The iSchool is pleased to announce that Judith Pintar is now a teaching associate professor. In her new position, in addition to teaching core courses in the BS in information sciences (BS/IS) program, she will develop and teach courses related to game studies and interactive narrative design for both undergraduates and graduate students.
Doctoral candidate Shubhanshu Mishra successfully defended his dissertation, "Information Extraction from Digital Social Trace Data with Applications to Social Media and Scholarly Communication Data," on June 24.
The identification of proper names of people, organizations, and locations from raw texts, referred to as Named Entity Recognition (NER), can be highly accurate when researchers use NER tools on a large collection of text with proper syntax. However, using existing NER tools for analyzing social media text can lead to poor identification of named entities. TwitterNER, an open-source tool developed by doctoral student Shubhanshu Mishra, who is supervised by Assistant Professor Jana Diesner, can help researchers interested in performing NER on social media text.
Doctoral student Shubhanshu Mishra will present his research at the 29th ACM Conference on Hypertext and Social Media, which will be held July 9-12 in Baltimore, Maryland. The conference will focus on the role of links, linking, hypertext, and hyperlink theory on the web and beyond.
Assistant Professor Jana Diesner is the program co-chair of the 3rd International Workshop on Social Sensing (SocialSens 2018). The workshop will be held on April 17 in Orlando, in conjunction with the ACM/IEEE International Conference on Internet of Things Design and Implementation (IoTDI 2018).
A project led by iSchool Professor Les Gasser, "Simulating Social Systems at Scale (SSS)," has laid the groundwork for a prestigious award to a student researcher. Santiago Núñez-Corrales, an Informatics PhD student directed by Gasser, was recently chosen from among several hundred applicants to receive an ACM SIGHPC/Intel Computational & Data Science Fellowship.
The App Authors project has been underway for over a year now, bringing kids and technology together to create apps through a child-centered curriculum at Kenwood Elementary and the Douglass Branch of the Champaign Public Library. The program, developed by the iSchool's Center for Children's Books (CCB), provides kids with varying levels of experience the opportunity to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Students at Kenwood Elementary School in Champaign are building their own phone apps. Some hope their apps will help solve big problems, such as curbing pollution or money management. Others will let users fight monsters that are trying to take over the world, or let users design a look for their nails.
At the same time that humanity shifts toward digital ways of living and working, the proportion of senior citizens among the world's population is growing. Rejecting the idea that aging is just a matter of declining minds and bodies, iSchool doctoral candidate Noah Lenstra (MS '09, CAS '11) has explored digital literacy among older adults in Champaign-Urbana using information infrastructure theory and the extended case method.
What happens when you give kids the opportunity to create their own smartphone apps? A developing interest in STEM, a boost in their critical thinking skills, and some really cool kid-created apps like "Jumpy Horses" and "Escape the World." Those two titles are among the apps being created at the Douglass Branch Library in Champaign in a free six-week program that gives children a chance to explore, play, and eventually create their own apps.