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Nov. 2, 2016

In the seventeenth century, Margaret Cavendish authored a work of utopian fiction that has been called one of the earliest examples of science fiction. Doctoral student Stacy Wykle thinks otherwise—and her research supports the book’s contributions to scientific discourse as well as Cavendish’s vision to reorganize the social, intellectual, and chronological realities of her day.

Wykle will present “Materiality, Creativity, and the Early Modern Scientific Epistemology of Margaret Cavendish’s Blazing-World” at the 30th Annual Conference of the Society for Literature, Science and the Arts (SLSA), to be held November 3-6 in Atlanta, Georgia. SLSA brings together individuals from a variety of backgrounds who share a common interest in the cultural and social dimensions of science, technology, and medicine.

Wykle’s talk will focus on the influence of Cavendish—a philosopher, poet, scientist, writer, and...

Oct. 27, 2016

As an undergrad Christopher Murphy first heard about the iSchool at Illinois from a librarian friend at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Now as an MS/LIS student, intellectual property researcher for John Deere, and volunteer in the community, Murphy has seen for himself how important building a professional network can be.

Why did you decide to pursue an LIS degree?
When I started researching schools, I really came to see how valuable someone is who can connect people with information. I also began to see how broad the field of LIS really is—librarians work in all kinds of settings and connect all sorts of people with the information they need. We are living in a time when information has very real value, so it made absolute sense to jump into a field that specialized in exactly that....

Oct. 18, 2016

When iSchool master’s student Alison Rollins saw that Nerinx Hall High School had a job opening for a librarian, she jumped at the chance to work for her alma mater. She was hired in in August, bringing several years of experience in youth services for public libraries.

The new position has allowed Rollins to gain additional real-world skills while working on her MS in library and information science. She decided to pursue the iSchool’s top-ranked degree in order to give her a career advantage and expand her skill set to other areas of LIS.

“Because I have so much experience working in youth services, I try to take classes at the iSchool that are not focused on that area,” she said. Instead, she’s taking courses like Social Science Research in LIS (LIS 519), Museum Informatics (LIS 490),...

Oct. 17, 2016

Doctoral candidate Brittany Smith successfully defended her dissertation, "Motivation and Skill Acquisition in an Online Amateur Multimedia Community: A Case Study," on October 10.

Her committee includes Associate Professor Carol Tilley (chair), Professor William Cope (Education), Associate Professor Kathryn LaBarre, Professor Linda C. Smith, and Professor Michael Twidale.

Abstract: Both the amount of multimedia content and the venues for sharing such content have been steadily increasing, yet not much is known about what motivated, inspired, and helped the content creators to create their artifacts. Using participant observation, web content analysis, and interviews, this case study focuses on one online amateur multimedia community and the animators therein. In particular, it addresses questions concerning 1) one's motivation to join and create animations in that community, and 2) how one acquires the skills necessary to create animations and participate in the...

Oct. 12, 2016

Several University of Illinois iSchool faculty and students will participate in the 2016 Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) Annual Meeting, which will be held October 14-18 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The meeting is the premier international conference dedicated to the study of information, people, and technology in contemporary society. This year’s theme is "Creating Knowledge, Enhancing Lives through Information & Technology."

The involvement of iSchool faculty extends beyond participation in the event. Associate Professor Kathryn La Barre is a member of the ASIS&T Board of Directors, contributing to governance activities. La Barre also served as chair of the jury that selected the Best Information Science Book of the Year. Associate Professor Catherine Blake was paper co-chair for the conference as well as a member of the jury that selected the...

Oct. 3, 2016

Doctoral student Paige Cunningham will participate this week in the conference, Learning with MOOCs III: Being and Learning in a Digital Age, to be held October 6-7 at the University of Pennsylvania.

Cunningham will present her paper, “Massive Data, Individual Learners: Challenges for Developing Holistic Views of MOOC Participants.” She will address the challenges of drawing meaningful insight from learner data regarding MOOCs offered by the University of Illinois.

When the University of Illinois and Coursera first partnered in 2012, the number of offered courses was small, so the large amounts of learner data provided was manageable. Since then, the number of course offerings has risen and the data provided to the university from Coursera has changed. While an increase in volume of learner data initially sounds rich for developing a holistic view of learner engagement and performance, the data...

Sep. 19, 2016

Cass Mabbott, PhD student, will participate in Information Seeking in Context (ISIC): The Information Behaviour Conference to be held September 20-23 in Zadar, Croatia. This biannual conference is devoted to information-seeking behavior and information use, focusing this year on analytical investigations of the connection between information research and information behavior and practices.

Mabbott will present, "Writing and reading the results: The reporting of research rigour tactics in information behaviour research as evident in the published proceedings of the biennial ISIC conferences, 1996-2014," with Heidi Julien, professor and chair of the Department of Library and Information Studies at the University of Buffalo, SUNY; Lynne McKechnie, professor of information and media studies at The University of Western Ontario; and Roger Chabot and Nicole Dalmer, PhD students at The University of Western Ontario.