Catherine Blake has been promoted to the position of professor in the School of Information Sciences, effective August 16, 2021.
Blake's research seeks to accelerate science and inform policy by automatically extracting and summarizing claims reported in the scientific literature. Her automated approaches are informed by her award-winning study of human information synthesis behaviors. She has introduced methods to summarize comparison claims and extract outcomes that operate at a noun phrase level rather than an entire sentence. Her work has been published in the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, Journal of Biomedical Informatics, Environmental Health Perspectives, and elsewhere.
"Peer-reviewed journals capture the latest findings from the greatest minds, but it's not enough to just organize information: we need to synthesize evidence and get the aggregated findings into the hands of decision makers," said Blake.
Blake leads the Illinois contingent of the Midwest Big Data Hub (MBDH), which is housed in the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) and includes a network of experts from across the twelve states who catalyze data science efforts to collect, manage, and leverage complex information to improve life in the Midwest. She also holds an affiliate appointment in the Department of Computer Science.
In addition to her research, Blake has contributed to the iSchool's educational programs. She introduced a graduate specialization in socio-technical data analytics (SODA) in 2010, which was funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Work on this project formed the basis of the current data analytics track in the MS in information management, for which Blake currently serves as the program director. Since 2011, she has served as associate director of the iSchool's Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship. She also directs the Information Sciences concentration of the campuswide MS in Bioinformatics program.
Prior to coming to Illinois, Blake was a faculty member at the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; a research scientist; and an applications programmer. She holds an MS and PhD in information and computer science from the University of California, Irvine, and a BS and MS in computer science from the University of Wollongong, Australia.