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On Oct. 26, 2020, representatives of the iSchools organization met with representatives of Information Schools at African universities for the first-ever iSchools Africa Day. The virtual session allowed these schools to learn more about the iSchools mission and goals, as well as guidance on how to apply for membership.
At this time, the iSchools organization consists of Information Schools at 117 institutions worldwide. This includes The College of Computing and Information Sciences at Makerere University, Uganda. It is hoped that events like iSchools Africa Day will encourage and enable more schools from the continent to join the iSchools organization, and benefit from the mutual support and sharing of best-practices that comes with membership.
A similar event is planned soon for South America. More information on iSchools South America Day will be posted to the iSchools Events Calendar when available.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has awarded Jingrui He, associate professor in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois, a two-year $319,568 grant to study how the risk of foreign influence on news media can be mitigated. Her project, “Towards a Computational Framework for Disinformation Trinity: Heterogeneity, Generation, and Explanation,” will lead to a new suite of algorithms and software tools to detect, predict, generate, and understand disinformation dissemination. Hanghang Tong, associate professor of computer science at Illinois, will serve as co-principal investigator.
“As the 2020 decade unfolds, there is great optimism on what technology will emerge and how it can make daily life easier. However, the greater the technology, the greater risk foreign influence can have on that technology,” He said.
For her project, He will study foreign influence via the lens of disinformation on news media from a computational perspective. She will use Explainable Heterogeneous Adversarial Machine Learning (EXHALE) to address the limitations of current techniques in terms of comprehension, characterization, and explainability.
Read more on the Illinois iSchool website.
The Metadata Research Center, Drexel College of Computing & Informatics (CCI), in partnership with Montana State University Library, UC San Diego Library, and OCLC, has been awarded $887,154 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for the LIS Education and Data Science-Integrated Network Group (LEADING). LEADING is Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian (LB21) National Digital Infrastructures and Initiatives project that will build data science capacity through recruiting, training and developing the library workforce.
The LEADING project will officially launch Nov. 1, 2020, building off the highly successful LEADS initiative and extending the data science educational pipeline to a broader range of participants. LEADING will prepare a diverse, nationwide cohort of 50 LIS doctoral students and early to mid-career librarians for data science endeavors. LEADING’s model includes community hubs at Montana State University and UC San Diego, a co-educational hub at the global library cooperative, OCLC and 14 member nodes that will serve as mentoring sites. Drexel University’s Metadata Research Center will also serve as the central-coordinating hub facilitating collaboration amongst all partners.
Read more on the Drexel iSchool website.
Interest in the all-virtual iConference 2021 is strong, with a record number of research papers received by the end of the Oct. 19 deadline. In total, the conference received 235 research papers—127 short research papers and 108 full research papers. This exceeds the combined papers total from any of our previous 15 conferences. Reviews are now underway, with results to be announced mid-December.
This coming Monday, Oct. 26, is the submissions deadline for the bulk of the conference’s remaining tracks, including:
On Monday, Nov. 2, the following are due:
iConference 2021 will be conducted entirely online in late March. The exact dates and participation rates will be announced in the near future. iConference 2021 is presented by the iSchools organization and hosted this year by Renmin University, China. Visit website for details.
The ASIS&T 83rd Annual Meeting will be held virtually Oct. 22 to Nov. 1, 2020. The theme is "Information for a Sustainable World: Addressing Society's Grand Challenges." The iSchools organization will have a virtual booth at the event, and number of iSchools members are taking part, including the following:
University of North Carolina iSchool
This coming Monday, Oct. 19, is the updated deadline for iConference 2021 full research papers and short research papers. Submissions will be accepted on the ConfTool submissions site through end-of-day (i.e. 23:59 pm GMT-12).
The iConference organizers recently announced their intention of converting to an all-virtual format for 2021, and all submission deadlines were extended at that time to allow authors more time to take advantage of the opportunity. Oct 19 is the new and final deadline for research papers submission.
Submissions for the bulk of our remaining iConference tracks are due one week later, on Oct. 26. This deadline includes the following:
Finally, Student Symposium applications and iSchools Doctoral Dissertation Award nominations are due Nov. 2.
Consult the track pages listed above for full submission guidelines. Questions can be directed to the respective 2021 track chairs listed here.
Data Science Coast to Coast (DSC2C) is an online seminar series presenting leaders in data science whose research spans the theory and methodology of data science, and their application in arts and humanities, engineering, biomedical, natural, physical and social sciences. The lecture series is jointly hosted by six academic data science institutes, with sessions presented via Zoom at no charge. Two initial presentations have already been announced, with more planned for the future.
The first DSC2C presentation is a lecture by Talitha Washington (left), Director of the Atlanta University Center Consortium (AUCC) Data Science Initiative on Oct. 21, 2020. The second is a lecture by Alex Szalay (below right), Distinguished Professor in the Bloomberg Center for Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins University, where he is also a professor in the department of Computer Science, and the director of the Institute of Data Intensive Engineering and Science (IDIES). Szalay’s presentation takes place on Nov. 18, 2020. More detail and instructions for joining these free lectures can be found using the links above.
Three of DSC2C’s six academic sponsors are affiliated with iSchools member-institutions, including the Berkeley Institute for Data Science, the University of Michigan’s Michigan Institute for Data Science (MIDAS), and the University of Washington’s eScience Institute. Additional sponsors include NYU’s Center for Data Science, Rice University’s Ken Kennedy Institute, and Stanford Data Science.
The Power of Information: 2020 Information Science Graduate Fair is a virtual event showcasing opportunities and programs for prospective graduate students at more than 20 universities in North America, most of them iSchools members. The event will take place on Oct. 27, 2020 and is free of charge to students. Participation is limited, and students are encouraged to register early to secure a space.
The Power of Information will begin with a faculty panel discussion titled "Power of Information: Disrupt misinformation and disinformation." Moderated by University of Washington iSchool Dean Anind Dey (pictured left), the panel will explore the topic of misinformation in the 21st century. This will be followed by breakout sessions in which prospective graduate students can learn more about programs offered at the sponsoring institutions. The panel begins at 4:00 pm PDT on Oct. 27, with breakouts commencing at 4:45 pm PDT.
Panelists include: Chris Coward, University of Washington; Ben Horne, University of Tennessee Knoxville; Emily Knox, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Laura Sanders, Simmons University; Hassan Zamir, Dominican University.
Sponsors include Information Schools at the following institutions: Dominican University; Drexel University; Emporia State University; Florida State University; Indiana University; Kent State University; Rutgers University; Simmons University; Syracuse University; University of British Columbia; University of California Los Angeles; University of Colorado Bolder; University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; University of Maryland; University of North Carolina; University of South Carolina; University of Southern California; University of Tennessee Knoxville; University of Texas at Austin; University of Toronto; University of Washington; University of Wisconsin Milwaukee; University of Wisconsin-Madison; and Wayne State University.
Click here for more on the event and how to register.
Originally envisioned as having a hybrid format with virtual and in-person elements, the 2021 iConference is now transitioning to an all-virtual format. The conference’s Renmin University hosts and the iSchools Board have decided this is the best course of action in light of ongoing uncertainty surrounding public health and travel during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. As a result, the entire 2021 program will be held online.
In accord with this transition, all submission deadlines are hereby extended. The full and short research papers deadline has moved to October 19, with other deadlines in the following weeks, as noted below. Visit the iConference 2021 website for more information.
In related news, an announcement of the 2021 virtual rates is expected at the end of October.
New Submission Deadlines
Monday, Oct. 19: New deadline for Full Research Papers and Short Research Papers.
Monday, Oct. 26: New deadline for Posters, Workshops, Sessions for Interaction and Engagement, Virtual Interactive Sessions, Archival Education, Doctoral Colloquium applications and Early Career Colloquium applications.
Monday, Oct. 26: New deadline for Chinese Papers.
Monday, Nov. 2: New deadline for Student Symposium applications and Doctoral Dissertation Award nominations.
Tressie McMillan Cottom, Associate Professor at the School of Information and Library Science (SILS) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has been named a fellow in the MacArthur Foundation’s Class of 2020.
MacArthur Fellows are selected for their “extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits,” and receive a $625,000 award, often referred to as the “Genius Grant,” distributed over five years. The foundation’s announcement described McMillan Cottom’s work as “shaping discourse on pressing issues at the confluence of race, gender, education, and digital technology. In work across multiple platforms, ranging from academic scholarship to essays and social media engagement, McMillan Cottom combines analytical insights and personal experiences in a frank, accessible style of communication that resonates with broad audiences within and outside of academia.”
In addition to her appointment with SILS, McMillan Cottom is a senior faculty researcher at Carolina’s Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life (citap.unc.edu) and a faculty affiliate at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society.
Learn more on the UNC iSchool website.
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