Survey on student interest in Games Studies & Design

Through support from the provost, the Informatics program is working on behalf of several campus units on proposals to create both an undergraduate and graduate minor in Game Studies & Design.

We are currently gauging student interest and ask for students and faculty/staff who work with students to share your opinions:

Faculty/Staff: https://go.illinois.edu/GameStudies.

Undergraduate students: https://go.illinois.edu/GAME.

Graduate Students: https://go.illinois.edu/GradGames.

Students will be entered into a drawing for $20 Amazon gift cards.

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.

Two INFO minors awarded ARL Fellowships for 2019-2020

Two UIUC Informatics minors, Kagen Quiballo and Hailey Vasquez, are among 12 undergraduate students awarded the ARL Fellowship for Digital and Inclusive Excellence for 2019-2020. This national fellowship provides awardees with a paid yearlong internship, mentoring and professional development opportunities.

Read the full story on the Association of Research Libraries website.

Volunteer Opportunity – Provide tech help at Clark Lindsey Retirement Village

Are you interested in putting your computer and technical skills to good use? Do you like working with a variety of people?

If so, then you should think about becoming one of the U of I Tech Volunteers at Clark-Lindsey Village (a retirement community located just south of campus at Windsor and Race). Rides are provided to volunteers.

The U of I Tech Help at CLV Project started as a service-learning opportunity 10 years ago.  Students spend an hour on Friday afternoons (from 3-4 pm) in the CLV library helping residents with basic tech-related issues ranging from document formatting and setting up email on mobile devices to troubleshooting printers and using FaceTime, and everything else in between!

Open to everyone

Use your skills to make a positive impact in someone else’s life! Bring a friend!!  Help spread the word! This project is open to anyone on campus — not just Informatics students.

If you are interested in this project, please send your name and contact information to Karin Readel, the Informatics Education Coordinator, at kereadel@illinois.edu.