What can businesses and organizations do to stem the tide of misinformation? That was the hot topic at iAffiliates Day, which brought dozens of Seattle-area business leaders together online April 27 with researchers from the University of Washington Information School and Center for an Informed Public (CIP). In his opening remarks, iSchool Dean Anind Dey outlined several iSchool initiatives, noting that the CIP has taken a national and international role in combating misinformation. The spread of misinformation played a prominent role both in the 2020 election and the COVID-19 pandemic,
When Brynn Strader (pictured above) went on job interviews as she finished her Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree, employers asked about her hands-on experience. She had a go-to answer. “I would immediately talk about my Capstone and what I specifically focused on in my MLIS degree,” she said. A Capstone project is a graduation requirement for many iSchool students that immerses them in real-world information challenges. Students draw upon everything they’ve learned in their classes to develop an actionable solution, and are able to use this ex
Noted sociologist, writer and cultural critic Tressie McMillan Cottom made a case for investing in a more equitable approach to higher education at the University of Washington Information School’s Ed Mignon Distinguished Lecture on April 13. McMillan Cottom, an associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science, told an audience of more than 200 people online that after decades of framing higher education as the key that unlocks career success, “we have a reality problem.” For some, particularly those from lower socio
More than 1,000 middle and high school students, teachers and educators from across Washington state and the nation participated in MisinfoDay 2021, a series of virtual workshops on March 18 where facilitators explored strategies for spotting misinformation, fact-checking claims and sources, better understanding the landscape of information disorder and the goals and tactics used by those who spread disinformation. MisinfoDay, first hosted by the University of Washington Information School in March 2019, is now organized and presented in partnership with UW’s Center for an Infor
Sometimes one class or a single professor can alter the trajectory of an academic career. For Michelle Lee, the course was Informatics 200. Lee entered the University of Washington in the 2016-17 school year, admitted as a freshman directly into the Foster School of Business. She mapped a plan to study marketing with a dance minor. In her sophomore year, Lee took a class that she heard was fun and interesting: INFO 200. It turned out to be far more than that. In INFO 200, Lee worked on a group project to help food-allergy sufferers. In their research, the students found many people with
Daniel Chen, a junior double-majoring in Informatics and Microbiology at the University of Washington, recently was named a 2021 Goldwater Scholar. Chen is one of 410 undergraduate students selected for the award from a pool of 1,256 students nominated by 438 institutions across the country. The scholarships are granted to sophomores and juniors who show exceptional promise and plan to pursue research careers in math, engineering or the natural sciences. These scholarships award up to $7,500 a year to help cover costs associated with tuition, mandatory fees, books, room and board.
The University of Washington Information School held the No. 2 spot in the latest rankings of U.S. master’s degree programs in library and information science by U.S. News & World Report. The rankings of “America’s Best Graduate Schools” were released March 30. “This ranking is based on the input of our peers across the country, and a ranking of No. 2 means that they continue to see our Master of Library and Information Science as a leading national program,” iSchool Dean Anind Dey said. “I give credit to the program's leadership, faculty, staff and students who
The Information School and the University of Washington will be well-represented at CHI 2021, the leading conference on human-computer interaction. iSchool faculty and students contributed to 17 papers that will be presented at the conference, part of a strong 50-paper showing from the UW overall, as tallied by the Design+Use+Build (DUB) Group. Among the iSchool-led papers is one selected as a Best Paper (top 1 percent of submissions). Ph.D. student Kung Jin Lee was the lead author on “The Show Must Go On: A Conceptual Model of Conducting Synchronous Participatory Design with Children
When librarian Beverly Cleary began to write for children, she did so because a little boy visiting her library came up to her one day and asked her (with attitude!), “Where are the books about kids like us?” Cleary, a girl from Yamill, Oregon, had grown up on British children’s books about children with nannies who didn’t reflect her own reality. Maybe the boy in the library didn’t have the “perfect” family he saw on TV; maybe he got into trouble at school sometimes; maybe he fought with his sister. But Cleary remembered that boy and started writing books about H
Beverly Cleary, a 1939 iSchool alum and the beloved author of more than 30 children’s books including “Ramona the Brave” and “The Mouse and the Motorcycle,” has died at age 104, publisher HarperCollins announced. Cleary was a graduate of what was then the School of Librarianship, which later evolved into the Information School. In 2008, Cleary was named the University of Washington’s Alumna Summa Laude Dignata, the UW’s highest honor for alumni. At the iSchool, she established the Beverly Cleary Endowed Professorship in Children & Youth Services, a chair now held b
The Information School’s undergraduate Informatics program is revamping its curriculum for fall 2021 to integrate diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) throughout all of its core courses. The changes reflect a collective effort from iSchool faculty and are one part of the school’s broader effort to emphasize DEI throughout its teaching and research. We talked to Professor Amy Ko, chair of the Informatics program, about what’s changing and why. Q: What is changing in the Informatics curriculum? A: When we have talked about information, technology and people, especially in Informat
Many children in the United States get their first smartphone as they enter their “tween” years, a milestone that can bring a fair amount of tension between parents and their children. To help families better negotiate tweens’ technology use, a group of iSchool researchers wanted to explore how mobile apps can be both entertaining and educational. After receiving a grant from the UW Innovation Award in 2016, the researchers collaborated with children to codesign an app, NatureCollections, that encourages tweens to explore their natural surroundings, take photos of natur
A year after many of them crowded into an office in downtown Seattle for World IA Day, dozens of professionals and students gathered on Zoom to celebrate and learn about information architecture at the 2021 edition. While it may not have been as cozy, the Seattle version of this year’s event on Feb. 27 attracted speakers from leading companies such as Oracle, Starbucks and PACCAR for presentations and panel discussions that dug into the nitty gritty of information architecture. They took on topics such as data governance, semantic tools and job hunting. Information School Associate T
On a Sunday afternoon, more than 200 people sang along to the Nigerian welcome song, “Funga Alafia,” as they listened to the sound of the violin and tambourine resonating through a Zoom call. It was the last day of Black History Month and Michelle H. Martin, the Beverly Cleary Professor for Children and Youth Services at the Information School, was hosting an online storytime event, the African American Read-In, where students from the Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program read children’s and young adult books by African American authors and illustrators.
The Election Integrity Partnership (EIP), a nonpartisan coalition of researchers that identified, tracked and responded to voting-related mis- and disinformation during the 2020 U.S. elections, released its final report, “The Long Fuse: Misinformation and the 2020 Election,” on March 2. The final report is the culmination of months of collaboration among approximately 120 people working across four organizations: Stanford Internet Observatory (SIO), the University of Washington iSchool-based Center for an Informed Public (CIP), Graphika and the