Members of Associate Professor Dong Wang's research group, the Social Sensing Lab, will present papers at the 2021 IEEE International Conference on Big Data (IEEE BigData 2021), which will be held virtually from December 15-18.
In addition to killing insects and weeds, pesticides can be toxic to the environment and harmful to human health. A new project led by Associate Professor Dong Wang and Huichun Zhang, Frank H. Neff Professor of Civil Engineering at Case Western Reserve University, will help scientists mitigate the environmental and ecological risks of pollutants such as pesticides and develop remediation strategies for cleaner water, soil, and air. The researchers have received a three-year, $402,773 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for their project, "Machine Learning Modeling for the Reactivity of Organic Contaminants in Engineered and Natural Environments."
Several iSchool researchers participated in the recent Misinformation Research Symposium, which was hosted by the Center for Social and Behavioral Science and sponsored by the Center for Advanced Study, Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute, and National Center for Supercomputing Applications. The goals of the symposium were to help connect misinformation research on campus, foster interdisciplinary teams interested in collaborating on external submissions, and learn more about the needs of existing and emerging research groups on campus.
A new book on information policy includes chapters by Professor Emeritus Alistair Black and Associate Professor and Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Emily Knox. Research Handbook on Information Policy, edited by Alistair S. Duff, was recently published by Edward Elgar Publishing. The handbook covers topics such as the history and future of information policy, freedom of information and expression, intellectual property, and information inequality.
BS/IS student Hanyu (Zella) Zhao learned about pop culture and data analytics through her work on the undergraduate research project, Analysis on Rolling Stone Magazine Covers. Professor Michael Twidale mentored her during the project, in which a team of undergraduates created a database of celebrities who appeared on the magazine cover from 1967 to 2021.
A new project led by Assistant Professor Matthew Turk is among the napari plugin projects that have recently received support from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) in its effort to advance bioimaging technologies. Visiting Research Scientist Christopher Havlin will serve as co-principal investigator on the project, "Enabling Access To Multi-resolution Data."
Associate Professor Jingrui He has been awarded a three-year, $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop explainable techniques to detect and track rare categories. For her project, "RareXplain: A Computational Framework for Explainable Rare Category Analysis," she will focus on real-world problems where underrepresented, rare (abnormal) examples play critical roles, such as defective silicon wafers resulting from a new semiconductor manufacturing process and rare but severe complications (e.g., kidney failure) among diabetes patients.
iSchool researchers presented their work at the 19th annual Community Informatics Research Network (CIRN) Conference on November 8-12. The theme of this year's conference was "Communities, Technology and This Moment." CIRN 2021 explored how researchers and practitioners ethically collect information, including what happens when community information is deliberately not collected and how information systems can be designed "in harmony with communities."
Newly elected Virginia Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin ran a campaign ad featuring a mother who eight years ago tried to ban Beloved, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Toni Morrison, from her son's advanced placement high school English class. Youngkin's use of the ad has generated a discussion about banning books. Emily Knox is a professor and the interim associate dean for academic affairs in the School of Information Sciences, the author of Book Banning in 21st-Century America and editor of Trigger Warnings: History, Theory, Context. She talked with News Bureau arts and humanities editor Jodi Heckel.
In July 2020, Chancellor Robert J. Jones announced the creation of the Call to Action Research Program to Address Racism and Social Injustice, a $2 million annual commitment by the University of Illinois to respond to the critical need for universities across the nation to prioritize research focused on systemic racial inequities and injustices that exist not only in communities but in higher education itself. On November 2, Chancellor Jones announced that 22 projects have been funded through this new program. Associate Professor Anita Say Chan will serve as a lead on two projects.
Assistant Professor Jessie Chin and PhD student Smit Desai will present their research at the Technology, Mind and Society (TMS) Conference, which will be held virtually November 3-5. Hosted by the American Psychological Association, TMS brings together scientists, industry leaders, practitioners, students, and policymakers to explore the critical role that psychology plays in the design, use, adoption, and impact of technology and the artificial intelligence that powers it.
Assistant Professor Jodi Schneider has been awarded a three-year, $416,760 Early Career Development grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS grant RE-250162-OLS-21), under the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program, which supports innovative research by untenured, tenure-track faculty.
iSchool faculty and students will participate in the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) Annual Meeting, which will be held in a hybrid format—in Salt Lake City, Utah, and online—from October 30-November 2. The theme of this year's conference is "Information: Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Justice, and Relevance." The meeting, now in its 84th year, is the premier international conference dedicated to the study of information, people, and technology in contemporary society.
People who are blind take pictures and videos and share them with others but face a unique challenge—they cannot independently review their pictures and videos to identify unnecessary private or sensitive content. A set of new algorithmic and interactive techniques being developed by researchers at the iSchool and partner institutions will empower people who are blind to independently safeguard private information in their pictures and videos. Principal investigators on the project include Associate Professor Yang Wang; Danna Gurari, assistant professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of Colorado Boulder; and Leah Findlater, associate professor in Human Centered Design & Engineering Department at the University of Washington. The collaborative project, "Novel Algorithms and Tools for Empowering People Who Are Blind to Safeguard Private Visual Content," received a four-year, $1,199,993 grant from the National Science Foundation, with the U of I team led by Wang receiving $315,931.
Assistant Professor Yun Huang and students will present their research at the 24th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW 2021), which will be held virtually on October 23-27. CSCW is the premier venue for experts from industry and academia to explore the technical, social, material, and theoretical challenges of designing technology to support collaborative work and life activities.
Associate Professor Ryan Cordell will deliver the keynote address at the Marbach-Weimar-Wolfenbüttel (MWW) Research Association Mid-Term Conference, which will be held virtually from Germany on October 14-15. The goal of the MWW is "to provide future-oriented impulses for collaboration in the field of humanities and cultural studies research." The association's mid-term conference will focus on engagement with material and medial losses in the archive and library.
Research conducted by Assistant Professor Jessie Chin's Adaptive Cognition and Interaction Design Lab (ACTION) provided the foundation for an article recently published in the high-impact Journal of Medical Internet Research. PhD student Tre Tomaszewski is the first author on the peer-reviewed article, "Identifying False Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine Information and Corresponding Risk Perceptions from Twitter: Advanced Predictive Models."
Sara L. Schwebel, professor and director of the Center for Children's Books, and Jocelyn Van Tuyl, professor of French at New College of Florida, have coedited a new book, Dust Off the Gold Medal: Rediscovering Children's Literature at the Newbery Centennial, which was recently published by Routledge. The Newbery Medal, the oldest and most influential children's book award in the United States, marks its 100th anniversary this year. In Dust Off the Gold Medal, Schwebel and Van Tuyl collect fourteen essays, written by contributors across the country, who examine Newbery winners that have been understudied by literary scholars.
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.
The iSchool at Illinois will host the 2021 ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL), which will be held virtually from September 27-30. JCDL is a major international forum focusing on digital libraries and associated technical, practical, and social issues. The conference will feature paper and poster presentations as well as a wide variety of tutorials and workshops offering hands-on experiences with different digital libraries and online archives.