OII News: University Teaching Awards, PGP Scholarship, Digital Inclusion Report, ACL Lifetime Achievement Award

12 November 2008 Oxford Internet Institute

Dear friends and colleagues,

It gives me great pleasure to report that two OII research fellows, Drs Rebecca Eynon and Victoria Nash, were presented with prizes by John Denham MP, Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, at the recent Oxford University Teaching Awards ceremony: an annual scheme that recognizes outstanding teaching, commitment to teaching, teaching development and innovations in teaching practice within the University. This award illustrates how the OII's commitment to teaching is supported by our focus on involving students in the research of the institute.

Both OII tutors were praised for their dedication to graduate student teaching and supervision, with Dr Nash also praised for her role in developing our innovative new MSc programme in Social Science of the Internet. The MSc programme had a very successful launch last month at the House of Commons, at an event that provided colleagues in industry, government, academia and civil society with an opportunity to find out more about opportunities for study or collaboration with the OII. Speakers included Derek Wyatt MP (who kindly hosted the launch), Paul Murphy (Minister of Digital Inclusion), Phil Dunkelberger (PGP Corporation) and Dame Stephanie Shirley (Life President of Xansa plc, and OII Benefactor).

Best wishes,

Bill Dutton, Director

Tues 18 Nov: Departmental Open Day for Students


Video: Why Study at the OII? [10min]


Apply for the MSc and DPhil programmes:


1. Events Diary: November / December

2. New Report: Digital Inclusion

3. Webcasts: Manuel Castells / Jeremy Sutton

4. Yorick Wilks Receives ACL Lifetime Achievement Award

5. Doctoral Dissertation Award for Eric Meyer

6. Student Diary / MSc and DPhil Applications Open

1. Events Diary: November / December

Thurs 13 Nov:

Eli Noam: Next-Generation Content for Next-Generation Networks


Tues 18 Nov:

Departmental Open Day for Students


Fri 21 Nov:

Frances Pinter: The Transformation of Academic Publishing in the Digital Era


Mon 24 Nov:

Tobias Escher: Using MySpace to analyse the geography of adolescents' social networks


Tues 2 Dec:

Richard Susskind: The End of Lawyers? The Future of Legal Service in the Internet Age


Thurs 4 Dec:

John Wilbanks: Common Knowledge, Open Science


All the Events:


Call for Papers! Ian Brown is the programme chair (Socioeconomic Strand) of Trust 2009, the 2nd International Conference on Trusted Computing (6-8 April 09, St Hugh's College, Univ Oxford). Deadline: 1 Feb 2009.


2. New OII/CLG Report: Digital Inclusion

The new Report 'Digital Inclusion: An Analysis of Social Disadvantage and the Information Society' released by the OII and Communities and Local Government (CLG) presents findings based on the analyses of OxIS, Ofcom and Office of National Statistics (ONS) databases on the links between social and digital inclusion in the UK.

It indicates that technological forms of exclusion are a reality for significant segments of the UK population, and that they can reinforce and deepen existing disadvantages. In addition, the report offers policy recommendations and describes ways in which digital inclusion research can be improved. The report was designed to inform the Minister of Digital Inclusion's Digital Inclusion Action Plan (October 2008).

The Minister, Paul Murphy said: "We all recognise that new technologies and the Internet are changing our communities and wider society. As the Oxford Internet Institute's research shows, addressing Digital Inclusion is vital as some people in our society who are already socially excluded are falling even further behind because they do not have access to the technology that most of us take for granted.

"The ongoing work of the Oxford Internet Institute is at the forefront of developing our understanding of the key issues, and I thank them for their continued insightful research in this area."

Press Release: 'Internet is a largely untapped resource to tackling social exclusion': report on UK social disadvantage released by OII and CLG.


The Report:


3. Webcasts: Manuel Castells / Jeremy Sutton

Prof. Manuel Castells:

Communication Power in the Network Society [Rec. 23 Oct 08]


Presenting the major thesis of Castells' most recent book 'Communication Power'. He argues that power is based on the control of communication and information and develops the theoretical and empirical foundations of the many aspects of this argument. His previous trilogy on the information age established him as the seminal theorist of the 'network society'.

Jeremy Sutton:

From Digital Photography to Fine Art Painting [Rec. 31 July]


Artist Jeremy Sutton demonstrates how state-of-the-art digital media can be used to transform digital photographs into fine art paintings by creating two portraits of Dame Stephanie Shirley.

4. Yorick Wilks Receives ACL Lifetime Achievement Award

Yorick Wilks was awarded the Association for Computational Linguistics' Lifetime Achievement Award at its 43rd annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio, on 18 June 2008. His acceptance speech 'On Whose Shoulders?' is now available. He starts:

'The title of this piece refers to Newton's only known modest remark: "If I have seen farther than other men, it was because I was standing on the shoulders of giants." Since he himself was so much greater than his predecessors, he was in fact standing on the shoulders of dwarfs, a much less attractive metaphor. I intend no comparisons with Newton in what follows: NLP/CL has no Newtons and no Nobel Prizes so far, and quite rightly. I intend only to draw attention to a tendency in our field to ignore its intellectual inheritance and debt; I intend to discharge a little of this debt in this article, partly as an encouragement to others to improve our lack of scholarship and knowledge of our own roots, often driven by the desire for novelty and to name our own systems.'

Read the full acceptance speech:


Papers and Presentations are also now available for the Fourth International Workshop on Human-Computer Conversation (Bellagio 08)


Yorick Wilks:


5. Doctoral Dissertation Award for Eric Meyer

The 2008 ProQuest/ASIS&T Doctoral Dissertation Award was presented at the ASIS&T Annual Meeting in Columbus, Ohio on October 28 to OII Research Fellow Eric T. Meyer for his investigation of 'Socio-Technical Perspectives on Digital Photography: Scientific Digital Photography Use by Marine Mammal Researchers.' He studied the intersection between technology and scientific practice for marine mammal scientists using digital photography to identify individual animals, such as whales and dolphins, in the wild. The award is given annually to the best dissertation in the information science field.

Dr Meyer used Rob Kling's socio-technical interaction networks (STIN) strategy to analyze the use of digital photography in this research field and to discover the consequences of this technology for the practice of science, pointing out that: "there has been little comparative research that considers both social and technical dimensions of digital photography as an information technology."

Eric Meyer:


6. Student Diary / PGP Scholarship

OII Press Release: 27 October 2008

Oxford Internet Institute (OII) doctoral student Malte Ziewitz is awarded the PGP Corporation scholarship for the academic year 2008-09

Malte, who is in the third year of his research into the changing role of law and regulations in communication networks, welcomed the award, saying: "This is a great honour and will be crucial in helping me complete my research. PGP Corporation's generous support is a great example of corporate citizenship and engagement with the next generation of Internet researchers."

Malte's research investigates the role of Internet-based reputation and rating systems in the governance of human behaviour. With a background in law and public policy, he is interested in exploring new and innovative ways of achieving public policy goals in digitally networked environments. Educated in Hamburg, Rome and at Harvard, Malte joined the OII as one of its first doctoral students in October 2006.

The Scholarship which is gifted by PGP Corporation, a global leader in email and data encryption software, is awarded on the basis of academic merit. Phillip Dunkelberger, president and CEO of PGP Corporation, commended the Selection Committee's decision, by commenting:

"We are honoured to be associated with a prestigious university, such as Oxford, and be instrumental in the research being undertaken by Malte and the Oxford Internet Institute to further the rule of law," said Dunkelberger. "We recognize the importance that this research plays in furthering developments and technology innovation."

OII Director Professor William Dutton thanked PGP Corporation for their support, noting that: "It is only by offering competitive funding packages that we can expect to recruit and keep the very best students undertaking research which is both academically excellent and policy-relevant."

Malte Ziewitz:


The Students:



Tues 18 Nov: Departmental Open Day for Students


Video: Why Study at the OII? [10min]


Apply for the MSc and DPhil programmes:


Contact information

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, 1 St Giles Oxford OX1 3JS, United Kingdom Telephone: +44 (0)1865 287210 Fax: +44 (0)1865 287211 Email: press@oii.ox.ac.uk