Basic Course: "Research methods and methodology for IKS"



On 20, 21, and 22 November 2006, the School for Information and Knowledge Systems (SIKS) organizes the annual three-day course "Research methods and methodology for IKS". The location will be Conference center Het Bosgoed in Lunteren. The course will be given in English and is part of the educational Program for SIKS-Ph.D. students. Although the course is primarily intended for SIKS-Ph.D. students, other participants are not excluded. However, their number of passes will be restricted and depends on the number of SIKS-Ph.D. students taking the course.

"Research methods and methodology for IKS" is relevant for all SIKS-Ph.D.-students (whether working in computer science or in information science), The primary goal of this hands-on course is to enable these Ph.D. students to make a good research design for their own research project. To this end, it provides an interactive training in various elements of research design, such as the conceptual design and the research planning. But the course also contains a general introduction to the philosophy of science (and particularly to the philosophy of mathematics, computer science and AI). And, it addresses such divergent topics as "the case-study method", "elementary research methodology for the empirical sciences" and "empirical methods for computer science".

"Research methods and methodology for IKS" is an intense and interactive course.
First, all students enrolling for this course are asked to read some pre-course reading material, comprising some papers that address key problems in IKS-methodology. These papers will be sent to the participants immediately after registration. Secondly, all participants are expected to give a brief characterisation of their own research project/proposal, by answering a set questions, formulated by the course directors, and based on the aforementioned literature. Please send a pdf-file to before November 13 2006. We believe that this approach results in a more efficient and effective course; it will help you to prepare yourself for the course and this will increase the value that you will get from it.

Course coordinator

Hans Weigand(UvT), Roel Wieringa(UT), John-Jules Meyer(UU), Hans Akkermans(VU) and Richard Starmans (UU)


Monday, November 20 2006
10.00h Coffee, registration, check-in
10.30h Welcome, Dr. Richard Starmans (UU)
11.00h Intro: Research methods and Methodology Basics, Dr. Hans Weigand(UvT)
12.00h Lunch
13.15h Feedback on Assignment 0, Dr. Hans Weigand (UvT), Dr. Richard Starmans (UU)
13.45h Philosophy of science Prof. dr. J.-J. Meyer (UU), Dr. Richard Starmans (UU) 13.45-15.15 Philosophy of the formal sciences 15.15-15.45 break 15.45-17.30 Philosophy of the empirical sciences 17.30h Closing day 1

Tuesday November 21 2006
09.00h Conceptual design assignment I, presentatie Dr. Hans Weigand (UvT)
10.00h Break
10.15h Research design assignment II, Dr. Hans Heerkens (UT)
12.00h Lunch
13.15h Research design assignment III, Dr. Hans Heerkens (UT)
15.00h Break
15.30h Research methods overview, Prof. dr. Hans Akkermans (VU)
17.15h Closing day 2

Wednesday November 22 2006
09.00h Research methods in Agent Systems, Prof. dr. Catholijn Jonker (TUD)
10.00h Two examples from 4-year Ph.D. students
11.00h Research methods in Machine Learning, handouts Dr.Antal vd Bosch
12.00h Lunch
13.15h Reflection on the assignments, Dr. Hans Weigand (UvT)
13.30h assignment IV
14.15h Research methods in Information Retrieval, Dr. Djoerd Hiemstra (UT)
15.15h How to write an article, Prof. dr. Hans Akkermans (VU)
16.15h Closing, evaluation


In the conference center there is a limited number of places and there is interest from other groups in the topic as well. Therefore, an early registration is required. For registration you are kindly requested to fill in the registration form

Arrangement 1 includes single room, all meals, and course material.
Arrangement 2 includes only lunch, dinner and course material. So no stay in the hotel and no breakfast.

Deadline for registration for SIKS-Ph.D.-students: 01 November 2006

After that date, applications to participate will be honoured in a first-come first-serve manner. Of course, applications to participate from other interested groups are welcome already. They will receive a notification whether they can participate as soon as possible.

Information for non-SIKS Ph.D.- students
SIKS needs a confirmation from your supervisor/office that they agree with the arrangement and paying conditions.