Siva Ratna Kumari Narisetti Defends Dissertation

Doctoral Candidate Siva Narisetti successfully defended her dissertation, “Utility of Agricultural Mobile Apps Among Rural Indian Farmers”, on April, 1st and plans to graduate December 2020. She is currently a faculty member at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University in Computer Science.
Program Area: Data Analytics and Information Visualization Design, Technology and Society
Research: My research interests are in Human-Computer Interaction, Data Analytics, Database Management, Machine Learning, Web Development, and Bioinformatics. My dissertation focus is on understanding the utility of agricultural mobile applications among Indian rural farmers.

PhD Student Gerry Derkson named TIER-ED Graduate Fellow for 2020-2021

Informatics PhD student Gerry Derkson was named a TIER-ED Graduate Fellow for 2020/2021.
My PhD research topic centers on using data taken from toys that aids children who have difficulty making decisions or suffer mild forms of autism. Particularly, I am interested in designing toys that are couched in stories that can extend their narratives through interactions during play. Dynamic input from users is captured through sensors, retaining the information to encourage children by prompting memory recall, haptic feedback, and at the same time enrich their experience. The research attempts to answer questions around cognitive development in children and provides an opportunity to create toys that respond to user interaction in the contexts in which they play.

Santiago Nuñez-Corrales Defends Dissertation

Doctoral Candidate Santiago Nuñez-Corrales successfully defended his dissertation, “A Generalized Theory of Interactions and Related Computational Infrastructure for their Universal and Efficient Investigation”, on September, 30th. Program Area: Cognitive Science and Language Processing Research: My current research work is aimed at understanding Complex Multiscale Stochastic Systems -systems with irreducible noise that can be described at multiple scales and are thermodynamically irreversible- by focusing on interactions rather than dynamics or trajectories through stochastic methods, and creating cyberinfrastructure embodying principles derived from this view. Such cyberinfrastructure is under development to find new synergistic drug targets against energy deregulation and apoptosis avoidance in pancreatic cancer and to help design experiments capable of testing theories of quantum gravity.

iSchool to assume administration of Informatics programs

Effective August 16, administration of the Illinois Informatics Institute will be transferred from the Office of the Provost to the School of Information Sciences. This will be a hosting relationship that preserves the multidisciplinary nature of the Institute’s programs, which are managed by several colleges including the iSchool. “The iSchool is very excited to welcome Informatics,” said iSchool Dean and Professor Eunice E. Santos. “This new arrangement will leverage our School’s leadership to strengthen our mutual teaching and research efforts on campus, in the local community, and beyond.” The Institute’s programs will be collectively referred to as Informatics. The Informatics PhD, MS in Bioinformatics, and CU Community FabLab—a workshop for rapid prototyping and computer-based design—will continue to be cross-campus programs hosted by the iSchool. The Informatics Minor, which is the second largest minor at the University, will become a program within the iSchool but will continue to be operated as a campuswide initiative by Informatics staff. “In today’s environment, we know that Informatics is a highly sought-after area of study by our students,” said Provost Andreas C. Cangellaris. “We are pleased to bring together Informatics programs with the nationally ranked iSchool to encourage even more partnerships, collaborations, and synergies as the iSchool’s convergent research activities across campus continue to grow.” Altogether, Informatics programs make critical contributions to the University’s curriculum through education in information technologies. These programs attract more women and students from underrepresented groups than other campus programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) as well as a multitude of students who are interested in non-STEM majors. Informatics staff will become iSchool staff, and all current personnel will remain in place following the transfer. Lisa Bievenue will continue in her role as director for Informatics programs, providing leadership for programs and personnel. “This arrangement will provide stability and administrative support, enabling Informatics staff to focus on the students and content of our campuswide interdisciplinary education programs. It also will provide an institutional home for the CU Community Fab Lab, a campus gem for community engagement and interdisciplinary instruction,” said Bievenue. The School of Information Sciences, the iSchool at Illinois, is dedicated to shaping the future of information through education, research, and engagement. The iSchool’s world-class faculty deliver a high-quality academic experience through programs consistently ranked highly by U.S. News & World Report. iSchool alumni are leaders in the field who create innovative information solutions for their communities and workplaces. Researchers in the School address contemporary information issues in data science, human computer interaction, digital libraries, privacy, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, bio- and health-informatics, information literacy, cultural analytics, and youth literature, culture and services, and more.