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IN THE NEWS

Jan. 4, 2018
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Assistant Professor Jodi Schneider (MS ’08) has received funding from the National Institutes of Health to develop a series of automated informatics tools for reviewing medical literature more quickly and easily. The project, “Text Mining Pipeline to Accelerate Systematic Reviews in Evidence-Based Medicine,” was funded through a subaward from the University of Illinois at Chicago that will cover $228,006 in direct costs. Schneider is co-principal investigator with Neil Smalheiser, associate professor of psychiatry at UIC, and Aaron Cohen, a professor in the Oregon Health & Science University’s Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology.

The team is currently testing three informatics tools: a meta-search engine for finding articles in medical literatures across different databases; an automated randomized control trial (RCT) tagger for identifying human randomized controlled clinical trial articles; and an aggregator tool that clusters together RCT...

Dec. 18, 2017
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iSchool Lecturer Elizabeth Wickes (MS '16) has been elected to the 2018 Executive Council for the Carpentries, the first joint steering committee for the merged organizations of Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry. The Carpentries is a volunteer community of instructors, more than one thousand worldwide, teaching scientists basic lab skills for research computing. 

Since completing her instructor certification in 2015, Wickes has served as an instructor for local workshops and was the lead instructor at several digital humanities workshops that utilized Carpentries materials. In addition, she has adapted several of the core Software Carpentry lessons for use in her own classes.

"The local Carpentries community at the University of Illinois has grown over the previous two years," said Wickes, "allowing my role to shift from instructing two to three times a semester to being a mentor to new instructors and focusing my instruction efforts on instruction training...

Dec. 15, 2017
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Whether you're a cybersecurity student, researcher, or professional, you are likely to confront difficult ethical dilemmas that can have significant implications. Equipped with skills like malware knowledge and hacking techniques, those in the field of cybersecurity have inside knowledge that can be powerful and potentially dangerous. There is a growing need to tether this power to an awareness of the complex web of potential consequences, critical ethical reasoning skills, and perhaps most importantly, a sense of social responsibility to ensure this power is used for the greater good.

To better prepare cybersecurity students to manage the heavy burden of responsibility that comes with access to information and technological skills, University of Illinois researchers, including iSchool Assistant Professor Masooda Bashir, are working to develop an academic curriculum focused specifically on cybersecurity ethics. A key goal is to get students to think through ethical...

Dec. 14, 2017
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Assistant Professor Elizabeth Massa Hoiem is one of six Illinois faculty members who have been awarded National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships for 2018. It is the third year in the last four that the Urbana campus has garnered more fellowship awards than any other single institution.

In addition to Hoiem, fellowship recipients include Donna Buchanan, a professor of music; Candice Jenkins, a professor of English; Paul Kapp, a professor of architecture; D. Fairchild Ruggles, a professor of landscape architecture; and Craig Williams, a professor of classics.

"Congratulations to our NEH Fellowship recipients. It is gratifying to see these exceptional scholars recognized for their academic achievements," said Chancellor Robert J. Jones. "These prestigious fellowships are highly competitive, and for Illinois to have six faculty members named NEH fellows this year indicates the excellence of the scholarship in...

Nov. 30, 2017
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Associate Professor Catherine Blake has been named the iSchool's Centennial Scholar for 2017-2018. The award is endowed by alumni and friends of the School and given in recognition of outstanding accomplishments and/or professional promise in information sciences.

A leading researcher in text mining medical literature, Blake has returned from a year as a faculty fellow at the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications, a research and development unit of the National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). There she worked on projects in semantic knowledge representation and medical ontology research.

Blake's earlier focus on how people synthesize evidence from literature directly informs her computational approaches to accelerate scientific discovery. She utilizes her industrial experience as a software developer, formal training in information and computer science, and more than a decade of experience in text mining scientific...

Nov. 21, 2017
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Professor and Associate Dean for Research J. Stephen Downie was a keynote speaker for the 7th Rizal Library International Conference, which was held from November 16-18 at Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City, Philippines. The theme of the conference was "CLICK! Connecting Libraries, Information, and Community Knowledge."

Downie gave the presentation, "HathiTrust Research Center: Text mining the very big data of the HathiTrust Digital Library." HathiTrust Digital Library is a partnership of more than 100 university and public libraries, which has amassed a collection of over 15 million volumes and 5.5 billion pages. While researchers are applying data mining and text analysis techniques to reveal new knowledge buried within the collection, roughly 10 million volumes are under copyright restrictions and cannot be shared directly with researchers.

In his talk, Downie, codirector of the...

Nov. 17, 2017
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Assistant Professor and MS/LIS Program Director Nicole A. Cooke has been elected director for Special Interest Groups (SIGs) for the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE). As director, Cooke will serve on the ALISE executive board and act as the liaison to all of the special interest groups and committees.
 
Cooke has been active in SIGs as a member and co-convener of the Doctoral Student SIG and co-convener of the Multicultural, Ethnic, and Humanistic Concerns (MEHC) SIG. 

"I have been a member of ALISE SIGs since I was a doctoral student, and that participation has been key in my development as a faculty member," said Cooke. "I'm very much looking forward to working with the organization in this new role!"

Cooke holds a PhD in communication, information, and library studies from Rutgers University. She is an expert in human information behavior, particularly in the online context; critical cultural information studies; and...

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