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University of Illinois iSchool seeks nominees for Intellectual Freedom Award

 

The School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign seeks nominations for the Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award. The deadline for nominations is October 5, 2018.

Given annually, the award acknowledges individuals or groups who have furthered the cause of intellectual freedom, particularly as it impacts libraries and information centers and the dissemination of ideas. Granted to those who have resisted censorship or efforts to abridge the freedom of individuals to read or view materials of their choice, the award may be in recognition of a particular action or a long-term interest in and dedication to the cause of intellectual freedom.

The Downs Award was established in 1969 by the iSchool’s faculty to honor Dean Emeritus Robert B. Downs, a champion of intellectual freedom, on the occasion of his twenty-fifth anniversary as director of the School.

Previous winners have included the Kansas City Public Library (2017) for its defense of library patron’s First Amendment rights; Wendy Campbell (2016) for her work in increasing cultural awareness in her community; HP Kids Read (2015) for its work in support of freedom to read at the Highland Park (TX) High School; the staff and board of trustees of the Orland Park (IL) Public Library (2014) for the defense of their policy to not filter adult Internet access in the library; and DaNae Leu (2013) for her efforts to keep a controversial picture book on the shelves of her elementary school library.

Libraries Unlimited, an imprint of ABC-CLIO Publishing Company, provides an honorarium to the Downs Award recipient and co-hosts the reception held in honor of the recipient. The reception and award ceremony for the 2018 Downs Intellectual Freedom Award will take place in January 2019 during the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting in Seattle, Washington.

Click here for additional details and nomination instructions.

 

Singapore iSchool professor honored for achievements in Artificial Intelligence

 

Assistant Professor Akshat Kumar from the School of Information Systems (SIS) at Singapore Management University (SMU) has been recognized as one of “AI’s 10 to Watch” by Intelligent Systems Magazine, a publication of IEEE. Kumar was recognized for his contributions in the field of Artificial Intelligence, and in particular for his work on automated planning and decision making in multiagent systems.

The magazine’s award recognizes young scientists who have made significant contributions in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and have received their Ph.D.s in the last five years. Nominations for this biennial award were sought from a wide range of senior AI researchers from both academia and industry.

“I feel greatly honored and humbled to be selected as one of the “AI’s 10 to Watch,” says Kumar. “Over the course of my career, I have been fortunate to have great mentors, advisors, and collaborators, and an intellectually stimulating work environment at SMU’s School of Information Systems. I am very thankful for their continued support and collaboration which is invaluable for my research and academic career.”

Kumar’s research is in the area of planning and decision making under uncertainty with a focus on multiagent systems and urban system optimization. His work addresses our rapidly interconnected society and urban environments, from personal digital assistants to self-driving taxi fleets and autonomous ships, and develops computational techniques that will allow such complex ecosystem of autonomous agents to operate in a coordinated fashion. Over the past few years, Kumar’s work has addressed various challenges in such diverse urban settings as scalability to thousands of agents, uncertainty and partial observability, and resource constrained optimization.

Click here to learn more about Prof. Kumar’s achievement and the SMU iSchool.

 

Drexel iSchool introduces new graduate data science programs

 

With the continued growth of big data, today’s economy demands a new class of data-oriented professionals with expertise in managing massive datasets. Data scientist has been named one of today’s fastest growing careers across many industries; by 2020, the number of jobs for all US data professionals will increase by 364,000 openings to 2,720,000, per IBM.

In fall 2018, Drexel University’s College of Computing & Informatics (CCI) will offer a comprehensive suite of graduate and professional development programs in data science: Master of Science (MS) in Data Science, Post-Baccalaureate Certificates in Applied Data Science and Computational Data Science, and graduate minors in Applied Data Science and Computational Data Science.

Data scientists are key to making sense of the data generated in today’s world. Data scientists possess the skills and knowledge to oversee the entire data science lifecycle, including the collection, preparation, analysis, visualization and management of big data within a complex system. Data science is a fundamentally interdisciplinary field that impacts every major industry, including healthcare, finance and manufacturing.

“The introduction of these exciting new offerings in data science has further established our position at the leading edge of information and technology,” said Yi Deng, PhD, Isaac L. Auerbach Professor and CCI Dean. “As part of an elite class of US colleges that house both computer science and information science under one roof, CCI will provide an exceptional education in this fast-paced, multidisciplinary field to both information professionals and career-changers alike.”

The MS in Data Science curriculum includes coursework on data organization and stewardship, mining, retrieval, visualization and analytics. The program uniquely combines foundational knowledge, applied training, and computational problem-solving to provide students with a core knowledge in computation, applications, and data science management and communication. Graduates of the program will gain skills that can be applied immediately in the workplace, or used as a launching point for more in-depth and expansive knowledge in the field.

Offered both online and on-campus, the MS program’s coursework is concentrated in three areas: Analytics, Mining and Algorithms; Visualization and Communication; and Management and Accountability. Students choose electives from among these areas to enrich the requirements of computation, and gain hands-on experience with state-of-the-art tools and systems while working with real datasets. “Data analytics is at the heart of today’s technology-driven world,” said MS in Data Science Program Director Christopher Yang, PhD. “With an experiential learning approach, Drexel’s MS in Data Science program encourages students to work across disciplines to create much needed value out of data for a multitude of organizations and industries.”

Click here to learn more about these new educational opportunities at the Drexel iSchool.

 

New journal “Information and Learning Science” seeks submissions

 

Information and Learning Science is a new journal advancing inter-disciplinary research that explores scholarly intersections shared within two key fields: information science and the learning sciences / education sciences. The journal provides a publication venue for work that strengthens the scholarly understanding of human inquiry and learning phenomena, especially as they relate to design and uses of information and e-learning systems innovations.

Information and Learning Science is co-edited by incoming editors Samuel Kai Wah Chu, Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong, and Rebecca Reynolds of the iSchool at Rutgers. The editors invite submissions, and author guidelines can be found here.

In particular, submissions are invited for an upcoming special issue focused on the theme “Learning to Code, Coding to Learn: Youth and Computational Thinking.” Guest editors for this special edition will be Eric Meyers of the University of British Columbia iSchool, who is also posters chair for iConference 2019, and Hong Huang of the University of South Florida. Click here to view the CFP on this special issue.

Additional details about Information and Learning Sciencecan be found here in Emerald Journal News.

 

iConference 2019 CFP Released: authors can begin preparations for Washington DC conference

 

iConference 2019 organizers University of Maryland, College Park, in collaboration with Syracuse University, and University of Maryland, Baltimore County have issued their Call for Participation.

Taking place March 31-April 3, 2019, in Washington, DC, the theme of iConference 2019 is “inform | include | inspire.” It will include peer-reviewed papers and posters, as well as workshops and sessions for interaction and engagement (SIE), interspersed with various venues for networking.

New this year, a Blue Sky track seeks papers that present ideas and visions that stimulate the iSchools research community to pursue new directions. And a new Undergraduate Symposium will provide peer networking opportunities for students from iSchools worldwide, including interactions with senior faculty to discuss their research and career path.

The iSchool Partnerships and Practices track will feature case-specific success stories of information schools worldwide. The annual Doctoral Student Colloquium (DC) and the Early Career Colloquium (ECC) will again provide senior mentorship and structured engagement with peers to discuss research and career paths. Please note that the DC, ECC and Undergraduate Symposium all require advance applications this year.

All Full Papers and Short Papers accepted for presentation at iConference 2019 will be published in Springer’s Lecture Notes in Computer Science series (indexed by services such as Web of Science and Scopus). Springer will publish the papers as Green Open Access allowing them to be deposited in institutional repositories and the open access Illinois Digital Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship repository (IDEALS). All poster abstracts will be deposited in the IDEALS repository.

The conference organizers encourage authors to begin work on submissions now. The conference will start accepting submissions in late June. The submission deadline for papers, workshops, posters, DC, and ECC is September 10, 2018 while the submission deadline for SIE, Blue Sky, Undergraduate Symposium, iSchools Partnerships & Practices, and Doctoral Dissertation Award is October 1, 2018.

About the iConference
An annual presentation of the iSchools organization since 2005, the iConference brings together scholars and researchers from around the world to examine critical information issues in contemporary society. An openness to new ideas and research fields in information science is a primary characteristics of the event. Attendance has grown every year; participants appreciate the inspiring sense of community, high quality research presentations, and myriad opportunities for engagement. Click here for past proceedings and conference summaries.

 

Dr. Erik Kwakkel joins the University of British Columbia iSchool

 

The School of Library, Archival and Information Studies at the Univeristy of British Columbia is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Dr. Erik Kwakkel beginning August 1, 2018.

Dr. Kwakkel is a professor and scholar from Leiden University, and has published on a variety of book-history topics. His research is focused on premodern book design and its cultural-historical context.

“Dr. Kwakkel is an outstanding scholar with deep subject expertise and a demonstrated talent for outreach and public education. We are excited at the prospect of revitalizing our program offerings in book history and digital humanities through his contributions,” says UBC iSchool Director Luanne Freund.

Dr. Kwakkel is actively involved in digital humanities work and is passionate about the digitization of cultural heritage and medieval books. His medieval book blog highlights the parallels between premodern and digital age communication practices and his postings of scribbles and marginalia has received international attention. He is a co-editor of Author, Text, Book: Medieval Authorship in Theory and Practice (University of Toronto Press, 2012) and author of Books Before Print, forthcoming in 2018. Click here for more about this appointment.

The iSchool is delighted to welcome Dr. Kwakkel, who will be teaching History of the Book in the upcoming academic year. “I am extremely excited to join the iSchool at UBC: it will be a privilege to teach the History of the Book to future generations of information specialists,” says Dr. Kwakkel.

 

UNC iSchool welcomes three new tenure-track faculty members

 

The UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) has hired three new tenure-track faculty members, with appointments beginning July 1.

Sayamindu Dasgupta, Marijel “Maggie” Melo, and Yue Wang bring expertise in engaging children with data science, creating inclusive makerspaces, and mining insights from health data, respectively. They will join the SILS faculty as assistant professors, and begin teaching courses for the school this fall. Click here for details.

“We are thrilled to welcome these three dynamic new professors to SILS,” said SILS Dean Gary Marchionini. “They will further strengthen SILS’ research excellence in health informatics, data science, and modern librarianship.”

 

Eric T. Meyer appointed dean of UT Austin iSchool

 

The University of Texas at Austin has named Eric T. Meyer the next dean of the School of Information. His appointment will begin Aug.1, and he will hold the Louis T. Yule Regents Professorship in Library and Information Science and the Mary R. Boyvey Chair for Excellence.

Meyer comes to UT Austin from the University of Oxford, where he currently serves as director of graduate studies at the Oxford Internet Institute and professor of social informatics.

“In an increasingly interconnected world, we need to understand the intersection of information, people and ever-evolving technologies. The School of Information is widely respected as one of the top information schools in the country, and I am thrilled to welcome Eric Meyer to lead as dean,” said Maurie McInnis, executive vice president and provost. “He is an innovative visionary who brings with him great experience from an exceptional institution, and his success is grounded in working closely with students, faculty and others in order to leverage their collective talents and strengths.”

As director of graduate studies at the Oxford Internet Institute, Meyer has led efforts to develop innovative master’s and doctoral degree programs, enhance recruitment efforts, work closely with faculty members and students to provide exceptional educational experiences, and grow a positive scholarly environment for research, teaching and learning.
Meyer earned his undergraduate degree from Ohio University, a master’s degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and his doctoral degree from Indiana University Bloomington. His research focuses on the connections between people and the technologies they use, and how people shape and are shaped by new digital technologies. This includes how digital technologies allow people to change the things they research, the ways they learn, and how people share information and collaborate.

“I am thrilled and honored to be the next dean of the School of Information at UT Austin. I think that the school has established itself as a leader globally, and I look forward to building upon the school’s exceptional accomplishments. I’m eager to contribute to the continuing success of this talented community of scholars,” Meyer said.

Meyer will succeed Randolph Bias, who has served as interim dean since September 2017.

 

University of Waikato iSchool to host ICADL 2018 in conjunction with annual meeting of the Asia-Pacific iSchools Consortium

 

The 20th International Conference on Asia-Pacific Digital Libraries (ICADL) takes place November 19-22, 2018 in Hamilton, New Zealand. Hosted by the University of Waikato, the event will be co-located with the annual meeting of the Asia-Pacific iSchools Consortium and with the NZ Conference on Computer-Human Interaction (CHINZ). The juxtaposition of events is expected to attract a diverse group of academic and professional community members from all parts of the world to exchange their knowledge, experience and practices in digital libraries, and other related fields.

The main theme of ICADL 2018 is “Maturity and Innovation in Digital Libraries.” The conference invites high-quality, original research papers as well as practitioner papers identifying research problems and future directions. All topics in digital libraries will be given equal consideration with submissions on the conference theme especially welcome. View the papers call for details. The 2018 proceedings will be published as part of Springer’s Lecture Notes in Computer Science series (LNCS).

Hamilton, New Zealand, is a city of 140,000 people centered on the Waikato River in the heart of New Zealand’s rolling pastures. Its small, bustling downtown boasts river views and a stunning city park complex of themed gardens and river walks.

More conference details can be found on ICDAL website. The deadline for workshop proposals is June 1; paper submissions are due June 22, 2018.

 

iSchool students and alumni invited to take part in 2018 Drucker Challenge

 

The 2018 Global Peter Drucker Challenge is now open to iSchools students and alumni. The Drucker Challenge is a personal essay contest, typically infused with an analytical strain, for students and young professionals (18 through 35 years old) on a current topic in management. This year’s theme is: “how to stay human in a robot society.” Cash prizes and travel funding are given for winning entries.

In recent years, the Drucker Challenge team has seen increasingly more winners (places 1-3) and finalists (places 4-10) in both the student and professional categories who are students in or alumni of information-focused university programs. Once again, the Challenge team invites iSchools students and alumni to write and submit.

This year’s submission deadline is Sunday, 24 June at 16:00 CET (4:00 PM Vienna time); note that this is earlier than past deadlines. Successful Challenge essays are often comparable to a great long-form journalistic piece, telling a story while making a point.

Visit the Drucker Challenge website for more information on the Drucker Challenge, prizes, rules, and how to submit.