Computer Pioneer Sir Clive Sinclair dies aged 81

Well-known computer computing pioneer Sir Clive Sinclair has died at home in the UK, aged 81, following a long battle with cancer.

His achievements spanned the latter quarter of the 20th Century with ground-breaking inventions such as an affordbale microprocessor-based pocket calculator, a range of low-cost Z80 based personal computers and the (in)famous C5 personal transport pod.

Sir Clive has been credited with making BASIC programming accessible to the general public with the Z80, Z81 and Spectrum machines ranking amongst the most popular and affordable machines brought to market years before the introduction of the IBM PC.  Many IT professionals (including the author) got their start with a Sinclair computer at a time when only offices and schools could afford personal computers.

Whilst his vision of personal transport attracted considerable criticism at the time of the product’s launch, Sir Clive was arguably massively ahead of his time with a vision of electric cars having been shown to be rather prescient though technology, tools and specifically batteries taking decades to catch up with that vision.

He opened many people’s eyes to the opportunities of computing and technology though famously did not use computers himself preferring to use a sliderule claiming that he found it distracting to use computers as he would focus on imprioving/redesigning thenm rather than the job at hand.

He was named “businessman of the year” in the 80’s by Margaret Thatcher and Knighted by the Queen 1983 for services to the technology industry. 

UTW Episode 23: Rory Cellan-Jones

Reporting on the Web

In this episode, we talk with journalist Rory Cellan-Jones. He’s reported for BBC for 40 years, and for much of that time primarily focused on business and technology stories. He has covered everything from smartphones to social media and more. He’s just published a new book, which he spoke about at this year’s ACM Web Science conference.

For this episode, Rory talks about some of the biggest and best stories of his career at BBC and beyond.  He was there to see this generation’s “model Ford” moment, when Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone. He was the reporter who’s question triggered Stephen Hawking to say AI could make humans obsolete. Rory reflects on these moments and what he calls the “social smartphone era” in this episode. Take a listen to hear this and more.

 

UTW Episode 22: Pablo Boczkowski

Cultural Perspectives on the Web

Our guest for this episode is Pablo Boczkowski, who is Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Northwestern University, as well as the founder and director of the Center for Latinx Digital Media. He’s also the cofounder and the co-director of the Center for the Study of Media and Society in Argentina, and has been a senior research fellow at the Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society in Berlin, Germany.

In this episode, Pablo discusses his new book “Abundance,” which draws on research in Argentina — and explains why what some people term “information overload” could actually be thought of in less negative terms. He also makes a compelling argument for why studying the global south is a necessity — and why web science should take a more cultural perspective in tandem with technical advancements. To hear his talk about this and more, listen to this episode.

 

UTW Episode 21: Taha Yasseri

Dating on the Web

For this episode, we talk with Taha Yasseri, an associate professor at the School of Sociology and a Geary Fellow at the Geary Institute for Public Policy at University College Dublin, Ireland. He has been a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, a Turing Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute for Data Science and AI, and a Research Fellow at Wolfson College at the University of Oxford.  He is interested in the dynamics of social machines on the Web.

During this episode, Taha tells us all about dating on the Web — from who initiates conversations (spoiler alert: there’s a big gender gap) to what traits people value in a partner. Some of these are age-old questions, answered by new web science methods. And he discusses his research outside of that realm, from people and bots that “fight” on Wikipedia to how the web impacts our “collective memory.” To hear to all this and more, listen to this episode.

 

Posting: Rutgers

Tenure-Track/Tenured Faculty Position in Data Science and Organizations/Organizing

 The Department of Communication at Rutgers University’s School of Communication and Information seeks a full-time faculty member (likely assistant or associate level) in the area of Data Science with an emphasis on Organizations and/or Organizing. The appointment will begin Fall 2022.

 We seek a social scientist studying organizations and organizing who incorporates data science methods into their research. The ideal candidate will conduct theory-driven, empirical, communication-centered research that examines dynamic processes of organizing. We are looking for innovative and engaged communication scholars whose research foci recognize emerging issues, including but not limited to:

  • Organizations, work, and equity
  • The science of work groups and teams
  • Artificial intelligence and the future of work
  • Media and technology
  • Organizations and technology
  • Globalization and civil society
  • Organizing and collective action
  • Organizational networks

The ideal candidate will have expertise in core methods related to data science including, but not limited to, any of the following:

  • Machine learning
  • Natural language processing
  • Network science

Our faculty employs a wide range of empirical approaches in their research. We encourage candidates whose scholarship intersects with, and extends, one or more of the department’s research foci (organizational communication, health communication, communication and technology, interpersonal communication, and language and social interaction) and/or other areas within the school such as media studies and information science. For more about the Department of Communication and the School of Communication and Information (SC&I), see http://comminfo.rutgers.edu 

 We look forward to welcoming a new colleague who will contribute to our thriving undergraduate and master’s level programs and our highly-regarded interdisciplinary school-wide Ph.D. program.

 

MINIMUM EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE

 A Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree in a relevant field is expected as of June 2022 for a September start date.

 Applicants should have a demonstrated record or strong likelihood of top-tier peer-reviewed publication and evidence of or preparation for effective teaching. Applicants at the rank of Associate Professor should provide evidence of leadership in research, instruction, and service; a record of external funding is a plus. Responsibilities of tenure-track and tenured faculty members include undergraduate and graduate teaching assignments, an active program of research in the candidate’s area of scholarly expertise, and service contributions in accordance with the university policy for tenure‐track and tenured appointments.

 

OVERVIEW OF THE SCHOOL

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is a leading national research university and the state of New Jersey’s preeminent, comprehensive public institution of higher education. Established in 1766, the university is the eighth oldest higher education institution in the United States. More than 70,000 students and 23,400 faculty and staff learn, work, and serve the public at Rutgers locations across New Jersey and around the world. An equal opportunity and affirmative action employer, Rutgers is committed to building a diverse community and encourages women, minorities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities to apply. We are currently in an exciting period of transformation and growth as we form a hub for data science across departments at Rutgers University.

 

The School of Communication and Information (SC&I) is a dynamic center of learning at the heart of the Rutgers-New Brunswick campus. Founded in 1982, SC&I research and teaching is delivered by three academic departments: Communication, Journalism and Media Studies, and Library and Information Science. Through five undergraduate majors and minors, three masters degrees, and an interdisciplinary Ph.D. program, the school teaches over 10,000 students each year, of whom 2,500 are its own undergraduate, masters, and doctoral students. Geographically adjacent and closely connected to the world’s largest media and information hubs and supported by Rutgers’ vibrant scholarly community, SC&I embraces the university goals of promoting diversity throughout our networks and programs, and is committed to social engagement. For more about the school see: http://comminfo.rutgers.edu 

 Inquiries can be made to the search committee chair: Professor Matthew Weber (matthew.weber@rutgers.edu), Department of Communication, Rutgers University, 4 Huntington St., New Brunswick, NJ.

 Rutgers University is an AA/EEO employer – M/F/Veteran/Disability. 

For additional information please see our Non-Discrimination Statement.

TO APPLY

Review of applications will begin on September 27, 2021, and will continue until the position is filled. Candidates are required to submit a letter of application, CV, two sample publications and the names of 3 references. All applications must be submitted through the online job posting at https://jobs.rutgers.edu/postings/135500 

WebSci’21 Report

Web Science success

Delegates from around the globe gathered online to take part in the successful 13th ACM Web Science Conference (#websci21) that was hosted by the University of Southampton.

More than 270 people, from as far afield as China and the USA, joined the five-day event to focus on Globalisation, Inclusion and the Web in the Context of COVID.

The conference was chaired by Professor Dame Wendy Hall, Executive Director of the University’s Web Science Institute (WSI), and brought together world leaders in Web Science research, technology, industry and policy-making. They addressed the challenges and opportunities arising from the effects of the pandemic and other global threats.

ACM President Gabriele Kotsis and President-Elect of the International Communication Association Noshir Contractor opened the conference and shared their views on the future of the Web.

A highlight of the event was the keynote ‘In Conversation’ between Dame Wendy and entrepreneur and internet activist Baroness Martha Lane Fox. They discussed Baroness Lane-Fox’s contributions to public policy and the technological debate. The pair also explored the legislation processes and work going on within select committees and the House of Lords that is relevant to Web Science.

Dame Wendy said: “Our second ACM Web Science conference at Southampton was a huge success and a truly global, interdisciplinary event. This year we even held one panel – The future of the Web in a post-COVID world – in English and Chinese. It was a good opportunity to reflect on how COVID-19 had changed the world and to discuss its impact on the Web in the future.”

As well as the main conference, the event also showcased the work of Web Science students with a PhD Symposium on the first day.

Southampton Web Science PhD student Allison Noble said: “I was fortunate enough to be selected to present my ideas at the Symposium, which brings together a number of experienced academics to provide PhD students (at different stages of their candidature) an opportunity to showcase their research goals and to receive feedback on their ongoing research on an international platform.

“I wanted to receive feedback on a concept I had been working on, in particular the robustness of the idea. The PhD Symposium offered me a platform to present my proposal and I received clear and considerate feedback from the other mentors. I would recommend other PhD students to participate in such events as they help to create a clear sense of direction in work and methods.”

This was the second year the conference had been hosted by the University of Southampton and organised by the WSI. Last year they had to rapidly transform the event from a physical conference to a virtual conference due to the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Watch the highlights video of the conference here.

 

 

 

 

This story originally appeared in University of Southampton “Staff Matters” Blog.