iSchool hires record number of faculty

The iSchool is hiring eight new faculty, one pending visa approval, as part of a plan to expand student enrollment in the B.S. in Informatics program and add critical expertise in data curation, digital youth, information visualization, information management, and information services. The new faculty will begin during the 2014-15 fiscal year. 

Negin Dahya, Assistant Professor
Digital Youth
Negin Dahya completed her Ph.D. in the Faculty of Education, York University, Toronto, Canada. Her research is grounded in anti-oppressive education for ethnoracial minority groups, with a focus on girls and women using technology. Specifically, Dahya's work explores the sociocultural context of digital media production and technology use in under-served schools and communities, and transnational teaching/learning through digital technologies for refugees living in refugee camps. She has worked in arts education in Brazilian favelas, in media education with the National Film Board of Canada in Toronto, and as an Instructor in the Centre for Teaching and Learning at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus. Her current research projects include an exploration of how videogame development can be used for teaching and learning STEM in under-resourced schools, and in particular with girls, and an ongoing inquiry into the use of social media for academic support with refugees pursuing online education in Dadaab, Kenya.  

Megan Finn, Assistant Professor
Information Management
Megan Finn is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Microsoft Research New England. She received her Ph.D. from University of California at Berkeley from the School of Information in 2012. As a Ph.D. student, Finn received an NSF award for her dissertation research on "Post-Disaster Information Environments." Her work contributes to three key areas of research: public information infrastructures, crisis informatics, and the history of information. Finn's ongoing research examines the social and cultural dimensions of the production of information, analytical limitations of social media datasets about disasters, invisible Internet infrastructure labor. Her book, Documenting Aftermath, is under contract with MIT Press. Finn also has a BS in Computer Science from University of Michigan and a Masters in Information Management and Systems from U.C. Berkeley.

Jessica Hullman, Assistant Professor
Information Visualization
Jessica Hullman's research focuses on the broad use of information visualizations for communication and analysis. Her work has contributed tools and understanding around visualization design in the context of online data storytelling, including automated visualization generation systems for enhancing users' news reading experiences, algorithms for helping individuals design sets of visualizations for presentation, and design taxonomies for understanding rhetorical strategies in data storytelling. Hullman is also interested in the cognitive and perceptual challenges related to visualization-based communication at a broad scale. She has proposed a method for visualizing uncertainty via possible samples and studied the potential for non-expert analysts to understand concepts like reliability using this technique. Her work has also contributed mechanisms for overcoming social and cognitive biases in graph comprehension at a crowd level. Hullman holds a Ph.D. and M.S.I. in Information Visualization and Analysis at the University of Michigan, and is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Visual Computing Lab at the University of California Berkeley where her work is supported by Tableau Software. During her doctorate she also conducted visualization research at Microsoft Research and I.B.M. Research. 

Carole Palmer, Professor
Data Curation

Carole Palmer is currently Director of the Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship (CIRSS) and Professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research investigates the practice of science and scholarship in the digital environment, applied to the curation of research data and development of cross-disciplinary research collections. She is currently principal investigator on the Site-Based Data Curation project, and an education initiative in partnership with the National Center for Atmospheric Research--Data Curation Education in Research Centers. She was co-PI on the NSF Data Conservancy effort from 2009-2012 and PI on the IMLS Digital Collections and Content project from 2007-2013. She has been leading education and outreach initiatives in data curation since 2005 and is currently a member of the National Academy of Sciences study committee on Career Opportunities and Educational Requirements for Digital Curation. She teaches in the areas of data curation, scientific and scholarly communication, and use and users of information, and is the recipient of the 2013 Information Science Teacher of the Year Award from the Association for Information Science & Technology.

Jaime Snyder, Assistant Professor
Information Visualization
Jaime Snyder completed her Ph.D. in Information Science and Technology from the School of Information Studies, Syracuse University in 2012. Her research focuses on social aspects of visualization practices, visual materiality, and ethics and values in the design of visualizations. Her dissertation investigated drawing as an information-driven communication practice, building on theories from interactional sociolinguistics and discourse studies. She works on multidisciplinary projects related to the visual representation of personal health information in the Interaction Design Lab at Cornell University, Department of Information Science. She also teaches information visualization at the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University. Future work includes examining the design of visualizations as collaborative practice and visualization practices in citizen science projects.

Helene Williams, Senior Lecturer
Information Services
Helene Williams has more than 25 years of experience in academic and public libraries, and is now concentrating on teaching the up-and-coming generation of information professionals. In her academic library career, her areas of focus were collection development, reference, and information literacy and instruction, with the occasional foray into emerging technologies, usability, and library fundraising. She also consults with libraries, consortia, and arts organizations in the areas of collections, technology, and user services.  She has taught graduate courses in research methods, humanities reference, library services and collections, information policy, and collection development as well as undergraduate courses in business writing and composition. The curriculum she created and taught for a 5-credit required Information Literacy and Program Assessment course for the Applied Behavioral Sciences Bachelor’s program at Seattle Central Community College was noted by the Association of College and Research Libraries for the breadth of its impact. Williams has a BA in English and Broadcast Communications from University of the Pacific, an MA in English from Purdue University, and an MLIS from Indiana University. Previous professional positions include Head of the Library Instruction Program at Michigan State University Libraries, English and American Literature Librarian and Head of Bibliographic Instruction at Northeastern University Library, English Studies Librarian at the University of Washington Libraries, and English Bibliographer for the Humanities, Harvard University Library.

Jason Yip, Assistant Professor
Digital Youth
Jason Yip is a researcher examining the intersections between the learning sciences, child-computer interaction, and STEM education. Before his life as a researcher, Jason taught K-12 science and math for ten years. He completed both his undergraduate degree in chemistry and masters in science and math education at the University of Pennsylvania and his Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Maryland’s College of Education. He was also an affiliate of the Human-Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL) at Maryland. Yip's research focuses on how digital media and new technologies support participatory cultures in youth. He examines how digital media and new technologies can support bridging STEM learning for children between different learning domains (e.g., homes, schools, afterschool, libraries). For his dissertation, he studied the identity development and science ownership of children in an afterschool program called Kitchen Chemistry, in which children explore science through the development of their own personal food investigations and the use of social media technologies. His current research explores how the design of new social media technologies for science can support participatory learning across a range of contexts. He partners with children and families in the co-design (participatory design) of new technologies. At the HCIL, he was a member of Kidsteam, an intergenerational and interdisciplinary design team composed of children (ages 7-17) and adult researchers that design new technologies. Through Kidsteam, Yip has worked with a number of collaborations with companies and non-profit organizations, such as Nickelodeon, the National Parks Service, Google, and National Geographic to develop new children’s technologies. He also creates new design methods to include a wide range of children and adolescents to participate in the design process of new technologies. Currently at the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, Yip examines how Hispanic-Latino heritage families and children (ages 6-9) use digital media together and how culture, family, environmental factors, and technological design can support active participation in learning. 

Michelle Carter, Assistant Professor
Information Management
Michelle Carter received her Ph.D. in Management (Information Systems) from Clemson University, South Carolina, USA. She also holds Master of Science degrees in Management Information Systems and Computer Science from Georgia State University, USA and Anglia Polytechnic University, UK, respectively. Carter's experiences as an IS professional catalyzed her research interests in: (1) information management; (2) technology assimilation; and (3) online consumer decision making. Her current research, on IT identity and social inclusion, grows out of these research streams. Her work has appeared in MIS Quarterly Executive, European Journal of Information Systems, Communications of the AIS and ACM Transactions on Management Information Systems, as well as several conference proceedings (ICIS, AMCIS, DIGIT, SAIS, and SIGHCI), and three book chapters. Carter serves as Vice-Chair for the Association of Information Systems (AIS) Special Interest Group on Social Inclusion (SIG-SI), is an Associate Editor for Information Technology and People, and has reviewed for JAIS, MISQ, Data Base, Decision Sciences, EJIS, ISR, among other journals.  She has taught Information Systems and Computer Science undergraduate-level courses in online and classroom-based settings in both the UK and USA.