iConference 2016 Announces M. Brian Blake as Second Keynote Speaker


Philadelphia, Pa. – M. Brian Blake, PhD, executive vice president and provost at Drexel University, will serve as a keynote speaker along with director and producer Robin Hauser Reynolds at the iConference 2016 — an annual, international gathering of the iSchools organization that pushes the boundaries of information studies and creates new technological and conceptual configurations.

Blake-Brian-800wThe conference, which will take place in historic Philadelphia from Mar. 20-23, 2016, is being hosted by Drexel University’s College of Computing & Informatics (CCI). The event will bring together more than 500 leading researchers and innovators from academia and industry under the theme of “Partnership with Society” to examine the dynamic, evolving role of information science and today’s iSchool movement, and the benefits to society. Conference registration is now open.

“We are thrilled to welcome Drexel’s Executive Vice President and Provost M. Brian Blake as a keynote speaker at the iConference 2016,” said iSchools Executive Director and iConference 2016 Co-Chair David Fenske, PhD. “We’re also looking forward to his address, which will speak to the heart of this year’s conference theme in identifying key advances in data science and how they are impacting our global society.”

Blake’s opening keynote address, presented on Mar. 21, will highlight three distinct projects: informatics for spanning scientific workflows across cloud environments, approaches for energy-efficient service-oriented systems across geographically distributed networks, and infrastructures that leverage mixed human and Web service systems to conduct Big Data analytics. Blake will describe how each of these projects provides advantages for important societal challenges in sustainability and national security.

“As system integrators can no longer develop platforms in isolation of human-centered expertise, we know that the next innovations in Internet-based or mobile-based infrastructures will absolutely require the interpretation of data and the more humanistic aspects. That is why the iConference is so important in convening the world’s information experts to address these complex challenges,” Blake said.

According to Blake, the Internet has matured in such a way that systems and humans are able to exchange information to perform common tasks. Web-scale workflow is our vision towards a paradigm of platforms that integrate human and software collaboration on networked platforms; for this paradigm, managing information is key.

In addition to his role as executive vice president and provost, Blake holds appointments in Drexel’s College of Computing & Informatics (as distinguished professor of systems and software engineering), in the College of Engineering (as professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering) and in the College of Medicine (as professor of neuroengineering).

Prior to joining Drexel, Blake served as vice provost for academic affairs and dean of the Graduate School at the University of Miami (UM). Before joining UM, Blake was professor of computer science and engineering and associate dean of engineering, research and graduate studies at the University of Notre Dame. Prior to joining Notre Dame, Blake was department chair and director of graduate studies in computer science at Georgetown University. Blake’s industry experience includes six years as a software engineer and architect at Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics and The MITRE Corporation before entering academia full time.

Blake’s research interests include investigating software engineering approaches for the integration of Web-based systems. His scholarly activities have been funded by more than $10 million in sponsored research awards from various government and commercial organizations (e.g., AFRL, AFOSR, DARPA, Department of Education, FAA, NIH, NSF, IBM, MITRE, SAIC). He has authored or co-authored more than 160 journal articles, books/book chapters and refereed conference/workshop papers.

Blake earned his doctorate in information and software engineering from George Mason University, a master of science in electrical engineering from Mercer University, and a bachelor of science in electrical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. He is an ACM Distinguished Scientist and a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).


Dr. Sam Oh Elected iCaucus Chair


Washington D.C.—The iSchools organization announces the election of Dr. Sam Oh of the Sungkyunkwan University iSchool in Korea to the position of iCaucus Chair. The iCaucus is the governing body of the iSchools organization, and Dr. Oh is the organization’s first chair from the Asia-Pacific Region. He has pledged to continue the iSchools’ mission of advancing the information field, while also expanding the organization’s reach.

2014 Sam Oh“It is truly an honor to be the new iSchools Caucus chair-elect,” said Dr. Oh. “As the first person from the Asia-Pacific region to take on this responsibility, I consider it my express duty to promote the iSchool brand where it has remained less visible. I am grateful to those who have supported me and will do my utmost to represent the iSchool both in areas already at its forefront and in regions that have the greatest need of exposure to its initiatives.”

Dr. Oh’s election was formally announced on Monday, January 11, 2016. He will serve as chair-elect during the 2016-2017 term of iCaucus Chair Ron Larsen of the University of Pittsburgh, and then assume the role of iCaucus chair for the 2018-2019 term.

The election was presided over by outgoing iCaucus Chair Michael Seadle of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, who had this to say: “I am very pleased that the iSchools have elected Sam Oh from Korea as the new chair-elect. Sam has been the leader of the Asia-Pacific region of the iSchools, and his election represents another significant step in the internationalization of the organization.”

Dr. Oh earned his Ph.D. in Information Transfer from Syracuse University in 1995 and worked as an assistant professor at the University of Washington Information School for four years before returning to South Korea to become a professor at the Sungkyunkwan University iSchool. He has taught summer courses at the University of Texas at Austin; Syracuse University; and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also spent a sabbatical year at the University of Pittsburgh iSchool. Dr. Oh served as the chair of ISO TC46/SC9 (Identification and Description) for six years and is currently the chair of ISO/IEC JTC1 SC34 (Document Description & Processing Languages). He is a member of the DCMI governing board and the iCaucus executive committee, as well as chair of the Asia-Pacific iSchools. His expertise lies in the fields of metadata design, social/big data analytics, and data/ontology modeling.

The iSchools organization is a worldwide association of 65 information schools dedicated to advancing the information field. These schools, colleges, and departments have been newly created or are evolving from programs formerly focused on specific tracks such as information technology, library science, informatics, information science, and more.

The iSchools organization is responsible for the iConference, an international gathering of scholars and researchers concerned with critical information issues in contemporary society. The iConference is presented by the iSchools organization, and hosted each year by a different member school. In addition to his duties as iCaucus Chair, Dr. Oh will serve as co-chair of iConference 2017, which will be co-hosted by Sungkyunkwan University Library & Information Science and Data Science Department and the Wuhan University School of Information Management; the event will be held in Wuhan China.

In the meantime, this year’s iConference, which is the eleventh in the series, is hosted by the Drexel University College of Computing & Informatics, and takes place March 20-23, 2016 in Philadelphia. The theme is Partnership with Society, and registration is now open.


iConference 2016 Early Registration Extended to Feb. 1


Early registration for iConference 2016 has been extended to February 1, 2016. Participants now have an additional two weeks to register at the discounted early rate.

This change is being made as the iConference organizers explore a number of late-breaking opportunities to enhance the iConference program. This has delayed publication of the formal schedule, and the organizers feel it’s important to give participants time to view the schedule before making their registration decisions. The official schedule will be posted the week of January 18.

“I think participants will be extremely pleased with the program we are putting together,” says iSchools Executive Director and Conference Co-Chair David Fenske. “We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding while we pursue these exciting opportunities.”

iConference 2016 will take place March 20-23, 2016 in Philadelphia. This year’s theme is Partnership with Society. The conference is presented by the iSchools organization and hosted by the Drexel University College of Computing & Informatics. Sponsors include Microsoft Research and Penn Mutual Life Insurance.


iConference 2016 Announces Robin Hauser Reynolds as Keynote Speaker


January 5, 2016

Philadelphia, Pa. – Robin Hauser Reynolds, director and producer of critically acclaimed documentary “CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap,” will be a keynote speaker at the iConference 2016 – an annual, international gathering that pushes the boundaries of information studies and creates new technological and conceptual configurations.

Registration is now open for the iConference, which will take place in historic Philadelphia from Mar. 20-23, 2016. Hosted by Drexel University’s College of Computing & Informatics, iConference 2016 will bring together more than 500 leading researchers and innovators from academia and industry under the theme of “Partnership with Society” to examine the dynamic, evolving role of information science and today’s iSchool movement, and the benefits to society. Discounted early registration rates are available through Jan. 18, 2016.

In addition to Reynolds’ keynote address, the conference will feature exclusive on-site film screenings of her most recent film, award-winning documentary “CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap,” thanks to the generous support of iConference 2016 sponsor Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company. The film, which premiered at Tribeca Film Festival 2015, has caught the attention of the international tech industry and of policymakers in Washington, DC and abroad.

“It is a point of great pride to speak and show ‘CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap’ at the iConference 2016, as we join together to examine ‘Partnership with Society’ and the reasons behind the tech gender gap that have led to such an extreme shortage of female and minority software engineers,” Reynolds said.

“CODE” documentary explores the reasons behind the dearth of American female and minority software engineers, including the reasons for the gender gap and digital divide. The film also examines the reasons why more girls and people of color are not seeking opportunities in computer science and explores how stereotypes, educational hurdles, lack of role models and sexism all contribute to this national crisis.

“Beyond the gender gap, ‘CODE’ documentary targets the growing workforce crisis in computing and digital information – a challenge that educators and administrators within the 65 iSchools across the world can help to address,” said Jane Greenberg, PhD, iConference 2016 co-chair and Drexel University Alice B. Kroeger Professor. “The film is a must-see for anyone working or teaching within the digital information space.”

Reynolds is the director and producer of cause-based documentary films at Finish Line Features, LLC. As both a businesswoman and a longtime professional photographer, Reynolds brings her creative eye and leadership skills to her documentary film projects. Her years in fine art photography give her a keen vision for the artistic design of her films; her experience in the business world affords her a unique perspective on what it takes to motivate an audience.

Previously, Reynolds co-directed and produced the documentary feature, “Running for Jim,” which won 14 awards at 20 film festivals. She has spoken about the importance of increased diversity in computer programming and on behalf of women’s rights at the Mobile World Congress, SXSW Interactive Conference, InspireFest, AT&T Foundry FutureCast and Dell Women Entrepreneur Network. As director of “CODE” documentary, Reynolds has been featured in national publications: USA Today, Wired, Forbes, Fortune, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Marie Claire and San Francisco Business Times.

Visit the iConference 2016 website to learn more about this year’s conference.


CCI Welcomes New Faculty


“Drexel University’s College of Computing & Informatics (CCI), USA, warmly welcomes the following new faculty members:
M. Brian Blake, PhD
Drexel University Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs M. Brian Blake, PhD joined CCI faculty this summer as Distinguished Professor of Systems and Software Engineering in CCI’s Department of Computer Science.
Mark Boady
Mark Boady joins CCI faculty this fall as assistant teaching professor. His interests include computer algebra, specifically how to automate complex symbolic calculations, and how computer algebra systems can be used to enhance learning.
Matthew Burlick, PhD
Matthew Burlick, PhD joins CCI faculty this fall as assistant teaching professor. His research interests include topics in image processing, machine learning, real-time video tracking, object detection and classification, statistics/probability, and acoustics.
Colin Gordon, PhD
Colin Gordon, PhD joins CCI faculty this fall as assistant professor. His interests include finding new ways to improve software reliability, especially providing strong static guarantees about program behavior, for concurrent and systems-level code.
John D’Ignazio, PhD
John D’Ignazio, PhD joined CCI faculty this summer as assistant professor. D’Ignazio has explored a variety of disciplines to understand and develop human interaction with complex information systems and abstract information domains.
Alex Poole, PhD
Alex Poole, PhD joins CCI faculty this fall as assistant professor. His research interests center on digital curation, digital humanities, pedagogy, diversity and inclusivity in the LIS profession, and all matters archival.
The College’s Department of Computer Science (CS) also welcomes Marcello Balduccini, PhD and Gaurav Naik in their new roles as CS faculty. Balduccini’s fundamental research interests are focused on knowledge representation and reasoning, including ontologies, agent architectures, commonsense, natural language understanding, and constraint satisfaction. Naik’s research interests include computer network security, and the research and development of next generation Internet architectures and services.”
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Denise Agosto Wins 2015 Thomson Reuters Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award


“Drexel University’s (USA) College of Computing & Informatics (CCI) congratulates Professor Denise Agosto, PhD on receiving the 2015 Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) Thomson Reuters Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award.
The award, which recognizes Agosto’s outstanding and unique contributions as a teacher in the field of information science, will be presented at the 2015 ASIS&T Annual Meeting in St. Louis on November 10.
Agosto, who has served on Drexel’s faculty since 2001, teaches in areas such as youth information needs and resources, public libraries, oral and digital storytelling, and qualitative research methods. Her research areas include youth and social media, youth information behaviors and public library services. She has received several grants from federal agencies and nonprofit organizations to support her research.”
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CCI Announces New Interim Leadership


“The College of Computing & Informatics (CCI) at Drexel University (USA) announces the appointment of Professor and Vice Dean Spiros Mancoridis, PhD as interim dean, following the conclusion of Isaac L. Auerbach Professor David Fenske’s 16 years of service as dean at the end of June. Mancoridis will assume the administrative role of dean officially on July 1, 2015, after which a national search for a permanent dean will begin.
The College has also announced a restructuring into two academic departments: Computer Science and Information Science. The College’s Department of Computer Science will be chaired by Professor Dario Salvucci and the Department of Information Science will be led by interim chair, Alice B. Kroeger Professor Jane Greenberg. Leading the College’s research initiatives is Professor Ali Shokoufandeh, who will serve as the College’s new senior associate dean of research. Professor Gregory Hislop will direct the College’s undergraduate and graduate academic offerings as the senior associate dean for academic affairs. Rounding out the College’s leadership team are Marie Fazio (as director research operations and faculty support services), Kathy Funk (as chief operating officer) and Lynne Hickle (as assistant dean of student affairs).”
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Two CCI Library and Information Science Alumnae Recognized as “Movers & Shakers” by Library Journal


“Taneya Gethers, ’07 and Alison Macrina, ’09, both graduates of Drexel University (USA) College of Computing & Informatics’ master of science in library and information science (LIS) program, were recently recognized by Library Journal as two of this year’s “Movers & Shakers.”
The editors of Library Journal selected Gethers and Macrina as two of over 50 up-and-coming individuals from around the world who are recognized by their peers as innovative, creative, and making a difference.
Gethers and Macrina join the ranks of 13 CCI alumni to be honored by Library Journal […].
Gethers was recognized in the Community Builders category for her work in developing culturally empowering programming as senior librarian at Macon Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) in New York. While a student at Drexel, Gethers was selected by the American Library Association as a Spectrum Scholar, and has since contributed chapters to The 21st-Century Black Librarian in America: Issues and Challenges (Scarecrow, 2012) and Informed Agitation: Library and Information Skills in Social Justice Movements and Beyond (Library Juice, 2014).
Macrina was recognized in the Advocates category for her work in bringing awareness to digital surveillance issues as founder and director of the Library Freedom Project, a partnership among librarians, technologists, attorneys, and privacy advocates which aims to make real the promise of intellectual freedom in libraries. Macrina, co-author of the Radical Reference Collective’s zine We Are All Suspects, received a $244,700 two-year grant from the Knight Foundation’s News Challenge: Libraries, which will enable her to take her work to libraries nationwide.
Now in its fifteenth year of recognizing emerging leaders in the library world, Library Journal is currently accepting nominations for the 2016 “Movers and Shakers” to appear in the March 15, 2016 issue.”


Metadata Research Center Arrives at Drexel’s College of Computing & Informatics


“Drexel University’s College of Computing & Informatics (CCI) (USA) is pleased to welcome the Metadata Research Center (MRC) and its director Jane Greenberg, PhD, who joined Drexel’s faculty as Alice B. Kroeger Professor last fall. Established in 2006 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (USA) School of Information and Library Science, the MRC is dedicated to advancing the analysis and understanding of metadata, semantics and ontologies in our information sources.”
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CCI Associate Professor David Breen Named Deputy Director of NSF Center for Visual & Decision Informatics


“Drexel University and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s (ULL) National Science Foundation Center for Visual & Decision Informatics (CVDI) has selected College of Computing & Informatics (CCI) Associate Professor David Breen, PhD as deputy director. Breen will succeed CCI Professor Il-Yeol Song, PhD who had served as CVDI’s deputy director since the Center’s founding in 2012.”
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