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Harvard-MIT-Yale Cyberscholar Working Group

Harvard-MIT-Yale Cyberscholar Working Group

Berkman Fellow Fernando Bermejo, Yale Information Society Project Fellow Christopher Wong, and PhD Student at the MIT Media Lab Andrés Monroy-Hernández

Wednesday February 3, 2010, 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Room E14-633 (6th floor), MIT Campus
75 Amherst, Cambridge, MA

How Do We Know What We Know about the Internet? The State of Online Measurement
Fernando Bermejo

Besides our first-hand knowledge of the internet, acquired as online users, a great deal of what we know about the net derives from different forms of measurement and from data sources that provide a constant monitoring of online activities. However, most of this additional knowledge is rather incomplete, fragmented, heavily filtered, and opaque in its production. And while that might not matter to us as everyday users, this talk will argue that it should matter to us as scholars and researchers, it will examine the consequences of this scenario and explore possible alternatives.

Lost in Translation: The Open Patent Project
Christopher Wong

While patent databases, such as those provided by the USPTO or, provide comprehensive information about the contents of a patent—the abstract, prior art references, specification, claims, drawings, etc.—they are limited in their scope and utility. This program is aimed at increasing the usefulness of patent databases by applying "tagging" and visualization technologies to make the information contained within the patent applications more functional and robust.  By allowing the public to apply "tags" to patent information we may create an ontology of related resources that provide context for understanding the information contained in patent documents.

Built from Scratch: Remixing and Online Communities of Cooperation
Andrés Monroy-Hernández

Andrés will describe the ways participants of the Scratch website – a large online community where users, primarily young people – engage in remixing of each others’ shared animations and video games. This website, in which young people have shared close to a million video games and animations, is examined as part of ongoing social computing research on networked technologies that support cooperation. In particular, he will focus on recent work that looks at young people's attitudes towards remixing, such as the connection between plagiarism complaints and similarities between a remix and the work it is based on.

Fernando Bermejo is a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and Associate Professor of Communication at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid. More info at

Christopher Wong is a Visiting Fellow at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School and a Postgraduate Fellow at the Institute for Information Law & Policy at New York Law School. He is the former project manager of Peer-to-Patent and currently serves in an advisory role for both the US project and the recently launched Peer-to-Patent Australia.

Andrés Monroy-Hernández is a PhD student at the MIT Media Lab and lead researcher and designer of the Scratch online community. He holds a M.S. in Media Technology from MIT and a B.S. in Computer Science from Tec de Monterrey in México. 

The Harvard-MIT-Yale Cyberscholar Working Group is a forum for fellows and affiliates studying issues confronting the information age to discuss their ongoing research. Each session is focused on the peer review and discussion of current projects submitted by a presenter. Meeting alternatively at Harvard, MIT, and Yale, the working group aims to expand the shared knowledge of young scholars by bringing together these preeminent centers of thought on issues confronting the information age. Discussion sessions are designed to facilitate advancements in the individual research of presenters and in turn encourage exposure among the participants to the multi-disciplinary features of the issues addressed by their own work.

Past Event
Feb 3, 2010
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM