The iSchool is pleased to announce that Nigel Bosch has joined the faculty. He also holds a joint appointment with the Department of Educational Psychology in the College of Education.
Bosch uses machine learning/data mining methods to study human behaviors, especially in learning contexts. His research examines data such as facial expressions, audio recordings, log file records of user actions, and other sources that provide insight into learners' behaviors.
"Neural networks and other machine learning methods provide powerful ways to mine these data for knowledge, but can proliferate biases that are commonly found in datasets," Bosch said. "My research focuses on analyzing the biases in these methods, with the goal of ultimately developing fairer learning software and research methods."
Bosch previously taught at the iSchool as an adjunct lecturer, which left him "extremely impressed" with the quality of work completed by the students as well as their professionalism.
"I am very excited to be joining the faculty. Given the recent rise to prominence of machine learning in many domains, it is a perfect time for me to be in the iSchool, where ethics and people's needs are so highly valued as essential research considerations,” he said.
After earning his PhD in computer science from the University of Notre Dame in 2017, Bosch worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). He is a faculty affiliate of NCSA and Illinois Informatics.
"We are delighted that Nigel is able to join us," said Professor and Dean Allen Renear. "He is not only an expert in how new computational strategies can help us develop a deep understanding of learning and information acquisition, but he is also a specialist in how those methods can sometimes systematically distort and bias that understanding—these research areas are extremely important to both the opportunities and the problems we face today."