What I’ve been up to… (my first ever workshop!)

It’s pouring down outside and I have spent a whole week revising Java code and paying down my technical debt I’ve accumulated over the past two years – time for some distraction, and time for another blog post!

I have been rather busy in the past couple of months working intensely on my PhD topic and running some more experiments. In May I submitted a paper on “Extracting Finite Subsets of Entailments from OWL Ontologies” to the Description Logics (DL) workshop, along with one I co-authored on the “Cognitive Complexity of Justifications in OWL”, which was heavily based on the experiments I talked about in my blog post last year. In June we got the notifications that the papers were accepted as a poster and a full presentation to DL, which meant I had to book flights and hotels to Barcelona, prepare a poster and a 20 minute presentation for the workshop.

Now, whenever I told people I was going to Barcelona for a workshop, they got very excited and a little bit jealous – but it wasn’t just there for fun, it was actual work! The talks and presentations at DL started at 9am every morning and went on until 6pm, so we spent basically all day in a lecture theatre, and I didn’t really get to see much of the city. This aside, the workshop itself was fantastic and I got to hear so many interesting talks, I could hardly keep up taking notes and chatting to people afterwards. Meeting the people whose papers I had read and talking to them about their work, getting feedback on my own work and just being surrounded by people who are extremely interested in such a fairly obscure research area was very motivating.

My own presentation went ooookay (I didn’t get the chance to practise the revised version of my talk and only noticed the gaps when I was giving it, whoops) and the poster got positive feedback, so I did come out of my first ever workshop with only a few small bruises. And even though I didn’t have much time in Barcelona, I  visited the zoo, had an evening picnic in the park, and went  to a couple of lovely restaurants. When I arrived back home in Manchester on Sunday night, I was truly exhausted – but it was absolutely worth it!

Even before I went to Barcelona, I worked on yet another paper, which I submitted to the International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC). I’m still waiting to hear back whether it was accepted, and I really hope it works out because this year the conference is in Germany, my home country! Fingers crossed… 🙂