Doctoral Students

The iSchool is home to a diverse body of students who pursue research in a variety of fields. Meet some of our current doctoral students below.

Advisor
Jana Diesner
Research focus
Creating tools for the social good and quantifying impact using social computing methodologies.
Advisor
Yang Wang
Research focus
I design and evaluate novel data-driven systems aimed at increasing algorithmic transparency, preventing privacy violations, and building trust. I'm particularly interested in studying how such systems can enable users to understand and control data practices, inferences, and automated decisions.
Advisor
Peter Darch
Research focus
My research brings together perspectives from information theory, science and technology studies, and human-computer interaction, to address sociotechnical issues related to the development of biomedical technologies. This work is motivated by questions about how and why different values shape and inform design decisions made within everyday scientific practices. It also seeks to understand the social implications of these decisions and the role information systems (e.g. algorithms, computational modeling, data management) have in enabling certain consequences. Through this research I look for practical values interventions which scientists can use to keep long-term ethical considerations at the forefront of translational research processes.
Advisor
Martin Wolske
Research focus
I'm interested in information history, socio-technical design, and the origins and consequences of information systems. My research explores information systems and practices from a sociological perspective; the social, economic, and political context of their design, implementation, and governance; and the impact of historical and contemporary systems on human welfare and social justice.
Advisor
Rachel M. Magee
Research focus
My research interest is in youth and information access and use, both in formal and informal learning settings. I am particularly interested in diversity and the school performance and economic impacts of computing knowledge and proficiency, and in the role school and public libraries can play in addressing racial end economic disparities in access to information.
Advisor
Yun Huang
Research focus
I am interested in designing and examining computing systems for social good, specifically in supporting informal learning under different contexts.
Advisor
Bertram Ludäscher
Research focus
My research interests are on topics related to interoperability issues with Knowledge Organisation Systems, especially in the areas of taxonomy alignment. I’m currently working with Professor Bertram Ludäscher on projects where we tried to use RCC-5, logic-based approach to reconcile taxonomies. I’m also interested in ontology mapping, matching problems, and other Semantic Web related topics.
Advisor
Michael Twidale
Research focus
My current research interest lies in the usability and prototyping of Voice Interfaces. I am particularly interested in the user's mental model while interacting with these interfaces.
Advisor
Jana Diesner
Research focus
Ly's current interests as well as research topic areas lie at the intersection of computational social science, network theories and applications, and organizational communication. More specifically, Ly aims to examine how research methods such as network analysis and social simulation models can be used to advance our understanding of various social and organizational systems. Her current projects place network science at the core to understand and explain a number of social/organizational phenomena ranging from egocentric networks to interagency emergency response networks.
Advisor
Jerome McDonough
Research focus
My research focuses on issues at the nexus of information and race and interrogates how these issues impact Black people and communities. My dissertation project examines the information behavior of Black people within the context of cultural heritage institutions.
Advisor
Bertram Ludäscher
Research focus
My research interests are in scientific data management; computational reproducibility; data curation; workflows and provenance; information organization, representation and access.
Advisor
Vetle Torvik
Research focus
My current academic interests include data mining, text mining, machine learning, and data visualization, specifically on how DM and TM can help analyze; sociotechnical data such as medical data, publication data, or geographical data, etc.; how to apply different ML algorithms to different projects and invent new ones; and how to better visualize and storytell the data.
Advisor
Catherine Blake
Research focus
My research motivation involves extracting patterns and relations from textual data that will help scientists and scholars make discoveries from large text datasets. The related areas include information retrieval, natural language processing, text mining, and ontology.
Advisor
Carol Tilley
Research focus
My research interests focus on information literacy and readership, fandom, and the information behavior of fans active in online communities. I am also interested in comics and cultural studies, especially in the evaluation of cultural elements reflected in comics and comic-related data analysis and representation.
Advisor
Jana Diesner
Research focus
My research interests include data mining and social computing, specifically in extracting information and features from text and behavioral data through NLP and network science, and using them to analyze and predict social phenomena through statistical and machine learning models.
Advisor
Lori Kendall
Research focus
My research interests are in personal archives/archiving, community archives, and memory studies. I use qualitative methods to explore people’s ideas and experiences centered around personal archiving and how information professionals can better understand and support such everyday information behavior.
Advisor
Jerome McDonough
Research focus
My research focuses on the digital preservation of cultural artifacts and community development in the context of cultural preservation.
Advisor
J. Stephen Downie
Research focus
My research interest lies in music information retrieval (MIR), especially music mood/genre classification using text mining and signal processing techniques, as well as topics related to MIR evaluation.
Advisor
Bertram Ludäscher
Research focus
My research interests include natural language processing, text mining, machine learning and their applications in various domains. I am motivated in building smarter automatic systems that can help people get insights from data and make important decisions, without the hassle of going through the laborious work of collecting and disambiguating knowledge.
Advisor
Vetle Torvik
Research focus
My research interests are on topics related to knowledge diffusion and scholarly communication. I'm current working with Professor Vetle Torvik to study how the patents are cited in the scientific papers.
Advisor
J. Stephen Downie
Research focus
My research interests include digital humanities and digital libraries. I want to apply digital tools and computational methods to the study of texts and innovate the way we interpret literature. I am also very interested in library and information sciences education.
Advisor
Rachel M. Magee
Research focus
People with medical disabilities and their information behaviors, with the end goal of determining how libraries can promote disability equity in their services and programs in supporting these individuals.
Advisor
Vetle Torvik
Research focus
My research interest lies in Data Mining, Text Mining, Machine Learning, and Natural Language Processing, especially on how machine learning can help us to analyze unstructured text data and sociotechnical data like social media, geographical, and scientific publication data.
Advisor
Peter Darch
Research focus
My research interest lies in scientific data curation. Currently, I focus on how researchers make their data accessible and reusable for others. I am also interested in how researchers conduct research projects in data-intensive, collaborative, and interdisciplinary sciences.
Advisor
Jerome McDonough
Research focus
My research interests are in preservation of intangible cultural heritage, specifically the seeking, acquisition, and sharing of indigenous knowledge. I am particularly interested to know how varied indigenous groups acquire and transmit existing and new knowledge; understanding challenges and how choices are negotiated; as well as identifying strategies for facilitating ongoing indigenous practices and preserving existing knowledge for future generations.
Advisor
Kate Williams
Research focus
I am interested in library and information services provision for the marginalized community in Africa, especially historically marginalized communities and those who have had to leave their homes due to environmentally, political, social or economic problems.  My focus will be on identifying existing library and information services to the marginalized communities, assess their impact on the ground and identify best practices.
Advisor
Catherine Blake
Research focus
My research focuses on biomedical scientific claims made in grant funded projects. Especially, I am interested in analyzing the effect of collaboration on evolving scientific claims in multiple projects, which are appeared in text such as grant abstracts and full-text articles. The textual analysis on scientific claims are conducted with various techniques in information retrieval, natural language processing, and text mining.
Advisor
Melissa Ocepek
Research focus
My research interests lie at the intersection of information behavior and creativity. I employ qualitative methods in my current project to examine everyday information behavior of arts and crafts hobbyists, including how they make artifacts for fun. I am also interested in exploring how cultural institutions (e.g., libraries, museums) can facilitate the creative making process in everyday life.
Advisor
Bertram Ludäscher
Research focus
My research interests focus on data cleaning and data provenance. The goal is to use the provenance model to fix the reproducibility, reusability, and transparency issues across research areas, such as data cleaning, natural language processing, data curation.
Advisor
Carol Tilley
Research focus
Critical theory in LIS education and information organizations. Information behavior of children. Youth services in public libraries with emphasis on diverse users. Children's literature. Research methods. Management of public libraries.
Advisors
Jana Diesner, Vetle Torvik
Research focus
I conduct research on extracting and analyzing information from temporally changing social data. I have applied human-in-the-loop as well as semi-supervised machine learning techniques to extract information from social media datasets. I have also worked on quantifying conceptual novelty and expertise in biomedical articles. I have also worked on studying the effects of gender, ethnicity, and author age on self-citation rates in biomedical articles. Most of my research is available in form of open source tools, and open datasets.
Advisor
Linda Smith
Research focus
My research focus is on the social design of technical systems (mobile and web applications) for diverse user groups which embodies both interaction design as well as user experience. My research utilizes Design Thinking (empathize, define, ideate, prototype, test) as a method to approach the complex problems encountered during the product development and user acquisition phase. My passion is connecting people with information and building models and systems that help connect people with information that fulfills their information seeking needs. Holistically my research aims to understand how user experience impacts the overall goals and missions of an organization.
Advisor
Jana Diesner
Research focus
At the heart of research interest is understanding information, which broadly connects the traditional library science and computation tools. Among those disciplines, narrowed scope of research centers around information organization as well as NLP and text mining.
Advisors
Kate McDowell, Jana Diesner
Research focus
My research interests focus on interactions and behaviors in online environments. Specifically, I am interested in understanding the leadership processes and practices in online spaces by exploring what environmental structures help or hinder the leadership process, the differences or similarities to online leadership practices as compared to real life practices, and general information behavior in groups.
Advisor
Jana Diesner
Research focus
My current research is focused on computational social sciences in which I use natural language processing, machine learning, and network analysis to extract meaningful information from (online) text. I am particularly interested in analyzing social discourse (i.e.: social media, reviews and news articles) and developing computational models to better understand behavior, psychology, and culture of people in real world.
Advisor
Bonnie Mak
Research focus
My research interests live within the spaces of art, design and archives, and involve the exploration of how their intersections can increase and enhance public access to knowledge.
Advisor
Kathryn La Barre
Research focus
My research primarily focuses on institutionalized bigotry in classification systems, especially with regards to queer and trans issues. I am also interested in where intersectional approaches are, and are not, found in library work.
Advisor
Kate Williams
Research focus
My research interest lies in the intersection between people and technology and my dissertation research examines collaborative innovation in four business incubators. Advancing the idea that business incubators are innovation-enabling social systems.
Advisor
Ted Underwood
Research focus
Investigating humanistic problems using a variety of computational methods, including text mining, machine learning, and social network analysis. Interested in applying such methods to subjects ranging from Chinese history to English poetry.
Advisor
Jana Diesner
Research focus
I am currently studying applications of entity linking to information retrieval. That is, how can we use information derived from mentions of people, places, things, and ideas in documents and queries to help us improve the performance of retrieval systems.
Advisor
Elizabeth Hoiem
Research focus
My project examines aesthetic/political strategies that occur visually and textually in Chicana-created picturebooks. My project considers how these strategies contribute to library services for children and families.
Advisors
Ted Underwood, Bonnie Mak
Research focus
Natural language processing, computational linguistics, and psycholinguistics.
Advisors
Jodi Schneider, Karen Wickett
Research focus
My research interests are on topics related to data management, data sharing, data curation and data reuse.
Advisor
Carol Tilley
Research focus
My research interests include multicultural representation in youth literature; library services for teens (collections, programming, teen spaces, and evaluation of services offered); everyday life information-seeking behaviors of teens; public libraries as informal learning centers; and library leadership and management.
Advisor
Victoria Stodden
Research focus
My current focus is on the temporal aspects of relevance. This includes the exploration of what it means for a query to be temporally sensitive as well as techniques for incorporating temporal information from queries and document collections into general retrieval models.
Advisor
Clara Chu
Research focus
My current research explores the intersections of social justice, public library service models, and perceptions of information service professionals. I am also interested in research centered around digital literacy and youth, and diversity issues in libraries.
Advisors
Emily Knox, Rachel M. Magee
Research focus
My current interests are in the banning of books in schools and in mapping trends in controversial young adult texts. I also aim to explore the ways in which film adaptations of novels might influence their removal from classrooms.
Advisor
Masooda Bashir
Research focus
I design sociable chatbot that effectively communicate and collaborate with users and provide companionship for people. I’m interested in leveraging AI in health, particularly in intelligent systems that understand what we are doing and facilitate our lives.
Advisor
Yang Wang
Research focus
My research interests are in human-computer interaction, machine learning and security. I combine qualitative and quantitative methods to tackle arising security and privacy risks in machine learning and the Web. I am also interested in social media research, aiming to create a safe, pleasant, and beneficial online space.