released openHPI overview for 2014 are: Concepts in Parallel Computing, Networking via the Internet Protocol TCP/IP, Semantic Web Technologies, In-Memory Data Management and Introduction to Internet Security. Read more

Semantic Web in Emergency Response Systems – UPDATE

2009-Veiligheidsregios-mediumCoordinated emergency response, built on Linked Data.

That is the vision of Bart van Leeuwen, Amsterdam Firefighter and founder of software company, Netage. We’ve covered Bart’s work before here at SemanticWeb.com and at the Semantic Technology & Business Conference, and today, there is news that the work is advancing to a new stage.

In the Netherlands, there exist 25 “Safety Regions” (pictured on the left). These organizations coordinate disaster management, fire services, and emergency medical teams. The regions are designed to enable various first responders to work together to deal with complex and severe crises and disasters.

Additionally, the Dutch Police acts as a primary partner organization in these efforts. The police is a national organization, separate from the safety regions and divided into its own ten regions. Read more

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