Bertram Ludäscher: On Conceptual Pearls and Computational Tools

Topic: On Conceptual Pearls and Computational Tools
Session Lead: Dr. Bertram Ludäscher 
Time:  2022-09-07, Wednesday, 11 am – 12 pm (CDT)
Location: Zoom

On Conceptual Pearls and Computational Tools
Programmers can get better at their own art (or is it a craft?) by learning about programming pearls (e.g., from Jon Bentley or the functional programming community). For our own field, we may want to ask: What concepts and ideas should information scientists learn and know about? Are there “conceptual pearls” that all information scientists should have in their repertoire of thinking tools? And are there computational “instruments” that empower information scientists to “see better and further”, similar to the way Galileo’s telescopic discoveries were enabled by the telescope, and Robert Hooke’s discoveries required a microscope? It has been argued by founders of CFG that there is not only a need for telescopes and microscopes, but also for “mezzoscopes” with which one can better observe and understand the things right in front of us.

I will bring to the meeting a personal selection of conceptual pearls that I hold precious and a few computational power tools that can be seen as mezzoscopes of great utility in the craft of conceptual thinking, whether you’re interested in digging up conceptual foundations or developing information systems that get the job done in the real world. And yes, the pearls and tools include queries and rules, logic, and inference engines. Equipped with some tools, we’ll also tackle basic questions such as: What does it mean (in terms of logic) if we say that “Romeo and Julieta are in love”?

Come and find out!