Thursday, November 3, 2011

REGISTER for UMD Future of Information Alliance Launch - Nov. 14-18

Dear UMD Campus,

Leading innovators from Google, Microsoft and Twitter will be featured in four important campus events the week of Nov. 14-18 to mark the launch of the Future of Information Alliance, a campus-wide initiative at the University of Maryland.

Details and registration are available at

These two-hour events are open to the entire campus community and will also feature more than a dozen distinguished faculty members whose widely diverse areas of expertise -- from entrepreneurship and digital art to food safety and the Arab Spring -- intersect around a common
theme: the challenges and opportunities at hand and ahead for contemplating the role of information in our lives and our world.

Registration is now open -- at
-- for you to take part in these events at the Colony Ballroom in the Stamp Student Union. Space is limited -- so avoid delay in registering if you would like to attend. The events are open to all members of the UMD, community -- students, faculty, and staff. You need to log in with your UMD username and password to register.

The launch will include programs featuring three respected innovators we call our "Visiting Future-ists." They will spend a week on campus brainstorming with students, faculty, administrators, staff and alumni to identify key information challenges that can best be addressed through interdisciplinary collaboration. They are:

*Dan Russell, Google's "director of user happiness," who leads efforts to improve the effectiveness of web searching; he was the keynote speaker at a campus-wide Future of Information Forum held last November;

*Mary Czerwinski, who manages the research on human-computer interaction at Microsoft and focuses on social computing;

*Abdur Chowdhury, former chief scientist at Twitter, who has been working toward improving the ability to separate "signal" from "noise"
in the explosion of information on the Web.

On Monday, Nov. 14: 10 a.m. to noon, at the Colony Ballroom in the Stamp Student Union the Visiting Future-ists will describe their own work in helping to innovate for the future information environment, and they will discuss what they see both as the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. They will also engage the audience in brainstorming aimed at identifying issues that can best be addressed through interdisciplinary research. Vice President for Research Patrick O'Shea will open the program.

On the last three days of the week -- Nov. 16, 17 and 18 -- sessions will focus on various aspects of the future of information. Each will include presentations by faculty experts, followed by responses of the Visiting Future-ists from Google, Microsoft and Twitter, and then brainstorming with the audience. The subjects, dates and times of these panels, all to be held in the Colony Ballroom at Stamp Student Union, are:

Creativity and Culture -- Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2 to 4 p.m. Professor Linda Mabbs (Music) will moderate, and the faculty panelists will be:

*Leigh Wilson Smiley, Associate Professor, Theatre Performance, and Head of MFA in Performance; *Hasan Elahi, Associate Professor, Art, and Director of Digital Cultures and Creativity, Honors College; *Asher Epstein, Managing Director, Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, Robert H. Smith School of Business.

Transparency and Boundaries -- Thursday, Nov. 17, 10 a.m. to noon. Sheri Parks, Associate Professor of American Studies, will moderate, and the faculty panelists will be:

*Ben Bederson, Professor, Computer Science, and former director of the Human-Computer Interaction Lab.
*Sahar Khamis, Assistant Professor, Communication, and co-author of Islam Dot Com: Contemporary Islamic Discourses in Cyberspace.
*Paul Jaeger, Assistant Professor, Information Studies, and Co-Director of the Information Policy and Access Center (iPAC).

Science in Our Lives -- Friday, Nov. 18, 10 a.m. to noon. Lawrence Sita, Professor of Chemistry, will moderate. The faculty panelists will be:

*Linda Aldoory, Associate Professor, Behavioral and Community Health, and Director of the Herschel S. Horowitz Center for Health Literacy; *Robert Buchanan, Professor, Nutrition and Food Science, and Director of the Center for Food Safety and Security Systems; *Carol Espy-Wilson, Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Director of the Speech Communication Lab; *Margaret Palmer, Professor, Entomology, and Executive Director of the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center.

The Alliance has been created to serve as a catalyst for transdisciplinary dialogue and research on evolving issues related to the role of information in our lives. By identifying shared challenges and encouraging innovative solutions, the Alliance seeks to facilitate a future in which information in all its forms can be an effective resource for everyone.

The development of the Alliance has been facilitated by the University of Maryland's Office of the Vice President for Research, with participation from every academic college on campus. The Alliance co-directors are Professor Allison Druin, Associate Dean for Research of the iSchool, and Associate Professor Ira Chinoy of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at:

We look forward to seeing you,

Allison Druin and Ira Chinoy

Dr. Allison Druin
Associate Dean for Research
ADVANCE Professor
College of Information Studies
Office: +1 301 405 7406

Dr. Ira Chinoy
Associate Professor
Philip Merrill College of Journalism
2100-K Knight Building
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
Office: 301-405-8208

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