Public Release: 

Rensselaer's Jim Hendler to help lead discussion on Web science -- live webcast available

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Constellation Professor James Hendler is in London this week to help lead an important two-day discussion on the future development of the World Wide Web. The conference was organized by Hendler, Professor Nigel Shadbolt of the University of Southampton, Professor Dame Wendy Hall of the University of Southampton, and Professor Bill Dutton of the University of Oxford. Journalists and others can follow the proceedings by visiting: http://royalsociety.org/Web-science-a-new-frontier/

The World Wide Web has changed almost every aspect of modern life. It touches us all. The Web's billions of pages, links and other resources comprise the largest information fabric in the history of humanity. Yet the Web is rarely approached as an object of scientific study. This week's conference, beginning today, will consider the following questions: What processes have driven the Web's growth, and will they persist? How does large-scale structure emerge from a simple set of protocols? How does the Web work as a socio-technical system? What drives the viral uptake of certain Web phenomena? What might fragment the Web? This interdisciplinary meeting will discuss these and other issues as it presents the components of a Science of the Web. Along with Constellation Professors Deborah McGuinness and Peter Fox, Hendler leads the Web Science program at Rensselaer, which offers the first degree program in Web Science under the Institute's Tetherless World Constellation.

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