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[ontolog-forum] FOIS 2010 workshop

To: "'ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx'" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Galton, Antony" <A.P.Galton@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 19 Jan 2010 14:11:48 +0000
Message-id: <6F436E0DBFCB984194FA8261919204E9282056AC49@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

                         F O I S   2 0 1 0    (01)

                  Workshop on Ontology Education    (02)

                       CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS    (03)

The Sixth International Conference on Formal Ontology in Information Systems 
(FOIS 2010) will be held in Toronto, Canada, during 11th-14th May 2010 
(http://fois2010.mie.utoronto.ca/). It is proposed to hold a workshop at the 
conference on the theme of educational activities related to Ontology, as part 
of the educational mission of the International Association for Ontology and 
its Applications (IAOA - http://www.iaoa.org/).    (04)

Although Ontology has venerable roots in ancient philosophy, the modern 
development and application of formal ontology in the context of information 
systems and the world-wide web is a relatively new field, and as such it is not 
yet well established in higher education; there are few curricula dedicated to 
it, and no textbook available. In order to promote the engagement of educators 
with the subject of ontology, a number of activities have been suggested:    (05)

1. To maintain a database of existing courses and modules that contain 
ontological content.       (06)

2. To make recommendations for a set of standard "benchmark" curricula covering 
all aspects of ontology, to serve as a guideline for course developers.      (07)

3. To create a library of resources (e.g., research papers, tutorial material, 
example ontologies, tools) for use by teachers.      (08)

4. To maintain a set of links to existing on-line resources as well as a 
bibliography of relevant printed material.      (09)

5. To establish an internet forum for the discussion of relevant issues.      (010)

6. To provide financial support for PhD students to attend events endorsed by 
the IAOA.      (011)

7. To organise summer schools, independently or in association with other 
initiatives.     (012)

8. To compile a textbook on ontology to be endorsed by the IAOA.    (013)

(These were the activities suggested at the IAOA panel session Ontolog 
conference call on 18th June 2009 - see 
http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?ConferenceCall_2009_06_18.)    (014)

In addition to these, a suggestion has been made that the IAOA can play a role 
as an accrediting body for ontology education, with the ability to confer a 
title such as "Professional Ontologist" on graduates from accredited courses. 
(For some discussion on this, see the Ontolog Conference call relating to 
OntologySummit2010 at 
http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?ConferenceCall_2009_11_05.)    (015)

Some first steps towards initiating some of these activities have now been 
taken as part of the Ontology Summit 2010 
(http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?OntologySummit2010), whose theme is 
"Creating the Ontologists of the Future". This is an ongoing sequence of 
conference calls and other activities which will culminate in a face-to-face 
meeting at Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA on 15-16th March. The FOIS 2010 Workshop 
on Ontology Education is intended to provide the opportunity to complement and 
further develop key themes from the Ontology Summit. The plan of the workshop 
has not yet been finalised and we would welcome suggestions from the community 
to supplement the activities proposed below. Our initial ideas are that the 
workshop should include the following sessions:    (016)

1. Ontology Summit retrospect. We will invite key players from the summit to 
summarise what was achieved.    (017)

1. Talks. We would welcome talks from people who have given courses or modules 
on ontology to tell us about their experiences.    (018)

2. Panel session to consider such questions as
   (a) What is the market for ontology courses?
   (b) What should be the balance between theory, applications, tools?
   (c) To what extent are the topics already covered by other courses?    (019)

3. Brainstorming session, with break-out groups tasked with devising a 
"standard syllabus" for teaching ontology, and a plenary session to bring it 
all together.    (020)

4. Exhibition of course materials. People who currently teach ontology courses 
will be invited to submit posters containing samples (or summaries) of teaching 
materials for discussion, with a view to agreeing on examples of good practice 
to be disseminated to the community.    (021)

As an end product of the workshop we would like to produce an educational 
policy document to be endorsed by the IAOA.    (022)

If you believe you can contribute to the workshop in any of the ways suggested 
above, please contact Antony Galton (apgalton@xxxxxxxx) before March 20th 2010, 
after which a more definite plan for the workshop will be drawn up taking 
account of the responses received. Contributions will be selected for their 
quality and the extent to which they can help to ensure a balanced programme 
covering as many of the workshop goals as possible.    (023)

Dr Antony Galton, SECaM, University of Exeter    (024)

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