Alhamdulillah, tahun ini saya berhasil memperoleh beasiswa European Master’s Program in Computational Logic (EMCL). Insya Allah saya akan belajar, salah satunya di negara Jerman (TU Dresden). Beasiswa ini adalah bentuk kerjasama Uni Eropa dalam bidang pendidikan dengan negara-negara lain di dunia, termasuk Indonesia. Dalam proses pengiriman aplikasi untuk memperoleh beasiswa ini, salah satu syaratnya adalah dengan mengirim surat motivasi (Motivation Letter). Sekedar info, Motivation Letter biasanya berisi alasan dan faktor-faktor yang menjadi motivasi kita, kenapa sih kita merasa ingin dan perlu belajar, melanjutkan study, di universitas yang bersangkutan? Impian sejak kecil kah? Atau, untuk merasakan tantangan yang lebih tinggi kah? Well, apapun itu, hal-hal yang menjadi motivasi saya kurang lebih seperti tulisan saya di bawah ini (yang benar-benar saya pakai untuk mendaftar beasiswa tersebut!):
The Semantic Web is one of my main interests in life. It is the perfect combination between knowledge representation, logic, and web technology, which are the things that I enjoy learning and exploring. I started studying the Semantic Web during the last year of my undergraduate studies at Universitas Indonesia. Since then, I have studied the Semantic Web intensively, from various technology implementations, such as RDF and OWL to logical formalisms working as Semantic Web foundations, i.e. Description Logics. I also explored implementations of Semantic Technologies in various domains, such as Medicine, Biology, and Chemistry.
My bachelor thesis was about Natural Language Processing and Description Logics. I built OWLizr, a system for representing knowledge from natural language text in Bahasa Indonesia, based on Web Ontology Language Description Logic (OWL DL). I worked under the supervision of Adila A. Krisnadhi, M.Sc., a PhD candidate at Wright State University, and Dr. Ruli Manurung. I developed the system using Prolog and Java with Protégé-OWL API. I still see opportunities to improve my system, such that it can transform natural language text from large sources into knowledge form in an efficient manner. My vision is to make a knowledge based system that is capable of building complex ontologies from natural language text and producing natural language information from those ontologies.
I was also a teaching assistant for some courses, for instance, Artificial Intelligence, Computer System and Organization, Database, Theory of Languages and Automata, and Computer Networking. When I was teaching for the Artificial Intelligence class, I taught students how to develop ontologies using Web Ontology Language (OWL). I used Protégé-OWL as a tool for editing ontologies. I took various relevant courses, such as Artificial Intelligence, Discrete Mathematics, Formal Methods, Logic Programming, Theory of Languages and Automata, Algorithm Analysis and Design, Natural Language Processing, and Computational Logic during my undergraduate studies. These courses helped to sharpen my knowledge in Computational Logic concepts, particularly for Semantic Technologies. During my Computational Logic course, I was taught by Dr. Lim Yohanes Stefanus.
In August 2010, I participated in the 2010 Summer School on Computational Logic in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, held by DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) and Technische Universität Dresden. I learned tremendously about Computational Logic concepts. I also met and shared knowledge with other students in this Summer School. Then, as an attempt to open my way to international participation, I submitted and presented a paper with the same topic of my undergraduate thesis in ICACSIS (International Conference on Advance Computer Science and Information System) 2010 in Bali. I hope to participate in more conferences or journals whilst doing my postgraduate studies.
I plan to explore more about the Semantic Web. I find many challenges to be solved, and I believe that by joining the EMCL Programme, I can tackle those challenges with the knowledge I will gain during my master. The curriculum of the EMCL Programme, which is mostly research oriented fits my needs. The foundations of logic that are taught in the EMCL Programme will increase my understanding. Furthermore, I believe that the Knowledge Representation and Semantic Technologies modules provided can be useful for deepening my Semantic Web knowledge.
After finishing my master study, I plan to further my study to PhD level. My journey for knowledge searching will never cease. I want to solve hard challenges in specific aspects in the Semantic Web. Moreover, I plan to share my knowledge with other people, work together with researchers around the world, and probably return to Indonesia, where I can develop, teach, and implement what I have learnt. In the next five years, I view myself becoming a world class researcher or university lecturer. Joining an information or web company focusing in Artificial Intelligence or Semantic Technologies works may also be an equally challenging alternative.