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Social Networking to Support Researchers at Minority Serving Institutions. Marlon Pierce Community Grids Lab Indiana University. Acknowledgements. Geoffrey Fox (PI) Joshua Rosen (Developer) Siddharth Maini (Developer) Part of MSI-CIEC, an NSF OCI CITEAM Funded Project

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Social networking to support researchers at minority serving institutions l.jpg

Social Networking to Support Researchers at Minority Serving Institutions

Marlon Pierce

Community Grids Lab

Indiana University

Acknowledgements l.jpg
Acknowledgements Institutions

  • Geoffrey Fox (PI)

  • Joshua Rosen (Developer)

  • Siddharth Maini (Developer)

  • Part of MSI-CIEC, an NSF OCI CITEAM Funded Project


  • Thanks to Dr. Alex Ramirez of MSI-CIEC for feedback and guidance.

Challenges for msi researchers l.jpg
Challenges for MSI Researchers Institutions

  • We need in general a portal/gateway to online community services geared specifically for (MSI) faculty and researchers.

    • Support their communications: identifying solicitations, forming or joining teams, writing proposals, etc.

    • Enable them to identify interesting projects and people.

  • Our general philosophy is that the broad range of Web 2.0 services provides the necessary capabilities

    • MySpaces, Facebook, Flickr, Imagelooop, Google Docs, etc.

  • And you can build on collaboration software

    • Sakai, Moodle, MediaWiki, Drupal, …

  • We concluded that these sorts of collaborations should really be a sophisticated mashup.

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Shared Bookmarking for Social Networks Institutions

  • Our kernel project is to support tagging and online shared bookmarking.

    • Pioneered by in 2003 (!)

  • Bookmarking services allow you to

    • Share links (URLs) with networks of friends

    • Organize your links by mnemonic tags

    • Find other interesting URLs by popularity (most bookmarked)

    • Find interesting URLs by keywords

  • When used collectively, tags form folksonomies.

    • “Pave the cow paths”

    • Typically about tagged URLs.

    • But also about people who tag.

    • Semantic Web Lesson: everything is a URI.

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RSS Feeds Institutions

Can Be Click-Tagged. Additional feeds easy to make with OpenKapow’s Robomaker.

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Tag Cloud and Favorite Tags Institutions

Favorite Tags

Tag Cloud of Everything

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Recent Tags Institutions

Gives a list of most recent additions.

Recent Tags

Not very well


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Drag and Drop Feature Institutions

You can Drag and Drop any menu items between left and right navigational menu


Flex, etc

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Drag / Drop Institutions

Dragged Recent Tags

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Tag System Institutions

  • URLs are bookmarked by users

  • Users describe these bookmarks with descriptive tags

  • These tag/bookmark relationships form a graph that can be navigated

    • Tag Yahoo with “search”

    • If you look up “search”, Google has the same tag.

    • Google is also tagged with “video”…

  • Walk the graph through the Internet, or through databases (as we will see)

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Login Institutions

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User Profiles Institutions

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Personal Tags Institutions

Personal User Tags

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Bookmark (drag or right-click) Institutions

Personalized Bookmarklet when you Login appears

Either Drag it into the Bookmark menu in Firefox or Right-click and “Book this Link”

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Click the Bookmarklet button Institutions

Example tags:

algore nobel peace prize

Assign tags and Submit Query

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Searching the tag “research” gives a list of other users with this tag.

Click the user name to navigate to the profile.

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Harvesting NSF Tags with this tag.

Harvesting NSF information to seed the system with relevant proposal information.

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Populating Tags with NSF Grant Information with this tag.

  • The NSF Awards web site is a good source for data to import and convert into tags

  • We believe tagging will add value.

    • Tagging gives you alternative paths through database.

      • Walk a graph

    • Tagging bridges multiple resources (databases, URLs, etc).

    • Ex: TeraGrid user database has overlap with on OCI users.

Nsf org award search l.jpg Award Search with this tag.

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Sample Search Results with this tag.

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NSF Grants Tag System with this tag.

  • NSF has the ability to get information on all of the grants a particular person worked on (in XML)

  • We downloaded, parsed, and bookmarked this info using a little scavenger robot.

    • Each grant is represented by a bookmark and tagged (using namespaces) with relevant information

    • Grant tags point to URLs of the NSF award page.

  • The investigators are imported as users

  • Each has a bookmark for each project they worked on

    • They are also represented in the tags of these projects.

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Tags and URLs Form Graphs with this tag.


Bookmark (URL)

User (URI)

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NSF Tag System Example with this tag.

A. Einstein

Joe Smith

John Doe

John Doe

Large Award

Grant 1

Grant 2

Joe Smith

John Doe

A. Einstein

sbe directorate

Small Award

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NSF Tag Navigation with this tag.

You can start at a user or a grant

You find “which grants has this user worked on” or “which users worked on this grant”

In this way, you can find users by crawling from user to grant and vice versa

Also, you can use the tags to narrow your search (e.g. only large awards, only a certain directorate)

We are working on a system to use tags to successively refine searches.

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Looking Forward: Tagging Profiles, Folksonomies, and Matchmaking

  • Social bookmarking sites are generally geared toward managing URLs.

  • But you can also use it to find like-minded people with shared tagging profiles.

    • Ex:

  • More direct social networking: LinkedIn, Facebook,

  • Tag clustering can also be investigated as a CS problem:

    • Clustering, machine learning

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More Information Matchmaking

  • [email protected]

  • Current portal will debut at SC07

    • General bookmarking and NSF grant information tagging.

    • RSS Feeds and “click tagging”

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Future Work: Matchmaking and Graphs Matchmaking

  • Now that we have a substantial amount of tags, we can investigate graph operations.

  • These are classic CS problems in clustering and machine learning.

  • We hope in this way to build recommendation systems:

    • Find other users with similar research interests (tagging profiles).

    • Potentially interesting to tie this to scholarly journal search engines.

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Third Party Software Matchmaking

Connotea used as a backing bookmark manager.


- A javascript framework incorporating animation effects and ajax functionality.

- Used in interface for animations and page loading


- PHP framework to facilitate uses of xml, databases, and various other functions

- Used to interface with database


- Being used for advanced animated effects and navigation interface

- a website that allows users to share classes and functions they created

- A ‘queue’ class was adapted for use in the NSF loader

- A ‘rssGenerator’ class is being used to create various rss feeds

OpenKapow RoboMaker

- Allows the creation of navigation robots to create REST and RSS services

- Used in news rss feed and some other planned services

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Internal Messaging / E-mail system Matchmaking

To send messages

Receive messages

Contact Groups

Or some better way to communicate with groups or each other

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Matchmaking Matchmaking

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Membership Matchmaking

Ontology tree for a common Tag Cloud

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Profile Actions Matchmaking


Profile l.jpg
Profile Matchmaking

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More Information Matchmaking

  • Portal snapshot is available from

  • See demos at Supercomputing 2007

  • Contact me: [email protected]

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CITEAM Features Matchmaking

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Features Matchmaking


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A Web 2.0 Diversion Matchmaking

  • REST services: back to the future

  • Simple message formats

    • JSON, RSS, Atom

  • Rich Client Interfaces: JavaScript is back on the menu.

    • AJAX

  • Gadgets, widgets, badges, etc.

    • Client-side integration

  • Microformats, tagging