Beaton, Farzan join iSchool faculty


The School of Information Sciences is pleased to welcome two new faculty members – Brian Beaton and Rosta Farzan.  Both Dr. Beaton and Dr. Farzan will begin teaching iSchool courses in the Fall 2012 Term. Dr. Beaton will be teaching in the Science and Technology Studies, digital humanities, and archives areas. Dr. Farzan will be teaching in both the undergraduate and graduate programs offering courses in the field of social computing and information systems design and analysis.

Brian Beaton completed his PhD in 2012 at the University of Toronto. His dissertation, “Everyday Data,” explored local and community information practices in the period just before personal computing.  He earned his M.A. in the Humanities and Social Thought Program at New York University. For the past five years (2007-2012), Beaton taught in the University of Toronto’s Department of History and within the American Studies program at the Munk School of Global Affairs. Beaton’s research and teaching interests include science and technology studies (STS), archives, social and cultural theory, information workplaces, design, public and applied history, scholarly communications, digital humanities, and public policy.

Rosta Farzan most recently held a post-Doctoral research position with the Human Computer Institute’s Social Computing Lab at Carnegie Mellon University.  In 2009, she earned her PhD in the University of Pittsburgh’s Intelligent System Program: her thesis provided “A Study of Social Navigation Support under Different Situational and Personal Factors.” Dr. Farzan’s research interests include socialization of newcomers, participation and commitment in online communities, social navigation and social information filtering, social Web technologies, personalized information access, community-based user modeling. She has taught courses on social computing, the Social Web, and Web 2.0 at the University of Pittsburgh. Her work has been featured at prestigious conferences including ACM’s Conference on Supporting Group Work; ACM’s Computer-Supported Cooperative Work; User Modeling, Adaptation, and Personalization; and ACM’s Conference on Weblogs and Social Media.

The iSchool’s faculty, staff and students look forward to working with Dr. Beaton and Dr. Farzan!