School of Information Sciences

And More News ...


SIS alumnus achievement: Joey Nicholson

The University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences (SIS) congratulates alumnus Joey Nicholson on his recent appointment to the National Medical Library Association Nominating Committee. Nicholson earned his MLIS from SIS in 2004 and is currently an Education and Curriculum librarian at New York University’s Langone Medical Center.


SIS’ David Tipper is a cybersecurity expert panelist for Pittsburgh Business Times

The University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences’ (SIS) David Tipper, professor and chair of the Telecommunications & Networking program, was a panelist in the Pittsburgh Business Times “Table of Experts on Cybersecurity.” Tipper, along with professionals from Apogee, Ethical Intruder, and Schneider Downs, offered expertise on topics such as cloud computing security, common forms of cyberattacks, and ways businesses can keep themselves safe.

The panel was also asked what kind of skills employers look for when hiring cybersecurity professionals. Among the answers were: a computer science background, well-rounded and strategic thinking, a blend of technology and security knowledge, and a familiarity with business. “[W]e cover all the basics,” Tipper said, referring to SIS’ top-ranked information security program, “everything from security and privacy, to securing systems like Cloud systems, to network security and firewalls, cryptography, and risk management. Our students are in high demand.”


Study abroad options expanded for SIS students

Thanks to expanded partnerships, students at the University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences (SIS) have exciting options to pursue their studies overseas in places such as Sunkyunkwan University (SKKU) in Seoul, the Institut National des Sciences Appliquées in Lyon, and the University of Sheffield in Sheffield among others. Students can take classes in information sciences or fulfill elective requirements while exploring the world. Read more >


Congratulations winter 2015 SIS graduates!

The University of Pittsburgh’s School of Information Sciences (SIS) celebrates our 2015 winter graduates! Family, friends, and supporters joined graduates at the William Pitt Union for the Winter Recognition Ceremony on Friday, December 11, which was led by Dean Ronald L. Larsen. Read more >


SIS student Published in Public Services Quarterly, appointed to PaLA board

Bryan McGeary, current Library & Information Science graduate student at the School of Information Sciences (SIS) and University Library System (ULS) staff member, recently had his article, “Accessibility, Collaboration, and Staffing: Revamping the Model for Academic Library Video Collections” published in Public Services Quarterly. The article, which can be accessed here, discusses increased accessibility of audiovisual materials in academic library collections and the necessity of a media librarian to help traverse the changing landscape that includes increased streaming services. Read more >


Prestigious Young Investigator Award won by SIS' Kostas Pelechrinis

The School of Information Sciences (SIS) congratulates Assistant Professor Kostas Pelechrinis, who was recently awarded the prestigious Young Investigator Award from the Army Research Office for his project “Models and Metrics for Socio-Spatial Composite Networks.”

The award is in the form of a one-year grant that will be used to support Pelechrinis’ proposed project. The Young Investor Award is awarded to assistant professors only and, “seeks to identify and support academic scientists who show exceptional promise for doing creative research.” Pelechrinis’ research interests include network science, social computing, and in particular, location based social networks (LBSNs) and urban informatics. In the past he has been involved in research in computer networking and wireless and mobile networks. Pelechrinis is extremely interested in the design and implementation of practical systems based on analytical frameworks. Read more >


Alumnae receive prestigious awards from the Medical Library Association

Andrea Ketchum and Melissa Ratajeski, both reference librarians with the University of Pittsburgh Health Sciences Library System and alumnae of the School of Information Sciences, were honored at the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Medical Library Association’s recently held annual meeting in Asheville, NC. Ketchum was awarded the 2015 Award for Professional Excellence by a Health Sciences Librarian and Ratajeski was awarded the 2015 Marguerite Abel Service Recognition Award, which recognizes exemplary service to the chapter during the past year. Join us in our congratulations!


NSA director visits Pitt to discuss the future of cybersecurity

On Monday, October 26, Admiral Michael Rogers, director of the NSA and commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, spoke to students, faculty, and staff at the University of Pittsburgh about the current state of cybersecurity and online threats in the U.S. and around the world. The event was organized by Pitt’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and co-sponsored by the School of Information Sciences. Read more >


SIS holds second annual Short Course Day

The School of Information Sciences (SIS) hosted Short Course Day last Friday in the third floor collaboration space for students, staff, and the interested public. Four courses on practical topics were offered throughout the day, lasting less than two hours each. Read more >


Full-time Director of Constituent Relations joins SIS staff

We are pleased to announce that Amy Herlich has been hired as the Director of Constituent Relations for the School of Information Sciences (SIS). She will manage SIS’ alumni relations, fundraising, and stewardship programs. Monday, October 19th, is her first day on the job. Read more >


New Pitt-led open data center launches

The Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center was unveiled Thursday, October 15 by Mayor Bill Peduto, city officials, Allegheny County, and the University of Pittsburgh. The data repository service houses public information previously spread out across many different platforms, which required cumbersome procedures to access. The new data center makes it possible for anyone to access the data sets submitted by government, non-profits, and academic institutions. Users can easily view and export the data for their own analysis. The University of Pittsburgh Center for Social and Urban Research is overseeing the project. Read more >


SIS' Board of Visitors holds annual meeting

The University of Pittsburgh’s School of Information Sciences (SIS) was delighted to welcome its Board of Visitors (BOV) to Pittsburgh for their annual meeting that was held Monday, October 12 and Tuesday, October 13. The BOV recommends both long-term strategies and short-term projects, and is comprised of innovative leaders in higher education and industry. Board members, who live and work all over the country, travel to SIS once a year in order to attend this key meeting. Read more >


SIS alumni celebrated at Insights and Awards events

The University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences (SIS) hosted the annual Alumni Awards and an inaugural Alumni Insights event on Friday, October 9 at the Information Sciences Building. The event featured opening remarks and the introduction of SIS' Visiting Scholars by Dean Ronald Larsen followed by four talks led by distinguished speakers, most of whom are SIS alumni. Later in the day, SIS alumnus and representative to the Pitt Alumni Association Eric Spiegel (BSIS ’88) opened the Alumni Awards ceremony. Spiegel introduced Dean Larsen, who then presented the Distinguished Alumni Award to Steven S. Choi (PhD ’76); the Professional Achievement Award to Chris Geary (MSIS ’98); and the Young Alumni Award to Tim Schlak (MLIS ’07, PhD ’10). Read more >


SIS' BOV Chair delivers keynote at symposium geared to Black student retention

Alfred Moyé, Chair of the Board of Visitors for SIS, gave an engaging keynote speech at the fifth annual African American Student Retention Symposium on Sept. 25. Moyé spoke about mentors and role models to a crowd of two hundred attendees. Learn more about the symposium here.


SIS LIS PhD student awarded 2015 Libri Student Award

The School of Information Sciences congratulates LIS PhD student Michael Widdersheim in being awarded the annual Libri Student Award for 2015. Widdersheim’s winning paper, “Governance, Legitimation, Commons: A Public Sphere Framework and Research Agenda for the Public Library Sector,” will be published in this December’s issue (volume 65, number 4) of Libri, the German peer-reviewed LIS journal. The award also includes a gift of EUR 500 and a free subscription to the journal. Libri has been a strong voice in the international library world since 1950 and continues to work to support the next generation of library and information science professionals.


SIS alumnus named Penn State Library Director

SIS Alumnus Glenn McGuigan has been named Penn State Harrisburg’s library director after 15 years with Penn State’s University Libraries. McGuigan holds an MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh along with a BA in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and an MBA from Penn State Harrisburg. He is currently working toward his PhD at Penn State Harrisburg’s public administration program.

Before being appointed library director, McGuigan held the positions of business and public administration reference librarian and reference and public services coordinator at Penn State Harrisburg. He has also served as the business subject editor for Resources for College Libraries (published by ACRL Choice Magazine) since 2005. McGuigan’s research areas include the intersections of public administration, library science, and scholarly publishing, with special focus on academic journal publishing and collection management in academic libraries.


SIS cybersecurity lab awarded NSA Center of Academic Excellence grant

The University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences (SIS) top-ranked cybersecurity lab, the Laboratory for Education and Research on Security Assured Information Systems (LERSAIS), was recently selected by the NSA to receive a Center of Academic Excellence Cybersecurity Grant. The proposal, entitled “Towards Insider Threat Assessment and Mitigation,” will fund three PhD students under the guidance of SIS Associate Professor and LERSAIS Director James Joshi, as well as other faculty over the course of one year. The proposal aims to fill the gap in resources focused on mitigating insider threats to companies and organizations. The team will develop framework for an insider threat assessment in order to classify potential risks as well as create adaptive methods to prevent threats in a timely fashion.


Welcome SIS students!

The University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences (SIS) is excited to welcome all new and returning students back for the fall 2015 term. Approximately 300 new students are entering SIS as a part of one of the seven programs of study offered through the school. New students come from 21 different states and 11 different countries, including Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, and Kosovo. Last week, incoming students participated in orientation events that prepared them for their time at SIS and in the city of Pittsburgh. Read more >


SIS faculty awarded NSF Information and Intelligent Systems grant

The University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences (SIS) associate professors Peter Brusilovsky and Daqing He (project lead and co-lead respectively) were recently awarded a Nation Science Foundation Information and Intelligent Systems grant for their project titled “Open Corpus Personalized Learning.” The project will focus on streamlining and expanding the reach of effective adaptive educational hypermedia, which allows students and independent learners without access to traditional classrooms to gain a personalized education. Both Brusilovsky and He are also faculty in the Intelligent Systems program, which is housed in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences.


SIS PhD alumna joins faculty at Simmons College

Simmons College School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) welcomed assistant professor Janet Ceja to their faculty beginning fall 2015 semester. Ceja researches in the fields of moving image preservation, archival pedagogy, and cultural archives, specifically Latino and Indigenous cultural communities. Her most recent work examines how amateur videos interplay with community identity, memory, and acts of devotional labor to preserve a religious fiesta in rural Mexico. Ceja received her PhD in Library and Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh, where she was a member of the American Library Association’s first cohort of Spectrum Doctoral Fellows. Read more >


SIS professor discusses the importance of technology standardization in podcast

“You might not realize the exceptionally vital role standardization plays in our daily lives,” says University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences Associate Professor Michael Spring. “Most people begin to fall asleep at the mention of standards. In reality standards are far from boring. They protect you from danger, create new markets, and encourage innovation,” he explains in a newly published podcast on The Academic Minute. The podcast is based on Spring’s research into the history and current state of information technology standards that has been conducted over the past two years. Read more >


MLIS Graduate, Dominique Luster, highlighted in AACR newsletter

University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences (SIS) graduate Dominique Luster, who is now the Diversity Liaison Librarian at the University of Pittsburgh’s Library System and teaches in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences Freshmen Programs, was highlighted in the summer 2015 issue of the Archivists and Archives of Color Roundtable newsletter. While in the MLIS program at SIS, Luster was a member of the school’s Diversity Student Organization and the Carnegie Mellon/PITT Black Graduate Student Union, which is a student of color dinner series. Read more >


SIS-led study examines the benefits that special deals offered on location-based social media networks have for American business owners

A burger joint in Lawrenceville gives free orders of fries with every Foursquare check-in. A café on the South Side offers a discount on a dessert for every first-time visitor review submitted on Yelp.

Special deals, such as these, on social-media networks should provide a win-win situation for everyone involved. The consumer saves money by simply using the mobile app, while the business owner reaps the benefits of inexpensive means of advertisement. A simple scenario where everyone wins, right? “Not so fast,” says a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Information Sciences and the Stevens Institute of Technology.

According to the study, offering special deals on social media, while a useful tactic for increasing the visibility of an establishment, is not a reliable means for increasing patronage in isolation. Researchers point to a number of factors—such as venue type, area population density, the length of the special-deal offer, and the manner in which potential customers learn of offers—that play a significant role in making special deals a worthwhile promotional strategy for business owners. Read more >


Pitt LIS alumnus Roland Barksdale-Hall recognized as library expert

Roland Barksdale-Hall (MLS '84), the library director at the Quinby Street Resource Center, Sharon, PA, received the 2015 Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) National Leadership Award at the 9th National Conference of African American Librarians, held in August 2015. Barksdale-Hall received this honor in recognition of his significant and extraordinary contributions in service to the library profession in areas of leadership including scholarship, professional development, library education, and professional activities on the local or national level.

Barksdale-Hall serves as the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS) Director of Publications and was the recipient of the AAHGS James Dent Walker Award, the highest AAHGS award. He taught at the library school at Clarion University.

Barksdale-Hall is president and co-founder of JAH Kente International Inc., an organization that promotes the arts and genealogy throughout schools in metropolitan Washington D.C. area. He has served as the national youth director for Frontiers International, Inc. and as the vice president of the Buckeye Review and on the executive committee of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. 


LIS PhD alumna publishes book and co-edits New Publication

Rebecca Morris (PhD ‘11), assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, published her first book, School Libraries and Student Learning: A Guide for School Leaders (Harvard Education Press), in August 2015. The book demonstrates how school leaders can strengthen and support quality school library programs for critical learning outcomes, including interdisciplinary curricular content learning, critical thinking and inquiry, multiple literacies, personal growth and collaboration, and college and career readiness.

Morris is one of the co-editors of the new publication, School Library Connection, published by ABC-CLIO. This is a new print magazine and online professional development suite that merges the former Library Media Connection and School Library Monthly. Her area of focus is "libraries in context," which considers the broader picture of education in which school libraries operate.


The iSchool Congratulates July 2015 Graduates!

The University of Pittsburgh’s School of Information Sciences (iSchool) celebrates our 2015 summer graduates! At the iSchool’s summer recognition ceremony on Friday, July 24, more than 150 family, friends, and supporters joined graduates at the O’Hara Student Center for the ceremony led by Dean Ronald L. Larsen.

Larsen charged graduates to remember the challenging lessons learned during their time at the iSchool and asked them to apply their own sense of creativity to the knowledge they developed in order to “envision a better future and to work toward its realization.” He also reminded students and faculty of their many personal, professional, and departmental accomplishments to be proud of over the past year. He concluded with an invitation to graduating students to stay in contact with the iSchool through the Alumni Association in order to share future achievements and growth. Read more >


International Journal of Digital Libraries Edited by iSchool Professor, Stephen Griffin

Stephen Griffin, Mellon Cyberscholar and visiting professor at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Information Sciences, recently edited a special issue of the International Journal of Digital Libraries that focuses on digital scholarship.

In the introduction, Griffin discussed how digital scholarship has and continues to drastically change research techniques and collaborative approaches to scholarly endeavors. Griffin also highlighted how digital libraries have advanced digital scholarship by expanding resources and developing information environments for scholars to utilize. The issue features six papers that represent and describe examples of excellent contemporary digital scholarship.


MLIS Alumnus Named Acting State Librarian for Pennsylvania

Brian Dawson (MLIS ’12) was recently named Acting Deputy Secretary for the Office of Commonwealth Libraries/State Librarian for Pennsylvania. Brian currently works at the Office of Commonwealth Libraries as the Director, Bureau of Library Development where he is responsible for directing a staff implementing statewide programs and services; evaluating programming and services; working with senior management to integrate state and federal budgets; interpreting and implementing the laws of Pennsylvania that relate to public libraries.

Brian previously worked as the Library Director for the Oil City Public Library and an Administrator for the Oil Creek Library District.  Brian also worked at the California Area Public Library as the Director.

Brian received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication/Political Science from Seton Hill University and a Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh.


iSchool Professor, Michael Spring, Featured in University Times

iSchool Professor Michael Spring has donated to the University’s Faculty and Staff Campaign for 29 years. He was recently featured in the University Times as part of the “Why They Give” series. Read more >


iSchool Faculty's Paper Wins Best Paper Award at IEEE/ACM CCGrid'15

Congratulations to iSchool Assistant Professor Balaji Palanisamy for receiving the Best Paper Award at the 15th IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Cluster, Cloud, and Grid Computing (IEEE/ACM CCGrid'15) recently held in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China for his paper entitled "Deferred Lightweight Indexing for Log-Structured Key-Value Stores". Palanisamy co-authored the paper with Yuzhe Tang (Syracuse University), Arun Iyengar (IBM Research), Wei Tan (IBM Research), Liana Fong (IBM Research), and Ling Liu (Georgia Tech). Read more >


First Chinese Bioethics Fellows Graduate from Pitt’s International Research Ethics Program

A graduation ceremony was held on July 6, 2015 at the University of Pittsburgh’s University Club to honor the inaugural group of Chinese Fellows to complete a bioethics training program during their time spent here as visiting scholars. The event was well attended by senior faculty members from China, University faculty members, and representatives from the Provost’s Office and Department of Asian Studies.

The program's grant is administered through the School of Information Sciences (iSchool), and co-directed by Beth Fischer (visiting assistant professor at Pitt’s School of Information Sciences), and Michael Zigmond (professor at Pitt’s Department of Neurology). Read more >


iSchool Professor’s Research Published in the Wall Street Journal

Interesting research by Yu-Ru Lin from the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Information Sciences was recently highlighted by the Wall Street Journal. Lin collaborated with an interdisciplinary team of fellow researchers to examine how tracking daily cell phone usage can reveal “socially beneficial real-time economic statistics.” Read more >


iSchool MLIS Alumna Selected as Recipient of 2015 ASIS&T New Leaders Award

Deborah Charbonneau (MLIS ’96) has been selected as a 2015 recipient of the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) New Leaders Award. The award is designed to recruit, engage, and retain new members and to identify potential for new leadership in the association. Read more >


Sara Fine Institute Names New Director, Leanne Bowler

The School of Information Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh welcomes Leanne Bowler as the newly named Director of the Sara Fine Institute for Interpersonal Behavior and Technology (SFI).

SFI was founded in 1999 in honor of Sara Fine, who was a professor at the School of Information Sciences for over 20 years. The SFI organizes lectures, hosts distinguished speakers and visiting fellows, fosters research projects, and coordinates programming around science and technology with a focus on information technologies, interpersonal behavior, and human-machine relationships.

Bowler, who stepped into the directorship May 1, values the important role SFI plays exploring humanistic questions about the relationship between people, information, data, and technology. Read more >


iSchool Welcomes New School College Regional Campus Director

Effective July 1, 2015, Eric Spiegel (BSIS ’88) will represent the iSchool as its School College Regional Campus Director (SCR Director) on the Pitt Alumni Association (PAA) Board of Directors. During his two-year term, Eric will actively participate in strategic planning activities, attend alumni events, encourage fellow alumni to reconnect with the University, and be an advocate for the iSchool and University in general. Read more >


David Tipper Promoted to Professor at School of Information Sciences

We are pleased to share the news that Chancellor Gallagher has promoted Telecommunications Program Chair and Associate Professor, David Tipper, to the rank of Full Professor, effective September 1, 2015. Please join us in congratulating David on this well-deserved promotion! Read more >


iSchool MLIS Alumnus Seth Ciotti Honored with "Mover and Shaker" Award

Seth Ciotti (MLIS ’12) was named a “Mover and Shaker 2015—Digital Developer” by Library Journal. Seth is a Teen Technology Librarian at Kitsap Regional Library in Washington State. Read more >


iSchool at Pitt to host 2015 Drupal Developer Conference

After a successful event last year, Drupal Camp PA is returning Saturday, August 1st and Sunday, August 2nd to the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Information Systems. The theme of the conference, "Bridging Higher Education & Industry," demonstrates the importance of open source solutions in both higher education and industry. The two-day Drupal developer conference will feature topical sessions, keynote speakers, "Birds of a Feather" breakouts, and code sprints. Read more >


Two School of Information Sciences Faculty Members Accept New Roles and Responsibilities

We are pleased to announce that iSchool Assistant Professor Kip Currier has accepted an offer from Dean Ronald L. Larsen and Library and Information Science (LIS) Program Chair Shelia Corrall to serve as Deputy Chair of the LIS program during the coming academic year--a period that will be key during the formative stages of our school’s exploration of opportunities for enhanced collaboration and consolidation with other units across campus.

Congratulations are also in order for iSchool Assistant Professor Rosta Farzan, who will be taking over as lead faculty member and Co-PI of i3. Farzan, and who has contributed to i3 over the years, is a passionate advocate for women in technology. We are pleased that Farzan will take the reins in ensuring i3’s continued success! Both of these appointments are effective as of July 1, 2015. Read more >


iSchool Professor, Richard Cox, Featured in University Times

iSchool alumnus and Professor, Richard Cox, has donated to the University for 27 consecutive years. He was recently featured in the University Times as part of the “Why They Give” series. Read more >


Steven Choi (PhD ’76), Mayor of Irvine, California Visits the iSchool

Steven Choi (PhD ’76), an iSchool alumnus and the Mayor of Irvine, California, recently visited the iSchool while he was in Pittsburgh participating in the Mayors' Institute on City Design (MICD). Mayor Choi spoke to a group of iSchool students, faculty, and staff, as well as University administrators, about his goal of building a new 21st century library at the Great Park in Irvine. Read more >


iSchool Alumna Featured in Spring 2015 Issue of Shady Ave Magazine

We are pleased to share that School of Information Sciences alumna Maria Harrington (MSIS ’90, PhD ’08) was featured in the spring 2015 issue of Shady Ave Magazine for her dissertation research. Dr. Harrington’s dissertation, defended and published in 2008, “Simulated Ecological Environments for Education (SEEE): A Tripartite Model Framework of HCI Design Parameters for Situational Learning in Virtual Environments,” investigated the empirical inter-relationships between humans, computers, and the environment.

Harrington states, “The contribution of my dissertation provided a new approach to the question of learning in virtual reality, not from the long-standing educational pedagogy or philosophical paradigm of “immersion” or “presence,” nor the new “gamification” approach of serious games. Instead, I focused on the design factors in the system, isolated those factors, measured their impact, and reported the results. I adopted a human-computer environment interaction and a human information processing view, rather than “educational systems to meet the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century” perspective, and showed that the historical focus on the “educational outcomes and standards” left relevant human-computer interaction and system design factors understudied. This approach brings the focus of students’ needs, teachers’ abilities, knowledge stores, context/environment, and the factors of the computer system, such as visual fidelity and navigational freedom, back into the analysis, opening a new direction for an empirical study of the child learning in context, real and virtual.” Read more about her research.

Her new research direction is in the investigation of designing, building, and deploying environments where creative engagement is not just possible, but becomes more likely, especially for the child. As also a CMU-trained artist, she knows this is possible as she creates her own new media art. Read more about The Virtual Trillium Trail.


iSchool Hosts the 2015 Bernadette Callery Archives Lecture Series

On May 29, the iSchool hosted more than 55 attendees at the 2015 Bernadette Callery Archives Lecture Series. Richard J. Cox, professor, and Amelia Acker, assistant professor, led “Charting the Future of Archives and Archival Work: A Panel Discussion.” Panelists included Anne Van Camp, Director of the Smithsonian Institution Archives; Dr. Robert Riter, assistant professor, University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies; and Deidre Scaggs, associate dean, Special Collections Research Center and Director of the Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center, University of Kentucky. Read more >


The iSchool's i3 Program Earns Award for Significant Impact on Diversity

Pitt's School of Information Sciences iSchool Inclusion Institute (i3) is the recipient of the 2015 Chancellor’s Affirmative Action Award. The i3 program each year prepares undergraduate students from underrepresented populations for graduate education in information sciences. Read more >


iSchool Professor’s Book Review Published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Stephen Hirtle, professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences, offers his perspective on Michael Shermer’s latest book, “The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity Toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom,” which examines cultural changes that have created a more decent and ethical society. Read more >


Call for Participation: iConference 2016, “Partnership with Society”

iConference 2016 takes place Sunday, March 20 through Wednesday, March 23, 2016, in historic Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. This year’s theme of “Partnership with Society” examines the dynamic, evolving role of information science and today’s iSchool movement, and the benefits to society. The conference includes peer-reviewed papers, posters, workshops, and sessions for interaction and engagement, interspersed with multiple opportunities for networking. Early career and next generation researchers can engage in the Doctoral Student Colloquium, Early Career Colloquium, and Undergraduate Student Showcase forums.

The iConference brings together scholars and researchers addressing critical information issues in contemporary society. The iConference pushes the boundaries of information studies, explores core concepts and ideas, and creates new technological and conceptual configurations—all shaping interdisciplinary discourses. Read more >


iSchool Professor Chosen to Deliver Speech at 30th Annual Golledge Lecture at UC Santa Barbara

iSchool Professor Stephen Hirtle has been invited to be the speaker at the prestigious 30th Annual Reginald Golledge Distinguished Lectureship in Geography at the University of California Santa Barbara this coming week (May 7, 2015). The Golledge Lecture is a distinguished lecture that is widely recognized across the discipline and as a part UCSB’s Center for Spatial Studies and Geography Department’s heritage. Hirtle will give a 60-minute presentation to USCB’s entire academic community on the topic of “The Cognition of Space.” Read more >


iSchool PhD Student Invited to Give Keynote Address at ARA 2015 Conference in Dublin

James King, a Library and Information Sciences PhD student at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Information Sciences, has been invited to give the keynote address at the UK & Ireland Archives & Records Association Annual Conference (ARA 2015) in Dublin this summer. Read more >


The iSchool Celebrates Graduates at Spring 2015 Recognition Ceremony

On April 26, 2015, we recognized the 322 graduates of the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Information Sciences and honored their impressive achievements at the 2015 Recognition Ceremony. Dean Ronald L. Larsen led the day’s events, alongside department chairs Bob Perkoski, Peter Brusilovsky, David Tipper, and Sheila Corrall at the University of Pittsburgh’s Alumni Hall. Read more >


iSchool Telecommunications Research Featured in Online Media Outlets, Conference

Some exciting work coming out of the iSchool at Pitt could change the way city-dwellers plan their urban travels. Konstantinos Pelechrinis, assistant professor at the iSchool at Pitt, along with his colleagues Esther Galbrun and Evimaria Terzi from Boston University, have developed a set of algorithms that use Big Data (publicly-available crime statistics and locations) to identify potentially risky points on a map, and navigate their users around them. Read more >


iSchool at Pitt LIS PhD Student Selected to Present at PaLA Spring Workshop

Library and Information Science PhD student Ashleigh Faith selected to present her research and work with 3D printing and its ability to get students (kids and older) excited about STEM at the upcoming Pennsylvania Library Association (PaLA) South Central Chapter Workshop in the spring of 2015.

The presentation, entitled “3D Printing: Education through “Replication,” will introduce what 3D printing is exactly, and how it differs from the fictional “replication” technology used in sci-fi programs such as Star Trek. The presentation will then progress into examples of its use and how fields such as medical, art, and culinary are using 3D printing. Finally, the presentation will discuss how to educate through 3D printing, with special attention paid to teaching students.


Two of Pitt’s iSchool Faculty Members Receive Instructor of the Year Awards from WISE

Library and Information Sciences faculty members Ellen Detlefsen and Michele Leininger have both won WISE 2014 Instructor of the Year Awards. Ellen’s spring 2014 course “Health Consumer Resources and Services” (LIS 2585) and Michele’s summer 2014 course “Advocacy and Marketing for Libraries” (LIS 2830) earned them the awards for their outstanding instruction in the online education space. While Ellen has won this award before in 2007, 2008, and 2011, this is Michele’s first time receiving the honor.
All students who enroll in a course through WISE within a given calendar year are invited to submit nominations for the WISE Excellence in Online Teaching Award. The award highlights outstanding WISE instructors and recognizes them for their dedication to quality online education. Read more >


DRCN 2015's Best Paper Award goes to iSchool Telecommunications Faculty and Students

We are proud to announce that a paper authored by School of Information Sciences (iSchool) faculty and students has won the best paper award at the 11th International Conference on the Design of Reliable Communication Networks (DRCN 2015).

The paper, entitled “On Smart Grid Communications Reliability,” was co-authored by Dr. David Tipper, Associate Professor at the iSchool at Pitt, along with Velin Kounev, PhD Telecommunications student, Martin Levesque, Post-Doctoral Scholar, and Teresa Gomes, Professor at the University of Coimbra in Portugal. The paper will appear in the proceedings published by the IEEE, so keep an eye out for it! Read more >


School of Information Sciences and Dept. of Computer Science Invited to Join Forces as One New Academic Unit

On April 10, 2015, the Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor, Patricia Beeson, met with the faculty and staff from the School of Information Sciences and the Department of Computer Science to invite them to develop a proposal that will incorporate both into a single academic and administrative unit. This request was motivated by the widely held belief that the University of Pittsburgh’s institutional strength in this increasingly important area of inquiry could be enhanced through a structure that allows for greater integration and coordination of its research and academic programs. Read more >


Global Search Produces First "iFellows" in New Doctoral Fellowship Program Funded by Mellon Foundation

The University of Pittsburgh’s School of Information Sciences (iSchool) has named the first two iFellows under the new doctoral fellowship program for information science students -- Timothy Schultz, PhD student at Drexel University's iSchool, and Wei Jeng, PhD student at the University of Pittsburgh’s iSchool. These distinguished doctoral students were selected as the first iFellows from a competitive pool of applicants. Students from each of the 55 iSchools with membership in the international iSchools consortium were invited to submit proposals in the spring of 2014. Read more >


iSchool Students and Faculty Won Best Poster Nomination at iConference 2015

A poster presented by iSchool students Di Lu (Information Science and Technology PhD student) and Wei Jeng (Library and Information Science PhD student) on “Understanding Health Intent via Crowdsourcing: Challenges and Opportunities” won a Best Poster Nomination at iConference 2015 from a group of 60+ impressive posters presented at the conference. Di and Wei Jeng co-authored the poster with Yihan Lu (Information Science and Technology Master’s student) and Professors Rosta Farzan and Yu-Ru Lin. Congratulations!


The 2015 Sara Fine Institute Lecture Welcomes Alondra Nelson

The Sara Fine Institute (SFI), in conjunction with the iSchool at Pitt, cordially invites all members of the University community and the general public to attend the 2015 Sara Fine Institute Lecture. The lecture, entitled “The Social Life of DNA in the Era of Big Data,” will be presented by distinguished author, fellow, researcher, and Dean of Social Sciences at Columbia University, Alondra Nelson.

This year’s presentation is a multi-disciplinary mix of science, technology, medicine, and sociology focused on the expansive use of genetic ancestry testing, the 2013 controversy over the decoding of the genome of Henrietta Lacks, the growing phenomenon of familial searching in the criminal justice system, and ideas of compound racialization in the era of big data.

This event is free to attend and no RSVP is required. A reception will follow. Join us March 31, 2015 at 3pm at the University of Pittsburgh’s University Club (Ballroom A). Read more >


Collaboration with Maker Space in TechShop Challenge Creates Exciting Possibilities for School of Information Sciences Students

The School of Information Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh (iSchool) recently collaborated with the TechShop of Pittsburgh to host a unique student game design competition. The TechShop offers a large physical space, equipment and computer software, and full training on all resources to members. Its goal is to support and bring together a strong maker community.

The competition, known as the TechShop Challenge, evolved from an earlier design challenge called Books and Bots. The Books and Bots Challenge was created by iSchool associate professor Leanne Bowler, and was envisioned as a fun way to push students to invent and create something from concept to product. Teams of no more than three students can submit detailed proposals for either an original board game concept or a twist on an existing game that significantly modifies the original. Concepts require a backstory, robotic or physical computing elements, and fabricated pieces made at the TechShop. The challenge incorporates elements of storytelling, computing, robotics, and physical manufacturing of components. Read more >


The iSchool at Pitt Welcomes Former IBM Executive to Faculty

The iSchool at Pitt is pleased to welcome its newest faculty member, Leona Mitchell. Leona joins us as a visiting professor of practice, bringing with her 30+ years of business, entrepreneurial, technical, sales, and leadership expertise.

Leona is eager to share her real-world experience with students through the classes she will teach on management and leadership in the information professions.

We are proud to note that this accomplished former IBM Executive is also a University of Pittsburgh iSchool alumna (MSIS). Leona has served as a guest lecturer for the University of Pittsburgh, as a member of the School of Information Sciences Board of Visitors, and as an Industry Advisory Council member. Welcome home, Leona! Learn more >


iFest 2015 - a resounding success for Pitt’s iSchool

Thank you to all our sponsors, employers, speakers, and volunteers/staff for making iFest 2015 such a success! During the six-day festival, Pitt’s School of Information Sciences (iSchool) hosted more than 450 participants at six major events, which included the Mobile Apps for Healthy Lives Challenge, Digital Poster Competition, Information Executive Roundtable, Career and Internship Expo, TEC 2015, and Professional Development Day.

iFest’s single largest event, the Career & Internship Expo, provided 180 iSchool students with exclusive access to meet and network with 12 of the region’s top employers.

Visit our Facebook page to see pictures from the events.


Pitt’s iSchool PhD student and faculty earn honorable mention at 2015 HICSS Conference

Claudia Lopez, Yu-Ru Lin, and Rosta Farzan, authors of “What Makes Hyper-Local Online Discussion Forums Sustainable?”, were honored for their study into sustainability of online communities through the aspects of viability and performance with an honorable mention in the Electronic Government Track at the 2015 48th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences.


Pitt's Online MLIS ranked #8 by

The University of Pittsburgh’s School of Information Sciences is excited to be recognized by for its online MLIS degree — coming in at 8 out of 20 programs recognized for their academic excellence. Learn more >


Pitt's iSchool in ObserveIT's Top 7 Universities for IT Security

The University of Pittsburgh’s School of Information Sciences was listed among the Top 7 Universities for IT Security by According to author Alex Ellis, Pitt came in at #6. Learn more >


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SIS Faculty and students are leaders in the Information Professions. Their research, teaching, and projects are often newsworthy.