Thanks to a grant from Poul Due Jensen Foundation, Katja Hose is a newly appointed professor at Aalborg University. And she has a mission. Her goal is to save us from being shipwrecked in the endless sea of information – or, in other words, to make sure that we have easier access to accurate and reliable information.
Internet of Machines and Big Data
The world is inundated with billions of data elements that are connected by an ever-growing number of links. Most people are of course familiar with the Internet with its many websites that users access to find information about most topics. But the Internet is not just a collection of websites. And Professor Katja Hose knows more about this than most people as her research deals with web science:
− The Internet provides access to vast amounts of open data. But a very large amount of the data remains unexplored and thus also not utilised. This is a very unfortunate situation, and it is something I want to change with my research, she says.
There is a counterpart to the widely known Internet: the semantic web. As opposed to the ordinary Internet with its www pages, the semantic web provides access to a special type of open data derived from different data sources and designed to be read by machines. The goal is that those machines should eventually be able to automatically process, interpret and reason about the available information.
− However, there is still a long way to go before we achieve this goal, points out Katja Hose whose research lies at the intersection of big data, machine learning and semantic technologies.
No monopoly on the truth
An intelligent semantic web can, for instance, help search for information and check facts so that it can be used by journalists and researchers. Ultimately, it will be easier and more reliable to obtain hard facts from the intelligent web instead of the user wasting time reading long articles from the ordinary Internet to extract the desired facts.
– I just need to know where Obama was born. Don’t overwhelm me with text, just give me the right answer, says Katja Hose as an example, referring to the fact that there have been discussions about whether he was born in Hawaii or Kenya.
And society’s access to information via the intelligent web is what the newly minted professor is intent on improving:
− I believe that we should not allow a few companies to have a monopoly on the truth, but that we should be able to deduce it ourselves by using the information available on the Internet. This means that rather than relying on Google or other companies, we should be able to use available open data to find answers to our questions.
Professor title opens doors
Katja Hose is delighted with the professor title:
– It has always been my goal to become a professor. The title will probably make it easier to partner with companies. If Katja Hose, Associate Professor knocks on the door, it might remain closed, but if Katja Hose, Professor comes calling, there is probably a greater chance they’ll answer, she says.
In addition, she points out that she now can build a strong group around her work since the grant from Poul Due Jensen Foundation includes four years of full-time postdoc salary. Her research area will thus be noticeably strengthened.
There’s a great deal of enthusiasm at Aalborg University over the new professor:
− Katja Hose is a shooting star. She is a very talented, young, computer scientist who is cultivating an emerging area, namely web science. This will be part of an excellent synergy with our other main areas of database research: spatiotemporal data bases and data analytics, says Henrik Pedersen, Dean of the Technical Faculty of IT and Design.
Katja Hose previously received a YDUN grant of DKK 6.5 million from the Danish Council for Independent Research – granted to particularly talented researchers, and in 2016 was selected for the Aalborg University Talent Program for promising young researchers.
Denmark’s first Poul Due Jensen professorship
With the appointment of Katja Hose, Poul Due Jensen Foundation / the Grundfos Foundation can celebrate the award of Denmark’s first Poul Due Jensen professorship:
− With this grant, we are helping to strengthen and future-proof the excellent research being done at the Department of Computer Science at Aalborg University. Katja’s research is not just long-range, but also clearly benefits society with its focus on verifiability, truth and thus confidence, explains Kim Nøhr Skibsted, Executive Director.
Name: Katja Hose
Job title: Professor of Computer Science, Aalborg University