Oshani Seneviratne

Assistant Professor and Associate Director of Tetherless World Constellation
  • Lally 307 | Winslow 2143 | MRC 330C
  • senevo@rpi.edu
  • 0000-0001-8518-917X

About

Oshani Seneviratne is the Associate Director of the Tetherless World Constellation and an Assistant Professor in Computer Science. She was previously the Director of Health Data Research at the Rensselaer Institute for Data Exploration and Applications. Oshani obtained her S.M. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) under the supervision of Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web. Before Rensselaer, Oshani worked at Oracle, specializing in knowledge representation, provenance, and healthcare-related research. 

Oshani's research interests span data integration in knowledge graphs, artificial intelligence, decentralized systems (web and blockchain), and health informatics. At MIT, Oshani conducted research on Accountable Systems for the Web. As part of her Ph.D. at MIT, Oshani developed a novel web protocol called HyperText Transfer Protocol with Accountability.

Oshani co-founded and co-organized the AIChain workshop series co-located with the IEEE Blockchain conference, the Personal Health Knowledge Graph workshop series, the Healthcare and Life-Sciences Symposium, the Decentralized Knowledge Graph track at the Knowledge Graph Conference, and the AAAI Fall Symposium series on Artificial Intelligence for Social Good. Oshani has served in the organizing committees of the International Semantic Web Conference and Web Science conference in various roles. Oshani is a co-editor of the Semantic Technologies for Data and Algorithmic Governance issue at the Semantic Web Journal and the Personal Health special issue at the Data Intelligence journal. She also actively reviews the journals such as Web Semantics, Semantic Web, Medical Internet Research, Biomedical and Health Informatics, and many conferences, including the International Semantic Web Conference, Web Conference, Web Science Conference, IEEE Blockchain Conference, and IEEE Decentralized Applications Conference.
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Education & Training
  • Ph.D. in Computer Science, MIT
  • S.M. in in Computer Science, MIT
  • B.Sc. (Hons) in Computer Science and Engineering, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka

Teaching

  • Courses:
    • AI and Blockchain, 2022 Fall
    • AI in Fact and Fiction, 2020 and 2021 summers
    • MIT Global Startup Labs, 2011 and 2012 summers
    • Introduction to Computer Science at MIT Women’s Technology Program; 2010 summer
  • Guest Lectures:
    • Advanced Financial Technologies, 2021 Spring
    • Predictive Modeling, 2020 Spring
    • Data Analytics 2019 Spring, 2019 Fall, 2020 Spring, 2020 Fall, 2021 Spring, 2021 Fall, 2022 Spring
    • XInformatics; 2019 Spring, 2020 Spring, 2021 Spring, 2022 Spring
    • Introduction to Artificial Intelligence; 2019 Spring
    • Ontology Engineering, Data Science, and Web Systems classes; 2018 Fall
    • Cognitive Computing; 2018 and 2019 Spring
Current Courses

AI and Blockchain, Fall 2022

Recognition

Oshani's work has been featured in the following news articles.

Awards & Honors
  • Best Resource Paper Award at the 19th International Semantic Web Conference 2020 for Explanation Ontology: A Model of Explanations for User-Centered AI; Shruthi Chari, Oshani Seneviratne, Daniel M. Gruen ,  Morgan A. Foreman , Amar K. Das, Deborah L. McGuinness Best Use of Data Award, NASA Space Apps Challenge 2016
  • Best Communications App, May 2014, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, AT&T Mobile App Hackathon, Washington DC
  • Best Computing and Most Technically Interesting Project Award, Big Travel Data Hackathon 2013, Boston MA
  • Key Scientific Challenge Winner 2011, Yahoo Research
  • World Wide Web Travel Awards 2009 and 2011 by Google Inc.
  • Grace Hopper Scholarship Award 2005 (as an undergraduate at University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka) and 2011 (as a PhD student at MIT) from the Anita Borg Institute
Presentations & Appearances

Distributed Ledger Technologies:

  • “Social Computing and Blockchain: From Incentive Mechanisms to Computer-supported Cooperative Work,” 3rd International Conference of Social Computing, December 2021.
  • “Spark Webinar: An Introduction to Research Opportunities in Distributed Ledger Technologies.” Hosted by Prof. Suranga Nanayakkara; December 2020; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scpvQl86xdA
  • "Decentralized Applications Augmented with Learning and Semantics"
    • Deakin University, Melbourne Australia; November 2019; Hosted by Dr. Niroshinie Fernando, and Dr. Jong Jeong
    • University of Auckland SoCS Seminar; October 2019; Hosted by Prof. Danielle Lottridge and Prof. Rizwan Asghar
  • “Building Smart Trustworthy Decentralized Applications”, DePaul University’s Computer Science Colloquiu; Hosted by by Prof. Isuru Godage, September 2019
  • “Smart Contracts in Financial Applications”, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Center for Financial Studies (CFS) Quantitative Finance Workshop 2019; Hosted by Prof. Aparna Gupta, September 2019

Privacy and Transparency on the Web:

  • “Enabling Appropriate Use of Information on the Web”, Harvey Mudd College Computer Science Colloquium ; Hosted by Prof. Robert Keller and Prof. Yi-Chieh Wu, April 2017
  •  “Healthcare Privacy and Intellectual Property Rights Protection with Information Accountability”, at Data Privacy Lab, Harvard University, May 2014
  • Who? What? When? Where and Why? Towards Transparent Healthcare Applications” at 2014 EITA Conference on New Media and Biomedical Research at MIT, August 2014
  • “Accountable Systems” at TWed RPI, April 2014
  • “Transparent Web Systems” at Amazon PhD Symposium, November 2013
  • “Decentralized Provenance Management for User Managed Access” for the IETF OAuth 2.0 working group, November 2013
  • “Policy Aware Content Reuse” at Emerging Information and Technology Association – Young Investigator Conference, August 2013
  • “Accountable Web Protocols” at Library of Congress, May 2012
  • “Addressing and Identifying Privacy Leakage from Query Logs: An Accountability Approach” at Microsoft Research, June 2011
  • “Detecting Creative Commons Attribution License Violations on Flickr Images on the World Wide Web” at the Creative Commons Summit, December 2008

Knowledge Graphs:

  • “FoodKG: A Semantics Driven Knowledge Graph for Food Recommendations,” IEEE Big Data 2019 Workshop on Big Food and Nutrition Data Management Analysis, December 09, 2019
  • "Enabling Trust in Clinical Decision Support Recommendations through Semantics," University of Melbourne, Melbourne Australia; November 2019; Hosted by Prof. Karin Verspoor
  • “RDF-Powered Dialog Systems,” TWed RPI, October 2017

Mobile Application Development:

  • “Linked Data Connections” at MIT App Inventor Summit, July 2013
  • “Android Application Development” at Google DevFest, Manila, Philippines, Aug 2012

Community Outreach:

  • Keynote Speech at “Computer Science for All Girls,” Auburn University, Alabama, July 2013

 

Panels:

  • Technology Enablers for Financial Instruments at IEEE Services 2021 Conference, Sep 9 2021 virtual)
  • MIT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Alumni Panel, organized by Prof. Leslie Kolodziejski, March 6 2021 (virtual)
  • AI for Humanitarian Technologies and Disaster Management at the AAAI AI for Social Good Fall 2020 symposium, Nov 14 2020 (virtual)
  • AI for Healthcare at the AAAI AI for Social Good Fall 2020 symposium, Nov 13 2020 (virtual)
  • Expert Panel on Semantic Machine Learning at IEEE International Conference on Semantic Computing 2019, Newport Beach CA, Feb 01 2019
  •  “The Future of Blockchain”, Expert Panel at the Rensselaer Silicon Valley Executive Council moderated by Dean Curt Breneman; San Jose CA; Dec 5 2018; Link: https://giving.rpi.edu/western-digital-rensselaer-panel-discussion-blockchain
  • “Applying lessons learnt from Web Science Research to Blockchain Research”, Closing Panel at the 10 years of Web Science: Closing the Loop, Dagstuhl Workshop, June 2018

Publications

Books:

  • “Linking the world’s information: Tim Berners-Lee’s invention of the world wide web”; ACM Turing Award Winner Book Series, co-edited with James A. Hendler (in progress).
  • “Knowledge Graphs and RDF Data Provenance: AI Actions with Machine-Interpretable Data”; Springer book series on Advanced Information & Knowledge Processing (2020); co-edited with Leslie Sikos and Deborah L. McGuinness.

Peer Reviewed Book Chapters:

  •  “Health Data Management for Internet of Medical Things,” Oshani Seneviratne. In Women Securing the Future with TIPPSS for Connected Healthcare Trust, Identity, Privacy, Protection, Safety, and Security, Springer 2021.
  • “Data Provenance and Accountability on the Web.” Oshani Seneviratne. In Knowledge Graphs and RDF Data Provenance: AI Actions with Machine-Interpretable Data”; Springer book series on Advanced Information & Knowledge Processing (2020)
  • "Foundations of Explainable Knowledge-Enabled Systems," Shruthi Chari, Dan Gruen, Oshani Seneviratne, Deborah L. McGuinness. In: Ilaria Tiddi, Freddy Lecue, Pascal Hitzler (eds.), Knowledge Graphs for eXplainable AI -- Foundations, Applications and Challenges. Studies on the Semantic Web, IOS Press, Amsterdam, 2020
  • "Directions for Explainable Knowledge-Enabled Systems," Shruthi Chari, Dan Gruen, Oshani Seneviratne, Deborah L. McGuinness. In: Ilaria Tiddi, Freddy Lecue, Pascal Hitzler (eds.), Knowledge Graphs for eXplainable AI -- Foundations, Applications and Challenges. Studies on the Semantic Web, IOS Press, Amsterdam, 2020
  • “Making Computer Science Attractive to High School Girls with Computational Approaches A Case Study,” Oshani Seneviratne, Emerging Research, Practice, and Policy on Computational Thinking, Springer Educational Communications Technology Issues Innovations, ISBN 978-3-319-52690-4, 2017.

Magazine Articles:

  • "Reflections on Successful Research in Artificial Intelligence: An Introduction" Ching-Hua Chen, Jim Hendler, Sabbir Rashid, Oshani Seneviratne, Daby Sow, and Biplav Srivastava. AI Magazine 40, no. 4 (2019).
  • "Reflections on Successful Research in Artificial Intelligence: An Interview with Yolanda Gil." Yolanda Gil, Biplav Srivastava, Ching-Hua Chen, and Oshani Seneviratne.  AI Magazine 40, no. 4 (2019).
  • "Reflections on the Ingredients for Success in AI Research: An Interview with Arvind Gupta." Arvind Gupta, Biplav Srivastava, Daby Sow, Ching-Hua Chen, and Oshani Seneviratne. AI Magazine 40, no. 4 (2019): 24-27.

 

Selected Peer Reviewed Conference and Journal Papers:

  •  “Incentivized Research Data Sharing, Reusing and Repurposing with Blockchain Technologies.” Oshani Seneviratne and Deborah L. McGuinness. Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS) 2022.
  • “Data-driven Analysis of Remote Work in China during the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Yufei Wu, Thilanka Munasinghe, Lydia Manikonda, and Oshani Seneviratne. Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS) 2022.
  • “BlockIoT-RETEL: Blockchain and IoT Based Read-Execute-Transact-Erase-Loop Environment for Integrating Personal Health Data.” Manan Shukla, Jianjing Lin, Oshani Seneviratne. IEEE Blockchain Conference 2021.
  • “BlockIoT: Blockchain-based Health Data Integration using IoT Devices.” Manan Shukla, Jianjing Lin, Oshani Seneviratne. American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) Annual Conference 2021.
  • “The Punya Platform: Building Mobile Research Apps with Linked Data and Semantic Features.” Evan W. Patton, William Van Woensel, Oshani Seneviratne, Giuseppe Loseto, Floriano Scioscia, Lalana Kagal. ISWC 2021: 563-579
  • “Identifying Ingredient Substitutions Using a Knowledge Graph of Food.” Sola S. Shirai, Oshani Seneviratne, Minor E. Gordon, Ching-Hua Chen, Deborah L. McGuinness; Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence, section AI in Food, Agriculture and Water, 2020
  • “A Descriptive Analysis of US Initial Coin Offerings”; Aparna Gupta, Jyothsna Harithsa, Oshani Seneviratne; BRAINS 2020
  • “Swarm Contracts: Smart Contracts in Robotic Swarms with Varying Agent Behavior”; Jonathan Grey, Isuru S. Godage, Oshani Seneviratne; Blockchain 2020:
  • “Knowledge Extraction of Cohort Characteristics in Research Publications”; Jay D. S. Franklin, Shruthi Chari, Morgan A. Foreman, Oshani Seneviratne, Daniel M. Gruen, James P. McCusker , Amar K. Das, Deborah L. McGuinness; American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) Annual Conference 2020
  • “Explanation Ontology: A Model of Explanations for User-Centered AI”; Shruthi Chari, Oshani Seneviratne, Daniel M. Gruen, Morgan A. Foreman, Amar K. Das, Deborah L. McGuinness; Resource Track,19th International Semantic Web Conference 2020
  • "A Proposal for Account Recovery in Decentralized Applications"; Yanlin Zhu, Lirong Xia, Oshani Seneviratne; IEEE Blockchain Conference 2019
  • “Making Study Populations Visible through Knowledge Graphs”; Shruthi Chari, Miao Qi, Nkcheniyere N. Agu, Oshani Seneviratne, James P. McCusker, Kristin P. Bennett, Amar K. Das , Deborah L. McGuinness; International Semantic Web Conference 2019 (Resource)
  • “FoodKG: Semantics-Driven Knowledge Graph for Food Recommendation”; Steven Haussmann, Oshani Seneviratne, Yu Chen, Yarden Ne'Eman, James Codella, Ching-Hua Chen, Deborah L. McGuinness, Mohammed J. Zaki; International Semantic Web Conference 2019 (Resource)
  • “Strengthening Smart Contracts to Handle Unexpected Situations”; Shuze Liu, Farhad Mohsin, Lirong Xia, Oshani Seneviratne; IEEE International Conference on Decentralized Applications and Infrastructures 2019
  • “Leveraging Standards Based Ontological Concepts in Distributed Ledgers: A Healthcare Smart Contract Example”; Mengyi Li, Lirong Xia, Oshani Seneviratne; IEEE International Conference on Decentralized Applications and Infrastructures 2019
  • “A Semantic Platform for Developing Data-Intensive Mobile Apps”; Weihua Li, Oshani Seneviratne, Evan Patton, and Lalana Kagal; IEEE International Conference on Semantic Computing 2019
  • “Knowledge Integration for Disease Characterization: A Breast Cancer Example”; Oshani Seneviratne, Sabbir M. Rashid, Shruthi Chari, James P. McCusker, Kristin P. Bennett, James A. Hendler, and Deborah L. McGuinness; International Semantic Web Conference 2018
  • “Enabling Privacy Through Transparency”; Oshani Seneviratne, and Lalana Kagal (IEEE Privacy Security and Trust 2014)
  • “Augmenting the Web with Accountability”; Oshani Seneviratne; World Wide Web Conference 2012
  • “Usage Restriction Management for Accountable Data Transfer on the Web”; Oshani Seneviratne, and LalanaKagal; IEEE International Symposium on Policies for Distributed Systems and Networks 2011
  • “Remix Culture on the Web: A Survey of Content Reuse on Different User Generated Content Websites”; Oshani Seneviratne, and Andre Monroy-Hernendez; Web Science Conference 2010
  • “Policy Aware Geospatial Data”, Puneet Kishor, Oshani Seneviratne and Noah Giansiracusa; ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems 2009
  • “Policy Aware Content Reuse on the Web”; Oshani Seneviratne, Lalana Kagal, and Tim Berners-Lee; International Semantic Web Conference 2009

 

Patent:

  • Seneviratne, O., Anandan, S., Beckett, K., B’Far, R., “Visualization of Provenance Data”, U.S Patent, Jan 15, 2016; https://patents.justia.com/patent/10235781

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