MS/LIS student Mary Franks has been named the 2021 recipient of the American Library Association (ALA) Century Scholarship. The scholarship supports students with disabilities, providing funds for services or accommodations that will enable them to successfully complete their MS or PhD in an ALA-accredited library and information science program.
Kathryn Harris (MS/LIS '71), former director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, has been inducted as an Illinois Library Luminary. The Illinois Library Luminary program, an initiative of the Illinois Library Association (ILA), recognizes those who have made a significant contribution to Illinois libraries.
Internet studies and digital media scholar Safiya Noble (MS '09, PhD '12) has been named a 2021 MacArthur Fellow by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Noble, an associate professor in the Department of Gender Studies and African American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), is among 25 fellows who will each receive $625,000 in unrestricted support over the next five years.
The iSchool at Illinois is part of a multidisciplinary research team that has been awarded $750,000 to develop digital literacy tools to curb the deleterious effects of online disinformation. The grant is from the National Science Foundation's Convergence Accelerator, a program launched in 2019 that builds upon basic research and discovery to accelerate solutions toward societal impact. The research team, led by the University of Buffalo (UB), includes experts in artificial intelligence, the humanities, information science and other fields. In addition to Illinois and UB, partners include Clemson University, Lehigh University, and Northeastern University.
Forty-seven iSchool instructors were named in the University's List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent for Spring 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.
In the event of a natural disaster like Hurricane Ida, artificial intelligence (AI) may be used to assess damage, using imagery reports to identify the severity of flooded areas. Using AI in disaster scene assessment has its limitations, however, and input from the people affected is needed, in order to get a better picture. A new project being led by Associate Professor Dong Wang will explore the power of human intelligence to address the failures of existing AI schemes in disaster damage assessment applications and boost the performance of the system. Wang has received a three-year, $499,786 National Science Foundation (NSF) Human-Centered Computing (HCC) grant for his new project, "DeepCrowd: A Crowd-assisted Deep Learning-based Disaster Scene Assessment System with Active Human-AI Interactions."
Assistant Professor Jodi Schneider has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award to assess how to identify potential sources of bias in research and how confident we can be in the conclusions drawn from a particular body of evidence. This prestigious award is given in support of early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization. Schneider's project, "Using Network Analysis to Assess Confidence in Research Synthesis," will be supported by a five-year, $599,963 grant from the NSF.
A paper authored by PhD student Smirity Kaushik and Associate Professor Yang Wang received the IAPP SOUPS Privacy Award at the 17th Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS 2021). The symposium, which was held August 8-10, brings together an interdisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners in human-computer interaction, security, and privacy.
The iSchool is pleased to announce that five of the eighteen students selected to participate in the 2021-2023 Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Kaleidoscope Diversity Scholars Program are from the University of Illinois. With the goal of attracting MS/LIS students from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups to careers in research libraries and archives, the Kaleidoscope Program offers financial support to scholars as well as leadership development through the ARL Annual Leadership Symposium, a formal mentoring program, career placement assistance, and a site visit to an ARL member library.
MS/LIS Leep students Jacqueline Mann, Abigail Mastin, and Kate Swope have been selected to receive scholarships from the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI). The scholarship provides financial assistance to current employees of CARLI Governing Member Libraries pursuing graduate studies leading to a master’s degree in library and information science at the University of Illinois. CARLI provides library services and support to 128 Illinois public universities, community colleges, private colleges and universities, and special libraries.
PhD students Jessica Cheng and Lo Lee have been awarded Garfield Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships from the Beta Phi Mu Honor Society. The $3,000 fellowship supports students who are working on their dissertations in library and information science, information studies, informatics, or a related field.
Teaching Associate Professor David Dubin and Associate Professor Halil Kilicoglu have been named National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) Faculty Fellows for the 2021-22 academic year. This competitive program for faculty and researchers at the University of Illinois provides seed funding for new projects that include NCSA staff as integral contributors to the research.
Maria Bonn, associate professor and director of the MS/LIS and CAS programs, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T). She will begin her three-year term immediately following the ASIS&T Annual Meeting, which will be held from October 29-November 2 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
MS/LIS student Emily Zerrenner recently completed a ten-week internship as a Library of Congress Junior Fellow. This competitive program provides students with the opportunity to explore digital initiatives and increase access to the institution’s collections while working under the direction of library curators and specialists in various divisions. For her project, Zerrenner researched audience engagement for LC Labs, a directorate housed within the Office of the Chief Information Officer at the Library of Congress.
While empathy is important in almost every aspect of daily life, it is not always a priority in the development of technology, especially technology using artificial intelligence (AI). iSchool researchers are working to address this gap by using empathy to teach high school students about cybersecurity and AI ethics issues. Led by Associate Professor Yang Wang, the project, "Teaching High School Students about Cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence Ethics via Empathy-Driven Hands-On Projects," has received a two-year, $297,575 National Science Foundation (NSF) Early-Concept Grant for Exploratory Research (EAGER). Assistant Professor Yun Huang; Pilyoung Kim, associate professor of psychology at the University of Denver; and Tom Yeh, associate professor of computer science at the University of Colorado Boulder, will serve as co-principal investigators.
The Community Data Clinic, a mixed methods data studies and interdisciplinary community research lab led by Associate Professor Anita Say Chan, has received a $50,000 grant to address gaps in household access to computing devices, hotspot connectivity, and digital literacy skills in East Central Illinois. The grant is part of the state's Broadband Regional Engagement for Adoption and Digital Equity (READY) program, which is operated through the governor's office and Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The Community Data Clinic at the University of Illinois is one of only four sites that are partnering with the state on this effort.
Eight iSchool master's students have been named 2021-2022 Spectrum Scholars by the American Library Association (ALA) Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services. Since 1997, the Spectrum Scholarship Program has promoted diversity among graduate-level students pursuing degrees in library and information studies through ALA-accredited programs.
Glen Worthey, associate director for research support services at the HathiTrust Research Center, is among the first recipients of new grant funding to advance digital scholarship in cultural institutions, through a joint initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the United Kingdom's Arts and Humanities Research Council. Worthey is the project director of "AEOLIAN (Artificial intelligence for cultural organizations)," a collaboration with Loughborough University in the U.K. The project will bring together a team of experts to develop and examine new approaches–particularly artificial intelligence and machine learning–for improving access to and use of digital collections that are currently restricted due to privacy concerns or copyright protection.
A team including Associate Professor Jana Diesner has received a $1 million, three-year grant from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Germany) for their project, "TextTransfer: Assessing Impact Patterns in Research Texts Applying Corpus Driven Methods." The collaborative project is a continuation of the previously funded "Text Transfer" pilot project, in which Diesner and colleagues used a mixed methods approach to build taxonomies and prediction models for secondary practical uses of research findings from final reports of grant-funded work. Their methods included interviews, information extraction, natural language processing, and machine learning.
Karin Readel, senior education coordinator for Informatics programs, has received the Outstanding Advising Professional Award from IlliAAC, a professional development organization for student and academic affairs staff at the University of Illinois. She was recognized at the IlliAAC Conference on May 19.