Assistant Professor Masooda Bashir has been named the iSchool's Centennial Scholar for 2018-2019. Endowed by alumni and friends of the School, the Centennial Scholar award recognizes outstanding accomplishments and/or professional promise in the field of library and information science.
"I am humbled and immensely grateful to the iSchool faculty and alumni to be a recipient of this award," said Bashir, whose research explores how privacy, security, and trust intersect with information systems from a psychological point of view.
Innovations in computing and the advance of electronic communication technologies have led to the exponential growth of digital data. The privacy, security, and trust of such data have become a top national and global priority. Bashir explores these critical concerns from a human-centered perspective, investigating users' attitudes, knowledge, behavior, and preferences related to digital privacy, cybersecurity, and automation.
Bashir is the director of Social Sciences in Engineering Research in the College of Engineering and holds appointments in the Information Trust Institute, Coordinated Science Laboratory, Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering, and Beckman Institute. She has led and served as co-principle investigator on several multidisciplinary projects, such the Illinois Cyber Security Scholars Program (ICSSP); Program in Digital Forensics curriculum development; and most recently, Ethical Thinking in Cyber Space (EthiCS), an interdisciplinary initiative funded by the National Security Agency with the primary aim of developing and teaching a curriculum designed to develop the critical and ethical reasoning skills vital for cybersecurity professionals. At the iSchool, she teaches courses in privacy in the internet age, information assurance, ethics of cybersecurity, and digital forensics.
"It is an honor to be part of an excellent community of scholars at the iSchool who consistently provide me with a strong intellectual climate and support to pursue my interdisciplinary research topics," said Bashir. "I look forward to working with them as well as my colleagues across campus to continue my research towards building a human-centered information science that lays the foundational principles for designing technologies that respect the privacy, security, and trust of users as well as adhere to established social and ethical guidelines."
Bashir joined the iSchool faculty in 2013. She previously served as assistant director for social trust initiatives in the Information Trust Institute (ITI) at Illinois, where she led multiple ITI educational initiatives, including the Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates program and ICSSP. Before coming to Illinois, she worked for several years as a systems analyst, technical trainer, manager, and global manager for a number of corporations in Silicon Valley, including Lotus and IBM. She has earned degrees in mathematics, computer science, and psychology and received her PhD in psychology from Purdue University.
"It is of great societal importance that we develop successful responses to the rapidly evolving opportunities and threats that networked digital systems present. In the coming decades, we expect to see more pervasive computing and integration of daily living with digital systems, the ever-increasing connectivity of the 'Internet of Things,' and a growing number of human-machine interactions of all sorts in our lives," said Dean Allen Renear. "Masooda's integration of pioneering interdisciplinary research themes with novel educational endeavors will help ensure the effective training of tomorrow's workforce and future leaders who can address the challenges that will face us in the decades to come."