Efron named 2015-2016 Centennial Scholar

Posted: January 25, 2016

Associate Professor Miles Efron has been named the GSLIS Centennial Scholar for 2015-2016. The Centennial Scholar award is endowed by alumni and friends of GSLIS and given in recognition of outstanding accomplishments and/or professional promise in the field of library and information science.

“This is a real honor. One of the things that makes GSLIS a great academic home is the excellence and intellectual diversity of our faculty. To be recognized in this way by colleagues whom I really admire is so gratifying. I give my strongest thanks to the GSLIS faculty for this recognition and support of my work,” Efron said.

“This award will help me to continue organizing GSLIS’s ongoing participation in the annual Text Retrieval Conference (TREC), hosted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. It will also afford me a much-welcomed freedom to pursue a project in the digital humanities—analyzing data from the HathiTrust—that I have had on the back burner for a few years now.”  

Efron joined the GSLIS faculty in 2009. His research areas include information retrieval in emerging domains such as social media and large collections of digitized books; diachronic issues in information retrieval; and human interactions with information search and retrieval systems. His current work focuses on information filtering problems, with special emphasis on applying unsupervised and semi-supervised statistical learning to filtering-related tasks. He has received funding to support this work from Google and the National Science Foundation.

Efron has published papers in several scholarly journals—including the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST), Information Processing and Management, Journal of Digital Information, and Knowledge and Information Systems—and has presented at international conferences, receiving best paper awards and nominations. He currently serves on the editorial board of JASIST.

“Miles is working in new areas of enormous importance and promise, pioneering novel methods of information retrieval and analysis that will help us make better use of social media and other new sources of digital information. He is an extraordinary young scholar who already has great accomplishments to his credit and certainly more to come,” said GSLIS Dean Allen Renear. “We are very proud to have him here with us.”

Prior to joining the GSLIS faculty, Efron was an assistant professor in the School of Information at the University of Texas and a postdoctoral researcher and instructor at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill. He holds a PhD in library and information science and an MS in information science from UNC Chapel Hill as well as a bachelor’s degree from Occidental College in English and comparative literature. In addition to his GSLIS faculty position, Efron holds a courtesy appointment in the Department of Computer Science.

Filed Under: Digital Humanities, Information Practices and Behaviors, Information Retrieval, Centennial Scholar, honors and awards, faculty news