Ontologists are needed by private industry and by governments, non-profit organizations and other institutions to develop and manage large databases and directories, to model and analyze complex structures and processes, and to build systems for data and enterprise integration.
Students interested in this fast-growing field who wish to acquire a background in the theory and practice of ontology may apply for the MA in Philosophy with specialization in Ontology and Information Science. This interdisciplinary program, offered by the Department of Philosophy of the University at Buffalo, allows students to work with relevant faculty in Computer Science and Engineering, Geography, Informatics, Linguistics, and the Life Sciences.
We aim to train professionals who will understand the work that ontologists do and will have the ability to apply ontological theories to a broad range of problems. Graduates of Buffalo ontology programs have excellent placement opportunities in both government and industry.
The Department of Philosophy of the University at Buffalo is an international center of ontological research and is involved in collaborative projects with ontologists throughout the world, including the IEEE Standard Upper Ontology Project and the GOL (General Ontological Language) Project of the University of Leipzig.
Ontological research in Buffalo is currently centered on the ontological applications in medicine and biology, geographic information science, defense and security ontology, on the ontology of artifacts, and on a range of topics in applied ontology. Ontologists in Buffalo are supported by multiple grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense and other agencies, and this provides opportunities for students to become involved in funded research.
The National Center for Ontological Research (NCOR) was
established in Buffalo in 2005 with the goal of advancing the
quality of ontological research and development and of establishing
tools and measures for ontology evaluation and quality assurance.
In addition, Buffalo’s special focus in ontology has resulted in an increasing number of students embarking on careers as ontologists in government and business. For more information, see Careers in Ontology.