Skip Trinity Banner Navigation

Skip to main content »

Trinity College Dublin

Personal Information
College Photo Name Lawless, Seamus
Main Department Computer Science
College Title Ussher Assistant Professor
College Tel  
Fax 01-6772204
Prof. Sťamus Lawless is an Assistant Professor in the discipline of Intelligent Systems in the School of Computer Science and Statistics in Trinity College Dublin. Sťamusí research interests are in the areas of information retrieval, information management and digital humanities with a particular focus on adaptivity and personalisation. The common focus of this research is Digital Content Management and the Application of Technology to Support Enhanced, Personalised Access to Knowledge. This research has a strong user focus and all of his work aims to improve the experiences of users when interacting with content and information systems. He has built significant momentum in the publication of papers in peer-reviewed journals and major worldwide conferences. Sťamus is also passionate about education and has developed strong teaching experience. He has supervised M.Sc., MPhil and Ph.D. students. Sťamus collaborated on the design and planning of two modules for the new MPhil in Digital Humanities and Culture being offered by TCD. He is an active member of the international research community and the College community. Sťamus has coordinated and collaborated with researchers in the disciplines of Linguistics, English, History, Pedagogy, Speech and Language Technologies and Localisation. Through these collaborative research projects in such a variety of disciplines he has developed insight and skills in communication and in conducting multi-disciplinary research. Sťamus has significant industry experience having worked in the both the IT and Retail Industries. This has provided him with a wealth of commercial experience which he incorporates in his research and teaching.
Details Date
Chair of the First Workshop on Personalised Multilingual Information Access, PMIA 2014, to be held in conjunction with the 22nd Annual Conference on User Modelling, Adaptation and Personalization, Aalborg, Denmark. July 7-11, 2014
Tutorial Chair for the 36th Annual ACM SIGIR (Special Interest Group in Information Retrieval) Conference to be held in Trinity College Dublin. 2013
Local Chair and Member of the Organising Committee for the 36th Annual ACM SIGIR (Special Interest Group in Information Retrieval) Conference to be held in Trinity College Dublin. July, 2013
Chair of the First Workshop on Exploration, Navigation and Retrieval in Cultural Heritage, ENRICH 2013, held in Conjunction with the 36th Annual ACM SIGIR Conference, Dublin, Ireland. August 1st 2013
Chair of the CNGL Scenario Working Group 2013-2014
More Representations>>>
Membership of Professional Institutions, Associations, Societies
Details Date From Date To
ACM 2007
IEEE 2007
Awards and Honours
Award Date
Gold Medal distinction from the University of Dublin, Trinity College for the standard of Undergraduate Degree. 2003
Research Interests
Data Analysis Databases, database management, data mining Digital systems, representation Information systems development
Information technology in education Information technology, Science Internet technologies Knowledge Management
Knowledge Representation Knowledge and data engineering Machine Translation Natural Language Programming
Word/Text Processing
Research Projects
Project title Centre for Next Generation Localisation (CNGL) - Second Cycle
Summary CNGL pioneers ĎGlobal Intelligent Contentí which enables digital content to be more discoverable, adaptable and repurposeable. By embedding new levels of knowledge and intelligence into the content, it enables advanced intelligent content services to automatically process and transform that content. Global Intelligent Content thus enables itself to be actively discovered and transformed by advanced intelligent content services so as to make that content more discoverable, semantically rich, adaptable, contextually aware and reusable across global markets. This represents a major shift in the way content is managed, creating a more robust, agile and interoperable relationship between content and the value chain of services acting upon it. In this way Global Intelligent Content can be dynamically transformed based on current user interaction, perceived user intention or current delivery context.
Funding Agency Science Foundation Ireland
Type of Project Centre for Science and Engineering Technology
Date from March 2013
Date to September 2015
Person Months

Project title CULTURA - Cultivating Research and Understanding through Adaptivity
Summary A key challenge facing curators and providers of digital cultural heritage across Europe and Worldwide is to instigate, increase and enhance engagement with digital humanities collections. To achieve this, a fundamental change in the way cultural artefacts are experienced and contributed to by communities is required. CULTURA will pioneer the development of next generation adaptive systems which will provide new forms of multi-dimensional adaptivity: - personalised information retrieval and presentation which respond to models of user and contextual intent - community-aware adaptivity which responds to wider community activity, interest, contribution and experience - content-aware adaptivity which responds to the entities and relationships automatically identified within the artefacts and across collections - personalised dynamic storylines which are generated across individual as well as entire collections of artefacts CULTURA advances and integrates the following key technologies: - Cutting edge natural language processing, which normalises ambiguities in noisy historical texts Entity and relationship extraction, which highlights the key individuals, events, dates and other entities and relationships within unstructured text - Social network analysis of the entities and relationships within the content, and also of the individuals and broader community of users engaging with the content - Multi-model adaptivity to support dynamic reconciliation of multiple dimensions of personalization. CULTURA will deliver innovative adaptive services and an interactive user environment which dynamically tailors the investigation, comprehension and enrichment of digital humanities artefacts and collections. Through the provision of such functionality, CULTURA can empower all users to investigate, comprehend and contribute to digital cultural collections. CULTURA will provide rigorous evaluation and validation of its adaptive services using high impact, contrasting, multicultural digital cultural heritage collections and diverse user communities and individuals. The CULTURA use cases, defined in collaboration with real users, will clearly illustrate how the adaptive environment will offer genuine user empowerment and unprecedented levels of engagement with these collections and communities. The CULTURA consortium has a strong emphasis on meeting real end-user needs, maximising societal impact and laying a foundation for successful commercialisation. Thus, the project has a strong scientific foundation, informed by two significant digital cultural resources and associated communities, and supported by experienced and effective project management.
Funding Agency European Commission
Programme ICT-2009.4.1
Type of Project Strategic Targeted Research Project (STREP)
Date from Feb 2011
Date to Feb 2014
Person Months

Project title Fagel Map Collection
Summary Creating a digital resource from the geographical content of the Fagel Library: The Fagel Library, acquired by the College in 1803, contains within it one of the finest collections of maps and atlases from the period 1600-1800 anywhere in the world. The collection is peerless in terms of the state of preservation of this material, and is truly comprehensive in scope. The collection includes some 2,800 large format individual map sheets, 80 large format atlases of which many are beautifully coloured containing 7,000 maps and a further 3,000 items of a cartographical nature contained in a collection of 700 travel books and journals. The maps sheets and the majority of atlases have been digitised to a high resolution at full scale, and a database has been created for both. The purpose of this project is to define how these resources can now be exploited as research tools and as gateways to collaboration with third party institutions.
Funding Agency Faculty Strategic Funds and Philanthropic Funds
Type of Project Digital Humanities and GIS
Date from 2013
Date to 2015
Person Months

Project title Centre for Next Generation Localisation (CNGL)
Summary The Centre for Next Generation Localisation is funded by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) in the category "Centre for Science Engineering and Technology (CSET). Access to information and seamless communication are keys to success in the emerging multilingual and multicultural societies, and underpin global commerce and development. Localisation, the industrial process of linguistic and cultural adaptation to market requirements, is a core strategic technology in the transformation towards information- and knowledge-based economies. Ireland is particularly well placed to have a strong impact on this core strategic technology. Ireland has the highest concentration of localisation industry worldwide, and has continuously been at the forefront of innovation and development of localisation processes and practices. CNGL has the potential to revolutionise localisation through its unique Industry-Academia partnership. We aim to achieve breakthroughs in standards, interoperability and automation based on language and digital content management technology. The basic research carried out by CNGL underpins these breakthroughs and provides the foundations for technology transfer and commercial exploitation of the results. The Centre will help Ireland to maintain its leading position in this important sector of ICT, move localisation activities in Ireland up the value chain, and, in close collaboration with the Industrial Partners, ensure that innovations from the research labs translate into business opportunities, revenue streams and cutting edge, high-tech employment opportunities in the Irish ICT sector. In addition, through one of its Industrial Partners, DNP, the Centre has the unique opportunity to directly engage in the development and innovation of localisation technology in the Asian market.
Funding Agency Science Foundation Ireland
Programme Centres for Science, Engineering and Technology
Type of Project
Date from 1st December 2007
Date to 30th November 2012
Person Months

Project title 1641 Depositions
Summary The project aims to transcribe, digitise and analyse the 1641 Depositions, which comprise 3,400 depositions, examinations and associated materials, located in the Library of Trinity College Dublin, in which Protestant men and women of all classes told of their experiences following the outbreak of the rebellion by the Catholic Irish in October, 1641. Collected by government-appointed commissioners, the witness testimony runs to approximately 19,000 pages, and constitutes the chief evidence for the sharply contested allegation that the rebellion began with a general massacre of protestant settlers. As a result, this material has been central to a protracted and bitter historical dispute. Propagandists, politicians and historians have all exploited the depositions at different times, and the controversy surrounding them has never been satisfactorily resolved. In fact, the 1641 Ďmassacresí, like King Williamís victory at the Boyne (1690), and the battle of the Somme (1916), have played a key role in creating and sustaining a collective Protestant/British identity in the province of Ulster.
Funding Agency IRCHSS, AHRC
Type of Project
Date from 2007
Date to 2011
Person Months

Project title The Down Survey of Ireland
Summary This project will create a consolidated digital atlas of the 1650s Down Survey of Ireland by overlaying all extant Down Survey maps and related cartographic material onto an Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 base. A catalogue of the surviving manuscripts will accompany the atlas. The project will create a geo-referenced Townland Index and an historical Geographic Information System (GIS). When combined, these can be used to consolidate a wide range of 17th-century source material. By applying spatial analysis tools to digitised historical text-based documents, such as the 1641 Depositions, this project will also support location-based analysis of people and events using contemporary geographic models. In September 2011 the project received Ä117,000 funding from the IRCHSS, which will fund the employment of a Research Assistant for 15 months and a Computer Science Post-doctoral fellow for 6 months.
Funding Agency IRCHSS
Programme Government of Ireland Research and Senior Research Projects in the Humanities and Social Sciences
Type of Project Digital Humanities and GIS
Date from October 2011
Date to December 2012
Person Months

More Research Projects>>>
Publications and Other Research Outputs
Peer Reviewed
Dong Zhou, Sťamus Lawless and Vincent Wade, Improving Search via Personalized Query Expansion using Social Media, Journal of Information Retrieval, 2012, (15), 2012, p218 - 242
Sťamus Lawless, Alex O'Connor, Catherine Mulwa, A Proposal for the Evaluation of Adaptive Personalised Information Retrieval, CIRSE 2010 - Workshop on Contextual Information Access, Seeking and Retrieval Evaluation held in conjunction with ECIR-2010 - European Conference on Information Retrieval, Milton Keynes, UK, 28th March 2010, edited by Bich-LiÍn Doan; Joemon Jose; Massimo Melucci; Lynda Tamine-Lechani; , 2010
TARA - Full Text  URL
Ben Steichen, Sťamus Lawless, Vincent Wade, Dynamic Hypertext Generation for Reusing Open Corpus Content, 20th ACM Conference on Hypertext and Hypermedia, Torino, Italy, 29th June - 1st July, 2009
Sťamus Lawless, Lucy Hederman, Vincent Wade, Enhancing Access to Open Corpus Educational Content: Learning in the Wild, 21st ACM Conference on Hypertext and Hypermedia , Pittsburgh, PA, U.S.A., June 19-21, 2008, pp167 - 174
TARA - Full Text  DOI  URL
Sťamus Lawless, Lucy Hederman, Vincent Wade, OCCS: Enabling the Dynamic Discovery, Harvesting and Delivery of Educational Content from Open Corpus Sources, The 8th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies, Santander, Cantabria, Spain, July 1-5, 2008, pp676 - 678
TARA - Full Text  DOI
More Publications and Other Research Outputs >>>

Log in to the TCD Portal
Last Updated:15-SEP-2014