Hadley So, a freshman from the San Francisco Bay area, is interested in ethically harnessing technology's potential to help society and the world. According to So, the iSchool classes he has taken so far have helped him analyze problems in new ways, and his professors' wide range of backgrounds and perspectives "keep the lessons interesting and relevant to modern issues."
Why did you decide to pursue a BS/IS degree?
Information science is becoming more relevant and important because of the increasingly digital nature of society. As a greater percentage of our lives happen in a digital world, understanding how to handle growing amounts of data ethically and efficiently is important for business, privacy, and security. Learning to utilize data as a commodity can help us solve a wide range of problems in healthcare, business, and education. The BS/IS degree is the perfect combination of technology and human factors. I've always had a love for technology and computing but found it too distant from the end user at times. This degree enables me to utilize the power of computers without forgetting the human consequences of our decisions.
Why did you choose the iSchool at Illinois?
I chose the iSchool at Illinois because of its long legacy in information sciences and its faculty and teaching professors. The School's focus on interdisciplinary aspects of technology, especially in data and computer science, was also very appealing.
What areas of information science interest you the most?
For me, the most interesting area of information science is the relationship humans have with the technologies we create. Learning how to design for and understand human action and perception is fascinating.
What career plans or goals do you have?
My current career goal is to work in data science or some branch of UI/UX. I love both the design aspects of UI/UX and the more technical side of data.
What do you do outside of class?
Outside of class, I am part of Design for America, a national organization focused on solving community problems by applying a human centered design process. I am also a student representative for iSchool faculty meetings, serving the BS/IS student body. This semester, I am working with Dr. Ian Brooks, the Center for Health Informatics, and the WHO to develop and implement tools for measuring the COVID-19 infodemic.