The old, green hand press that used to be stationed on the first floor of the iSchool building is getting a new lease on life. It has been moved to the Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab, where students and community members will be using it for letterpress printing. The Washington-style hand press, which was manufactured in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century by Reliance, was used for teaching and fine printing at the University of Illinois for decades before becoming a show piece at the iSchool.
Associate Professor Kate McDowell is the 2022 recipient of the Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award from the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T). The award recognizes her unique contributions to information science education that reside at the intersection of storytelling and data science.
Research on Diversity in Youth Literature (RDYL), a peer-reviewed, online, and open-access journal focused on issues of diversity, equity, social justice, inclusion, and intersectionality in youth literature, culture, and media, has moved from St. Catherine University to the iSchool's Center for Children's Books. The journal is co-edited by iSchool Associate Professor Sarah Park Dahlen and Sonia Alejandra Rodríguez, associate professor of English at LaGuardia Community College, City University of New York.
The iSchool is pleased to announce that Haohan Wang will join the faculty as an assistant professor in August 2022, pending approval by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. He recently completed his PhD in computer science through the Language Technologies Institute of Carnegie Mellon University.
Two projects led by iSchool faculty members have been selected as Humanities Research Institute (HRI) Research Clusters for 2022-2023. Formerly known as the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, HRI fosters interdisciplinary study in the humanities, arts, and social sciences at the University of Illinois. HRI Research Clusters enable faculty and graduate students to "develop questions or subjects of inquiry that require or would be enhanced by collaborative work." Projects selected as clusters receive grants of $2,500 to support their activities.
Ian Brooks, iSchool research scientist and director of the Center for Health Informatics (CHI), gave a keynote talk at the West Africa Conference on Digital Public Goods and Cybersecurity, which was held on May 9-10 in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The conference focused on bridging the gender gap in digital public goods and cybersecurity spaces in Africa.
Insider threats are one of the top security concerns facing large organizations. Current and former employees, business partners, contractors—anyone with the right level of access to a company’s data—can pose a threat. The incidence of insider threats has increased in recent years, at a significant cost to companies. Associate Professor Jingrui He is addressing this problem in a new project that seeks to detect and predict insider threats. She has been awarded a three-year, $200,000 grant from the C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute for her project, "Multi-Facet Rare Event Modeling of Adaptive Insider Threats."
There are approximately 600,000 individuals in the U.S. who are undergoing hemodialysis (HD) therapy for kidney failure. In hemodialysis, a machine filters wastes, salts, and fluid from the blood when an individual's kidneys are no longer healthy enough to do this work adequately. While lifestyle changes such as getting more exercise and making better nutritional choices would benefit HD patients, they are not popular with patients—leading to poor health outcomes. A new project, led by Assistant Professor Jessie Chin, aims to boost HD patients' commitment to exercise through a long-term motivational interviewing conversational agent (LotMintBot).
iSchool faculty and students will present their research at the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2022), which is structured as a hybrid-onsite conference from May 2-5 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The annual conference brings together researchers and practitioners who have the overarching goal of making the world a better place with interactive digital technologies.
Members of Associate Professor Dong Wang's research group, the Social Sensing Lab, will present their research at The ACM Web Conference 2022. The conference, which will be held virtually April 25-29, is the premier venue to present and discuss progress in research, development, standards, and applications of topics related to the Web.
Risk assessments are conducted to determine if a chemical found in the environment is harmful to public health; for example, answering questions such as "does chemical 'x' promote cancer?" Conducting an impartial analysis of chemicals is thus critical to ensure that public policies reflect the best available scientific evidence. Unfortunately, the process of retrieving, extracting, and analyzing findings reported in scientific literature is time consuming and can delay when policies are updated to reflect new evidence.
Assistant Professor Elizabeth Hoiem has received the Humanities Research Institute (HRI) Prize for Best Faculty Research for her paper, "The Progress of Sugar: Consumption as Complicity in Children’s Books about Slavery and Manufacturing, 1790-2015." The award recognizes outstanding humanities research by a faculty member at the University of Illinois.
Associate Professor Emily Knox will deliver the Masha Dexter Lecture on Gender, Sexuality, and Public Policy at Brown University on April 7. The purpose of the annual lecture is to "memorialize and promote in other students Masha Dexter's extraordinary energy and engagement with the overlapping issues of gender, sexuality, and public policy, as reflected in the broad range of her own activities."
Forty-one iSchool instructors were named in the University's List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent for Fall 2021. The rankings are released every semester, and results are based on the Instructor and Course Evaluation System (ICES) questionnaire forms maintained by Measurement and Evaluation in the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning. Only those instructors who gave out ICES forms during the semester and who released their data for publication are included in the list.
As the tragic scenes of war in the Ukraine unfold on TV, computer, and cellphone screens across the world, people wonder what they can do to help the besieged country. iSchool alumni are among those working to make a difference by capturing Ukrainian museum and library websites, digital exhibits, text corpora, and open access publications in order to preserve Ukraine's cultural heritage. Quinn Dombrowski (MS/LIS '09), academic technology specialist in the Library and the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages at Stanford University, is co-organizing the initiative Saving Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Online (SUCHO) with Anna Kijas of Tufts University and Sebastian Majstorovic of the Austrian Center for Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage.
The Community Data Clinic has announced its first cohort of Community Media, Data, and Technology (CMDT) Fellows. The new program is part of the "Reparative Data and Media Initiative: Extending Racial and Research Justice in Champaign County" project, which is funded through the University's Call to Action initiative and led by Anita Say Chan, associate professor and director of the Community Data Clinic, and Katie Shumway, director of the Community Learning Lab in the School of Social Work. The fellowships provide annual funding and technical support to community organizations in Champaign County "looking to advance promising ideas to change local communities and systems."
The following iSchool faculty, staff, and students will participate in iConference 2022, which will be held virtually on February 28-March 4. The annual event brings together scholars, researchers, and information professionals to share insights on critical information issues. The theme of this year's conference is "Information for a Better World: Shaping the Global Future."
Associate Professor Jingrui He will be a keynote speaker at the Machine Learning on Graphs Workshop during the 15th Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) International WSDM Conference. WSDM, which will be held virtually on February 21-25, is one of the premier conferences on web-inspired research involving search and data mining.
Associate Professor Yang Wang has received a one-year, $100,000 grant from Meta for his project, "Global South Citizens' Privacy Perceptions and Management of Targeted Ads on Social Media." His doctoral students Tanusree Sharma, Smirity Kaushik, and Yaman Yu will serve as co-investigators. The goal of the project is to learn from users in the Global South, with a focus on India and Bangladesh, about their experience with targeted ads.