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Data science is rapidly transforming society and the academy. In response, Berkeley has established programs in data science that span the campus, and is now looking for an Associate Provost to lead these efforts and to ensure that Berkeley’s engagement with data science reflects the Berkeley’s values of excellence and inclusion and enhances their mission of serving the public through the creation and sharing of knowledge. As an institutional vehicle for moving forward in data science, Berkeley has created a new division, provisionally entitled the Division of Data Science and Information, which will be built on the disciplines of computation and statistics, their application across fields, and the exploration of their human, social, political, artistic, and scientific implications.
The new division will wholly incorporate the current Data Sciences Division, the School of Information (iSchool), the Department of Statistics, the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS), and the Berkeley Institute for Data Science (BIDS). EECS and Statistics will also remain a part of their current colleges. A signature of the new division will be the Data Science Commons, a new structure for Berkeley that will empower groups of faculty across the University—with common interests in diverse aspects of the foundations, applications, and implications of data science—to establish new cross-cutting academic programs.
The Associate Provost will serve as the leader of this new division, and as Dean of the School of Information. Among the roles envisioned for this new position are fostering data science across the campus broadly and supporting interdisciplinary synergies within this new division. There is both a pedagogical mission and a research imperative to data science. Berkeley’s efforts are already off to a strong start; the new, integrative undergraduate data science major is the fastest growing major in Berkeley’s history, attracting more than 1,000 pre-declarations in its first year. Data science is also rapidly infusing into curricula and classes across the campus. In terms of research, Berkeley, long a leader in these fields, is building on its long-standing strengths and breaking ground across new frontiers. The scope of this movement is remarkable: for example, this academic year, one fifth of all faculty searches at Berkeley are strongly tied to data science.
To bring about this innovative change, Berkeley seeks an Associate Provost and Dean who will provide vision as well as strategic and intellectual leadership to this endeavor. Candidates must have an earned doctoral degree or equivalent international degree and a distinguished record of scholarship that merits a tenured appointment as a Professor. Candidates must also have significant leadership experience in a complex institutional environment as well as a track record of fostering diverse, inclusive and excellent organizations, and in seeking philanthropic support and establishing strategic partnerships.
UC Berkeley is internationally renowned for comprehensive excellence, the opportunities it affords students of all backgrounds, and pioneering achievements across all disciplines. The Berkeley campus is home to more than 30,000 undergraduates and more than 11,000 graduate students, and approximately 1,500 ladder-rank faculty across more than 65 academic departments and 80 research units.
Visit the UC Berkeley website to learn more about this opportunity and how to apply. The search is being facilitated by the Witt/Kieffer executive recruiting agency.
The School of Information Studies at Syracuse University has launched a search for a new Dean. Current Syracuse iSchool Dean, and former iSchools Organization iCaucus Chair, Elizabeth D. Liddy, will step down and retire in May, 2019.
Reporting to the Syracuse University Provost, the Dean will collaborate with the 12 deans of the other schools and colleges at Syracuse and with senior University leadership. The Dean will oversee 50 tenure-track faculty members, professors of practice and teaching faculty, and a staff of 50 and will be responsible for an operating budget of $62 million.
The Syracuse iSchool, a founding member of the iSchools Organization, is a globally recognized leader in advancing knowledge and developing creative, thoughtful, and technically capable leaders in the information field. The mission of the iSchool is to expand human capabilities by connecting people, information and technology. The faculty and staff of the iSchool are committed to preparing students to become leaders in the information field and using information to solve problems faced by individuals and organizations. Together, the faculty, staff and students of the iSchool impact research and the information profession through scholarship, rigorous education opportunities and commitment to service that advances science, improves professional practice and contributes to society.
Consistently ranked among the top five programs of its kind in the country by U.S. News and World Report, the Syracuse iSchool offers degree programs at the undergraduate, masters and doctoral levels; master’s programs are available both on campus and online.
The next Dean will lead Syracuse’s iSchool at a time when its disciplines are in increasingly high demand by undergraduate, professional and graduate students. The Dean will have the opportunity to capitalize on this exciting information age by focusing on fostering academic excellence, advancing the research agenda, building institutional capacity, and raising visibility and resources.
Founded in 1870, Syracuse University is a private, coeducational, research institution in the heart of central New York, where students choose from more than 200 majors, 100 minors, and 200 advanced degree programs. Syracuse is a university of national stature and international opportunity, known for its professional programs, investment in research and innovation, and school spirit.
Click here for full details on the Syracuse University Job’s Board.
This search is being handled by Russell Reynolds Associates, executive search consultants. Inquiries, nominations, and expressions of interest can be sent to: SyracuseiSchool@russellreynolds.com.
Axon Enterprise, formerly known as Taser International, recently shifted its focus from stun guns to body-cam video following the killings of a number of unarmed black citizens by police. Researchers have followed Axon’s plans to build artificial intelligence systems, AI, to process, label and interpret police body-cam video and have now expressed doubts in an article published in IEEE Spectrum.
In the article, Dan Greene, assistant professor at the University of Maryland College of Information Studies and his colleague, Dr. Genevieve Patterson, a computer vision researcher, question the practicality of Axon’s strategy and the preparedness of Axon’s proposed AI capabilities.
The application of machine learning for the classification of police body-camera video has become a major flash point in the broader debate over whether proprietary software should be incorporated into the criminal-justice system. In their article, “The Trouble With Trusting AI to Interpret Police Body-Cam Video”Greene and Dr. Patterson discuss their concerns and also offer suggestions for how to manage technology that is on the horizon.
Click here to read this news story on the UMD webstie.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has received a grant for $1.1 million from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for a project to develop a toolset that will enable institutions to more quickly and efficiently process emails included in born-digital collections. The project will specifically explore the use of machine learning to separate irrelevant emails from those that should be preserved, and will apply natural language processing methods to identify topics of interest within those records so the messages can be tagged for improved organization and retrieval.
The UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) is partnering with the State Archives of North Carolina under the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NC DNCR) for the two-year project. The Review, Appraisal, and Triage of Mail (RATOM) project’s goals are particularly significant for organizations, including libraries, archives and museums (LAMs), that need to provide public access to records while protecting private information.
RATOM project personnel include SILS Professor Christopher “Cal” Lee, who will serve as Principal Investigator (PI), as well as SILS Research Scientist Kam Woods (Co-PI) and DARNC Section Head of Digital Services Camille Tyndall Watson (Co-PI).
Click here for more details on the UNC website.
Associate Professor Steven Hoi from the School of Information Systems (SIS) at Singapore Management University (SMU) has been elevated to IEEE Fellow with effect from 1 January 2019. He is being recognised for his contributions to machine learning for multimedia information retrieval and scalable data analytics.
The IEEE Grade of Fellow is conferred by the IEEE Board of Directors upon a person with an outstanding record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest.
“I am honoured and greatly humbled to be elevated to IEEE Fellow,”Prof Hoi said “I would like to offer my sincerest gratitude to all my collaborators and students for their valuable support and contributions to my professional career, and to SMU for providing a dynamic and supportive research environment that has enabled me to undertake machine learning and artificial intelligence research in Singapore.”
Prof Hoi’s research contributions cover both fundamental research on machine learning methodology, and practical machine learning research for a wide range of real-world application domains in artificial intelligence (AI) and data science, including multimedia information retrieval, computer vision and pattern recognition, scalable data analytics, web search and mining, social media, computational finance, cybersecurity intelligence, and healthcare intelligence for smart nation.
Click here for the full story on the SMU website.
The iSchools Organization has unveiled a new governance structure that is expected to make the Organization more responsive to the needs of its membership. To facilitate the change, the new membership structure more distinctly reflects each member’s involvement with the Organization. In the works for more than a year, the new governance model was formally adopted at the annual iSchools business meeting, which was held March 27, 2018 in conjunction with iConference 2018 in Sheffield, UK.
Under the new model, all iSchools members will participate in the election of a Board of Directors. This new Board consist of two groups: an Executive Committee, and an additional group of regionally elected Board members. The Executive Committee is made up of the current iSchools chair, the chair-elect, the immediate past-chair, the treasurer, the chairs of each of the three regions, and ex officio the executive director. The remainder of the Board consists of regionally elected chairs, calculated using a formula that factors the number of schools and the financial contributions in each.
The newly adopted membership structure offers a wider array of levels reflecting each member’s ongoing relationship with the organization. All members may self-select the membership level that represents the level of support they wish to provide; this includes the iCaucus level, which formerly required institutional approval to join.
The new iSchools membership levels are as follows: iCaucus; Enabling; Sustaining; Supporting; Basic; and Associate. Members at all levels have a vote factored for their level of support, with the exception of those who select the non-voting Associate level.
“I am very pleased with the new governance structure adopted at our recent business meeting,” said iSchools Chair Sam Oh. “These changes enable member-institutions of all sizes to have a direct impact on the Organization’s mission of leading and promoting the information field in the 21st century, while at the same time recognizing the level of Organizational support that each of our members graciously provides.”
Moving forward, the Executive Committee will continue to handle the ongoing day-to-day business of the Organization. The Board of Directors must approve broader decisions such as changes in the budget and membership. In addition, a majority of all members must vote to approve any change in the dues or fundamental structural alterations, and will also elect the chair.
The iSchools Executive Committee currently includes:
The above are joined by the following Board members, elected earlier this month:
For his part, iSchools Executive Director Michael Seadle expressed satisfaction that the Organization’s extended governance deliberations have resulted in structures that support the needs of membership and will allow the Organization to address challenges and opportunities in the information field.
“All iSchools are known for their leadership and their commitment to the information field. Our Organization seeks to maximize our collective influence and impact worldwide,” said Seadle. “The Organization’s former tier structure was always intended to reflect each member’s relationship with the Organization. By recasting the membership levels and adding more gradations, as well as allowing members to self-select their appropriate level, we believe the egalitarian nature of our Organization will be more clearly understood.”
The current iSchools Board of Directors is listed on the Organization’s Meet our People webpage. Institutions interested in joining the iSchools should visit the Apply to Join webpage.
About the iSchoolsThe iSchools Organization is a consortium of more than 90 universities and institutions dedicated to advancing the information field in the 21st Century. The iSchools organization supports and recognizes student achievement through its annual Doctoral Colloquium, Doctoral Dissertation Award, and, starting this year, Undergraduate Symposium. The iSchools also provide collaboration tools and other support to assist faculty in their teaching and research endeavors.
Every year, the iSchools organization presents the iConference, a forum in which information scholars, researchers and professionals share their insights on critical information issues in contemporary society. The next iConference is scheduled to take place March 31-April 3, 2019 in Washington DC. Click here to learn more about iConference 2019.
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