The first iSchool Corporate Showcase took place on April 24 at the University of Illinois Research Park. The event, which included a poster session and presentations, introduced employers to the strengths and expertise of information science professionals and celebrated the iSchool’s inaugural class of MS in information management (MS/IM) students. It attracted more than one hundred participants, including corporate partners and iSchool alumni, faculty, staff, and students.
"The Corporate Showcase was developed to help strengthen and maintain the iSchool network at the Research Park," explained Employer Relations Coordinator Michele Plante. "The goals were to enhance our corporate partners' understanding of the relevance of information science to their work, promote useful discussion that will generate new collaborations, and provide students with an opportunity to experience presenting to and interacting with corporations that are interested in the information sciences."
Dean and Professor Allen Renear, Professor and MS/IM Program Director Michael Twidale, and Assistant Professor and PhD Program Director Jana Diesner presented an overview of the iSchool's programs. Imran Khan, director of big data engineering at Gartner, discussed his positive experience in employing and working with iSchool students over the years.
The showcase featured the following student posters, which were selected by a committee of industry judges to represent the work done at the iSchool:
- "AdSkipper: Acoustic Fingerprinting Technology," by master's students Ajit Dhobale and Milind Mathur
- "Deep Multi-task Learning for Social Media Information Extraction," by doctoral candidate Shubhanshu Mishra and Assistant Professor Jana Diesner
- "What's the Difference?" Textual Visual Analysis of Variations in Technical Document Structure," by master's students Aayushi Vora and Hiral Rayani, with Informatics PhD student Jarai Carter
- "TED Talks – A Predictive Analysis Using Classification Algorithms," by master's students Paulami Ray, Kumkum Yadav, and Garima Garg
- "Topic Analysis of Chat Reference Logs," by master's student Xinyu Tian and Associate Professor Catherine Blake, with Megan Ozeran and Piper Martin of the University Library
- "[Digital] Accessibility in the Information Sciences: How to be a Good UXA11y," by master's students Lizzy Boden, Mark McCarthy, Joseph Porto, and Nirvik Pravin
- "Improve Text Readability and Understanding with NLP," by master's student Alex Dryden
- "Classification and Detection of Micro-level Impact of Issue-focused Films Based on Reviews," by PhD student Rezvaneh Rezapour and Assistant Professor Jana Diesner
- "Evaluating an Automatic Data Extraction Tool for Evidence Synthesis Through Real-life Case Studies," by PhD students Linh Hoang, Yingjun Guan, and Yi-Yun Cheng; master's student Linh Cao; and Assistant Professor Jodi Schneider
Guests included companies such as AbbVie, AgCo/GSI, Ameren, Busey Bank, Caterpillar, COUNTRY Financial, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Gartner, Grail, Graybar, Illinois Department of Innovation & Technology, Illinois Department of Revenue, HDF Group, Pixo, and John Deere. Representatives from the University's Office of the Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement, Fire Service Institute, and Fighting Illini Sports Technology attended as well.
The School plans to make the Corporate Showcase an annual event. For more information, contact Michele Plante.