Summer Scholarships for Black Student - Studying at KMi

Scholarship

Summer Scholarships for Black Students

Since 2020, KMi has supported six scholars to participate in summer projects on topics which include: Misinformation, Robotics, Human Computer Interaction, Blockchain and Knowledge Graphs.

A KMi Scholarship provides financial support for students to use hot technologies to solve societal challenges and positively impact the world around us.

The scholarship package provides a bursary, mentoring, and support from the researchers, students and technicians who work in our project spaces. The bursary can be used to cover scholars' living costs or make up for their loss of earnings during the summer while they carry out a project lasting 6 to 8 weeks. Projects may be conducted online, at the Open University campus, or both.

The call for applicants to participate in summer 2023 is now open!

Email: STEM-KMi-Scholarship@open.ac.uk to express an interest


Three bursaries were awarded in 2022. Read all about the scholars' projects here.

Challenge 1 - How to tell people they're wrong: Explaining misinformation on social media

Challenge 1: How to tell people they're wrong: Explaining misinformation on social media

Samuel Kwaku Antwi

Subject Area: Social Media Analysis and Misinformation

Supervisory Team: Retno Larasati, Tracie Farrell and Gregoire Burel

Scholar: Samuel Kwaku Antwi

Identifying influential misinformation about vaccines
Sam researched the subject of misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine online. Specifically, Sam was interested in understanding how vaccine-related misinformation was impacting young people from Ghana. This fresh topic addressed gaps in the literature on young people's responses to misinformation, particularly about health-related topics like the COVID-19 vaccine. As part of his research he conducted a small-scale study with young Ghanaians on their perceptions about the vaccine and misinformation topics that influenced those perceptions. He also analysed the International Fact-checking Network (IFCN) database from Poynter to understand what vaccine misinformation topics appeared to be spreading most in Ghana in general.

The poster he developed about his project can be viewed below, but we also caught up with Sam to ask him about his topic and his experience as a scholar with KMi.

Read the Interview with Sam here: https://kmi.open.ac.uk/news/article/19807

Vaccine misinformation in Ghana and young peoples opinions

"It was great working with Sam and we learned so much from Sam's research. In just six weeks, he contributed to two gaps in the literature, one regarding young people's point of view on misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine, and one that deals with perspectives from outside of the European context."

- Tracie Farrell, Supervisor

Challenge 2 - Building musical knowledge graphs

Challenge 2: Building musical knowledge graphs

Esther Adetunji

Subject Area: Knowledge graph technologies

Supervisory Team: Enrico Daga and Paul Mulholland

Scholar: Esther Adetunji

Music analysis: Gusty Garden Mario Galaxy vs Dark Red
Esther, who is studying T-levels in computing and also plays the piano, combined both interests in her project to create musical knowledge graphs.

Her project took inspiration from recent research in Musical Cultural Heritage undertaken under the EU-funded Polifonia Project (http://polifonia-project.eu). The objective was to transform and integrate musical content for the benefit of scholars, researchers, and music practitioners.

Knowledge Graph Construction (KGC) is gaining momentum due to its ability to provide integrated and homogeneous access to heterogeneous resources. However, existing tools focus on common data formats such as CSV, XML, or JSON and are not typically tailored to music-specific formats.

Esther applied tools that behave as adaptors between the data sources and the needed syntactic format and data model. This is the approach taken by SPARQL Anything (http://sparql-anything.cc), a novel system for Knowledge Graph construction developed by the OU Knowledge Media Institute.

See her comparision in the powerpoint attached below.

Download: Music Analysis pptx

"Esther applied data science techniques to explore musical features of audio, this contributed to the cohort of techniques that are contributing to building musical knoweldge graphs in the context of the EU-funded project Polifonia."

- Enrico Daga, Supervisor

Challenge 3 - Turning TikTok Content into NFTs

Challenge 3: Turning TikTok Content into NFTs

Peter Isagba

Subject Area: Blockchains

Supervisory Team: John Domingue, Aisling Third and Michelle Bachler

Scholar: Peter Isagba

Empowering TikTok content creators to ratain ownership of their content using NFTs
Peter, worked on the subject of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) on the TikTok platform. He is studying computer science currently, and was interested about the potential for economic disruption presented by NFTs.

Since its launch on the international market in September 2017, TikTok has taken the online world by storm. In 2021 CloudFare ranked TikTok as the number one website globally, usurping Google. The TikTok mobile app allows users to create short (15 second) videos with music that can be sped up, slowed down or filtered. NFTs or non-fungible tokens are non-interchangeable units of data stored on a distributed ledger or blockchain which can be used to prove ownership over a valuable asset. NFTs have appeared in the news recently for representing proof of ownership of digital artwork.

Peter combined these two hot technologies for his project.

See the Token Minter management page he built, to control who could mint tokens in his Token Contract: https://blockchain7.kmi.open.ac.uk/scholarship22/peter/

And this page contains details of his TikTok Tokens: https://blockchain7.kmi.open.ac.uk/scholarship22/tokens/

"All of Peter's mentors were deeply impressed on how much he accomplished in a short space of time with such a tricky set of technologies (blockchains, smart contracts, NFTs and the TikTok APIs). We wish him best for his invariably bright future."

- John Domingue, Supervisor

Previously supported scholars

2021

Scholarship - Photo of Azizah Blackwood

Azizah Blackwood

Project: Misinfo.Me Bot

Supervisors: Tracie Farrell and Lara Piccolo

Scholarship - Photo of Reece Davis

Reece Davis

Project: Benchmarking Environmental Sensors

Supervisor: Lara Piccolo

Scholarship - Photo of Kaushal Kumar

Kaushal Kumar

Project: Robot Assistants in the Wild

Supervisors: Agnese Chiatti and Gianluca Bardaro

Latest Seminar
Dr. Sin Lindley
Microsoft Research Cambridge

Actions and their Consequences: Implicit Interactions with Machine Learned Knowledge Bases

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