News / Faculty at the School of Information Sciences awarded five National Science Foundation grants


The School of Information Sciences (the iSchool) is pleased to announce that the National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded grants to the following faculty: Geoffrey Bowker, Peter Brusilovsky, Daqing He, and Cory Knobel, and Ronald Larsen. This funding will support a diverse group of projects ranging from evaluating research efforts within cyberinfrastructure to creating an academic recommendation framework to facilitating social networking for short-term academic communities. The iSchool faculty has a distinguished record in attracting funding from such prestigious agencies as the NSF, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Security Agency, the National Institutes of Health, and the Army Research Office.

Professor Geoffrey Bowker, with Co-Principal Investigator Dean Ronald L. Larsen, secured a grant for $90,684 to support a Workshop on “Emerging Configurations of the Virtual and the Real” in Fall 2010. Funded by the NSF’s Office of Cyberinfrastructure, the proposed event will bring together a group of experts from various fields to address the impact of advances in information and communications technologies (as well as the resulting human disengagement with the natural world) on research and education in the Information Sciences. The intent of the project is to outline the intellectual frontiers of research across the iSchools, and to create synergies for future research efforts.

Associate Professor Peter Brusilovsky is the recipient of two EAGER (Early Concept Grants for Exploratory Research) awards. The first grant for $99,999, for which Assistant Professor Jung Sun Oh will serve as Co-Principal Investigator, will support a project exploring personalization and social networking for short-term communities. Using academic research conferences as a test bed, Brusilovsky will explore new methods to leverage information about user interests (available from multiple external resources) and develop techniques to facilitate use of existing social technologies.

Brusilovsky’s second EAGER Grant, for $155,882, will look at how to model and visualize latent communities – those groups of people who form communities based on their similar interests. This work will consider how to elicit latent communities from various kinds of data about individuals available in the modern social Web and deliver the results in a manner suitable for interactive exploration through interactive visualizations. This will be one of the first attempts to use a variety of social Web data and approaches to community modeling.

Associate Professor Daqing He received a $49,983 grant from the NSF’s Division of Information & Intelligent Systems to explore the emerging phenomenon of public academic information resources on the social web. The project aims to develop an assessment and association identification framework for online academic information, to facilitate researchers in accessing, organizing, utilizing, and exchanging all types of academic information.

Assistant Professor Cory Knobel and Professor Geoffrey Bowker were awarded a grant from NSF’s Office of Cyberinfrastructure to study “Evaluating Best Practices in Collaborative Cyber-Science and Engineering.” This project, funded at $198,506, will result in a socio-technically informed set of outcome-based best practices and evaluation criteria for large-scale cyber-science efforts. The goal is to create a framework to transform cyber-enabled grand challenge communities, improve the ability to identify and assess categories of project impact across levels of scale, and guide the future development of appropriate cyberinfrastructure tools.