Prof. Jan Recker, PhD
Chaired Professor for Information Systems and Systems Development, University of Cologne, Germany

Information Systems Engineering in the Digital Age

Big data has an interesting relationship with emergent digital technologies – such as mobile and distributed computing, social media, digital platforms, data analytics, artificial intelligence, blockchains, cloud computing, and so forth: big data both infuses these technologies and is their outcome. Both big data and digital technologies are the hallmark of the present so-called “digital age” that continues to produce new, different information systems – smart and personal, large-scale and micro-scale, real-time and nudging. In this era, it is fair to ask: is the way we approach, do and research information systems engineering still appropriate? Do we need to rethink assumptions, re-engineer approaches and/or revisit research methods?
In this keynote I will reflect on information systems engineering as a research field and outline some potential tensions that this field encounters in the age of big data and emergent digital technologies. I will outline some alternative views on information systems engineering and sketch some alternative pathways for the way we conduct impactful research and produce new theories and artefacts of information systems engineering.

Bio: Jan Recker is Alexander-von-Humboldt Fellow, Chaired Professor for Information Systems and Systems Development at the University of Cologne, and Adjunct Professor at the QUT Business School at Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane. He previously held positions as inaugural Woolworths Chair of Retail Innovation, Leader, Digital Innovation Research Group, and Visiting Professor, Wuhan School of Software. When he was first promoted to Full Professor in 2012, he was one of Australia’s youngest professors in its history.
Jan is one of Cologne’s most cited scholars and one of QUT’s most read authors. He has written over 200 journal articles, conference papers and books, and has been speaking at universities and events all over the globe. He has worked with several of the largest organizations, including Woolworths, SAP, Hilti, Commonwealth Bank, Federal Police, federal and state governments.
His research focuses on Digital Innovation, Systems Analysis and Design and the role of Technology for Environmental Sustainability. His research has appeared in leading information systems, management science, software engineering, project management, computer science, and sociology journals. He has published in journals of the ACM, IEEE, AIS and AOM. He has also written popular textbooks on scientific research and data analysis. He ranks as one of the most published information systems academics of all time. He is currently Editor-in-Chief of the Communications of the Association for Information Systems, one of two flagship journals of the global information systems association, and an Associate Editor for the MIS Quarterly, the leading journal of the field.

Prof. Frank van Harmelen, PhD
Professor in Knowledge Representation and Reasoning, VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands

Information Systems in the Linked Data Era

The principles that have made the Web into a world-wide network of documents have over the past decade been used succesfully to create a world-wide network of data, known as “the Semantic Web”, or more aptly as “Linked Data”.
This Linked Data cloud is interlinking thousands of information sources worldwide, and contains billions of information items ranging from popular culture to science, from medicine to politics and from encyclopedia to newspapers. The availability of this massive amount of computer-interpretable information on the web has had a profound impact on how companies, institutions and governments handle their consumption and their production of information.
We will describe the design principles underlying this world-wide distributed information system, illustrated with practical use-cases from a variety of sectors (search engines, news and media corporations, governments, healthcare), and we will discuss how all this has affected how companies like Google, the BBC and NXP implement and maintain their information systems.

Bio: Frank van Harmelen (PhD 1989 from Edinburgh) is professor in Knowledge Representation and Reasoning at the VU University Amsterdam. He is one of the co-designers of the W3C ontology representation language OWL, and has been involved in Semantic Web research from its early days.
He is co-author of the Semantic Web Primer, the first textbook on Semantic Web technologies, now translated into 5 languages. Besides research into fundamental questions such as inconsistency, scalability, heterogeneity, and dynamicity, he is also involved in a wide variety of applications of semantic technologies, among others in medicine, the pharmaceutical industry, scientific publishing and e-science. His work on the Sesame triplestore, one of the most widely used RDF repositories world wide, received the 10 year impact award of the International Semantic Web Conference. He is a member of the Dutch Royal Academy of Science and of the European Academy of Science (Academia Europaea).