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Meet-the-Authors Series

ASIS&T’s new Meet-the-Authors Series aims to connect people with ideas, and connect us with each other. We have gathered inspiring speakers working on a range of topics and areas both within and beyond the information fields. The speakers get a chance to present their ideas in a webinar format, and then engage in lively discussions with the audience during the Q/A session. These events are free for ASIS&T members. Everyone is welcome. Let the conversation begin!

Past Meet-the-Authors Presentations

Dorte Madsen: Academic Identities in Times of Change

Disciplinary identity is a recurrent theme in discussions of research and education in Information Studies as well as in the broader iSchool field. While most studies rely on quantitatively focused analyses of empirical evidence of the emerging Information Field, the discussion in this webinar will revolve around an analysis of disciplinary identity in Information Studies that builds on a qualitative approach with a focus on how we ascribe meaning to concepts related to disciplinary identity.

This presentation will engage the ASIS&T community in an overview of the nature of a qualitative, interpretivist method using discourse analysis and discuss how this method has been used to tease out the “discourse of the weak discipline” that rests on the widely shared – but mistaken – assumption in Information Studies that the field must erect strong boundaries around a theoretically stable and unitary core.

As shared assumptions are not just lying around in a field, waiting for a researcher to collect them, this talk will also aim to stimulate a discussion on how to identify shared assumptions in the field?

About the Author

Dorte Madsen is Associate Professor at the Department of Management, Society and Communication at Copenhagen Business School. She lectures and supervises projects in philosophy of the social sciences in interdisciplinary programmes, in information science and communication. Her current research interests focus on discourses on research quality and methodology across fields, and how epistemic authority is articulated. Her recent works include Epistemological or Political? Unpacking Ambiguities in the Field of Interdisciplinary Studies (published in Minerva), Conspicuous by Presence: The Empty Signifier ‘Interdisciplinary’ and the Representation of Absence (published in an edited volume in the Post-disciplinary Studies in Discourse book series) and Liberating interdisciplinary from myth. An exploration of the discursive construction of identities in information studies (published in the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology).

Read the published paper

Liberating interdisciplinary from myth. An exploration of the discursive construction of identities in information studies. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology 67: 2697–2709. doi:10.1002/asi.23622

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Matthew Mayernik & Amelia Acker: Metadata and Networked Communications: Contributions of Information Science

“Metadata”, long a niche area for research and information services, exploded in public consciousness in June of 2013 with the publication of news stories about US National Security Agency (NSA) intelligence documents revealed by Edward Snowden. Numerous other news stories have come out in recent years and months about large-scale collection of digital traces about people’s lives. Metadata are built into digital communication systems. Without some kind of metadata, networked communication cannot exist. The research and professional information science communities have an opportunity to bring their knowledge and experience with metadata to bear on these recent developments. If we, as individuals and as a society, are to engage in meaningful discussions about our digital traces, or make informed decisions about new policies and technologies, it is essential to develop theoretical and empirical frameworks that account for digital metadata.

This presentation will engage the ASIS&T community in an overview about the nature of metadata within digital networks, and stimulate a discussion on the role of information scientists in this area.

About the Authors

Matthew Mayernik is a Project Scientist and Research Data Services Specialist in the NCAR/UCAR Library. His research interests include metadata practices and standards, data curation education, data citation and identity, and social and institutional aspects of research data. He received his Master’s and Ph.D. from the UCLA Department of Information Studies. He is a member of the Board on Data Stewardship within the American Meteorological Society, and the current chair of the Data Stewardship Committee within the Federation of Earth Science Information Parters (ESIP), an inter-agency consortium of Earth science data facilities.


Amelia Acker (PhD, University of California, Los Angeles) is an assistant professor in the iSchool at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests focus on the emergence, standardization, and preservation of new forms of data created with mobile information and communication technologies. Currently, she is researching data literacy, social media metadata, and data infrastructures that support long-term cultural memory.

Read their published paper, Tracing the Traces: The Critical Role of Metadata within Networked Communications, in January’s issue of JASIST (vol 69:1).


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Sam Chu & Rebecca Reynolds: 21st Century Skills Development Through Inquiry-Based Learning: From Theory to Practice

The speakers will share some core ideas in their new book titled “21st Century Skills Development Through Inquiry-Based Learning: From Theory to Practice”. The book brings together three of the most important contemporary topics in educational research. Within each of these topics, the book works at integrating across frameworks for a range of standards, as well as varying inquiry-oriented pedagogies. The book reviews the definitions of twenty-first century skills, considers what different frameworks have been established as contemporary guiding educational tenets, and integrates the intersections among frameworks, and aligns them in the three very different national educational contexts of Hong Kong, Switzerland, and the United States. A key theme that runs through the book is the ambitious teaching and learning practices that are integral to inquiry-based learning environments. These are ambitious for teachers in that they will need to be prepared to adapt to the directions that learners take in their inquiry. These are ambitious for learners, as much is expected of them, as they become active agents with heavy responsibility for their own learning. Inquiry-based learning environments are ambitious in the type of new approaches to instructional design and assessment that are needed. The challenges are considerable as they are at variance with teachers’ learning histories and the current generation of students’ learning experiences. It requires a high level of technology, information literacy, and media literacy that are twenty-first century skills for teachers along with the students they teach. The book provides both a vital starting point for educators to question and to come to know our own perspectives on learning, our own frames of reference, our own assumptions and beliefs about learning, and then to advance our pedagogy through the rich elaboration of the approaches provided in the book.

Order your copy of 21st Century Skills Development Through Fun and Effective Inquiry-Based Learning and receive a 20% discount!

About the Authors

Dr. Samuel Kai Wah Chu, is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong (HKU). He was the Head of Division of Information and Technology Studies (2013-16) and the Deputy Director of the Centre for Information Technology in Education (2008-17). He received a Bachelor of Commerce and a Master of Library Science from University of British Columbia. He obtained 2 PhDs in Education – one focusing on e-Learning from University College London, Institute of Education (Ranked 1st in the world – QS 2017) and another one focusing on Information and Library Science from HKU, Faculty of Education (7th in the world – QS 2017). He has involved in over 50 research/project grants with a total funding of US$ 8,913,363. He has published more than 270 articles and books with over 50 appear in international academic journals. This includes key journals in the area of IT in education, information and library science, school librarianship, academic librarianship and knowledge management. Dr. Chu is the Managing Editor for Journal of Information & Knowledge Management and was the Associate Editor for Online Information Review (2012-16). He is also a Member of the Humanities and Social Sciences Panel of the Research Grants Council of HK. He has received a number of awards including the Faculty Outstanding Researcher Award in 2013, Faculty’s Knowledge Exchange Award in 2016 and Excellent Health Promotion Project Award from Food and Health Bureau in 2017. He is ranked as the top 66th author in the world regarding his publications in library and information science (DOI 10.1007/s11192-014-1519-9).

Dr. Rebecca Reynolds is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Library and Information Science, Rutgers University. Her work addresses the development of e-learning systems for formal in-school teaching and learning in K-12. She also explores the use of such systems to support informal learning, engagement and knowledge-building in a broad range of affinity spaces. She uses a range of methods to address these questions spanning qualitative and quantitative social science research with human subjects, while also studying systems-generated content such as site metrics and trace log data, considering data validity and ethics in education, and using the method of design-based research. She publishes widely in the fields of information science, educational technology, learning analytics and the learning sciences. She was recognized with an Institute for Museum and Library Services’ (IMLS) Early Careers grant award in 2012 totaling $399,995, as well as internal Rutgers University funding in the amount of $55,000, supporting her scholarship. She was the recipient of her Faculty’s Outstanding Research Award in 2016.




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Joseph Janes: Documents That Changed the Way We Live

In 1854, an epidemic of cholera struck the Soho area of London.  The prevailing belief was that it was spread by “miasma,” or noxious air.  John Snow, a physician and miasma skeptic, began talking to local residents and then to plot the homes of those infected on a map of the neighborhood.  This map revealed that cases were centered on a particular pump on Broad Street and illustrated a grim truth:  turn left to get your water and your family likely dies, turn right and you live.  After the pump was closed, the epidemic eased, providing one of the first solid pieces of evidence for the germ theory of disease and helping to give rise to epidemiology.

This is but one example of information objects playing important roles in history:

  • The “Exaltation of Innana,” a Sumerian hymn composed about 2300 BCE by the high priestess Enheduanna, likely the first known author
  • Inter gravissimas, the 1582 papal bull issued by Pope Gregory XIII which laid out the calendar system we still use
  • the passage on slavery, deleted during the debate on the Declaration of Independence
  • The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the 1903 anti-Semitic tract that in part laid the intellectual groundwork for the Holocaust
  • the poorly designed Palm Beach County “butterfly ballot” on which the 2000 US Presidential election may have hinged

Not all “documents” are textual or written, either:  consider the Riot Act, which had to be read out to work, the first x-ray images in 1895 which prompted a movement to wear lead undergarments for privacy, the “We Can Do It!” poster, widely – though erroneously – assumed to be a recruiting poster and image of Rosie the Riveter, the AIDS Quilt, the Zapruder Film, the missing 18½ minutes of the Watergate tapes or even the supposed (though never produced) “list” of Communists claimed by Joseph McCarthy.

This webinar will tell the stories of documents, their creation and motivation, influence, importance, historical and social context, and connections to contemporary information objects, technologies, and trends. Revealing the power and importance of information through these stories raises awareness of the central and critical position that information holds and also tells the story of human society and its never ending evolution.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

About the Author

Joseph Janes is an Associate Professor at the University of Washington Information School. A frequent speaker in the US and abroad, he is the author of several books on librarianship, technology, and their relationship, including Library 2020, and has written a monthly column for American Libraries magazine since 2002. He is the creator and host of Documents That Changed the World, a popular podcast series on the cultural impacts of historic documents. He holds the M.L.S. and Ph.D. from Syracuse University, and has taught at the University of Michigan, the University of Toronto, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the State University of New York at Albany as well as at Syracuse and Washington.



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Marcia Bates

Information science is continually transforming through astounding changes in information technology and the social world.  I have been studying, thinking, and writing about information science for nearly fifty years.  What is the core?  What motivates the activities of the field, both in research and in practice?  What part of our core professional concerns will continue and what part will fall away?  How will we look in fifty years?










About the Author

Marcia J. Bates is Professor Emerita in the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Department of Information Studies. A Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, she is a leading authority on information search, human-centered design of information systems, and information practices. She was Editor-in-Chief of the 7-volume Encyclopedia of Library and Information Sciences, 3rd Ed., and is the recipient of many awards for her research and leadership. In addition to her teaching and scholarship, she has been a technical consultant to numerous organizations in government, foundations, and businesses, including technology startups. A graduate of Pomona College (B.A.) and the University California at Berkeley (M.L.S., Ph.D.), Bates also served in Thailand in the Peace Corps.

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Tom Reamy: Deep Text: Using Text Analytics to Conquer Information Overload, Get Real Value from Social Media, and Add Big(ger) Text to Big Data!

Text Analytics is an often misunderstood field that holds enormous potential for getting more value out of the most underutilized resource in most modern organization – so called unstructured text (It’s really poly-structured).  It also can provide new opportunities for information architecture by providing a rich new set of tools.  This webinar, based on a new book, Deep Text: Using Text Analytics to Conquer Information Overload, Get Real Value from Social Media, and Add Big(ger) Text to Big Data, will take attendees through a complete tour of this exciting new field and demonstrate how text analytics and information architecture can mutually enrich each other.

The webinar will cover the entire field of text analytics including the latest-greatest techniques currently being developed.  We will cover these basic topics:

  • What is text analytics?
  • What are the major functionality areas of text analytics (Text mining, entity extraction, sentiment analysis, automatic summarization, and automatic categorization)?
  • What is the basic business value of text analytics?
  • What is the current state of text analytics?
  • How can organizations get started with text analytics?
  • How do you select the best text analytics software for your organization?

In addition, the webinar will discuss the best practices for text analytics development, including integrating deep learning and deep text.  It will also cover the full range of applications that can be built with text analytics in three areas: Search, Social Media, and a class of applications called Info Apps.  Finally, the webinar will take a quick look at how to set up and use text analytics as an enterprise unstructured text platform.

The webinar will end with a presentation of some ideas on how text analytics can enhance information architecture and information architecture can add to text analytics.  And we hope you will have plenty of questions and suggestions on this mutual enrichment.

About the Author

Tom Reamy is the founder of KAPS Group, a group of text analytics and taxonomy consultants and has 20 years of experience in information projects of various kinds.  He has published a number of articles in a variety of journals, and is a frequent speaker at knowledge management, taxonomy, and text analytics conference.  He is the author of a new book on text analytics, Deep Text: Using Text Analytics to Conquer Information Overload, Get Real Value From Social Media, and Add Big(ger) Text to Big Data. For the last 15 years, his primary focus has been on text analytics, helping clients select the best text analytics software as well as doing text analytics development projects that include applications such as call support, voice of the customer, and enterprise search. When not writing or developing text analytics projects, he can usually be found at the bottom of the ocean in Carmel, photographing strange critters.

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Angela Dappert, Rebecca Guenther, & Sébastien Peyrard: Digital Preservation Metadata for Practitioners – Implementing PREMIS!

This book begins with an introduction to fundamental issues related to digital preservation metadata before proceeding to in-depth coverage of issues concerning its practical use and implementation. It helps readers to understand which options need to be considered in specifying a digital preservation metadata profile to ensure it matches their individual content types, technical infrastructure, and organizational needs. Further, it provides practical guidance and examples, and raises important questions. It does not provide full-fledged implementation solutions, as such solutions can, by definition, only be specific to a given preservation context. As such, the book effectively bridges the gap between the formal specifications provided in a standard, such as the PREMIS Data Dictionary – a de-facto standard that defines the core metadata required by most preservation repositories – and specific implementations.

Anybody who needs to manage digital assets in any form with the intent of preserving them for an indefinite period of time will find this book a valuable resource. The PREMIS Data Dictionary provides a data model consisting of basic entities (objects, agents, events and rights) and basic properties (called “semantic units”) that describe them. The key challenge addressed is that of determining which information one needs to keep, together with one’s digital assets, so that they can be understood and used in the long-term – in other words, exactly which metadata one needs.

The book will greatly benefit beginners and current practitioners alike. It is equally targeted at digital preservation repository managers and metadata analysts who are responsible for digital preservation metadata, as it is at students in Library, Information and Archival Science degree programs or related fields. Further, it can be used at the conception stage of a digital preservation system or for self-auditing an existing system.

About the Authors

Angela Dappert

Angela Dappert works at the British Library and serves on the PREMIS Editorial Committee. She has been involved with the modeling of digital preservation metadata for over a decade. She has worked on persistent identification for researchers and research output, data carrier stabilization, digital asset registration, preservation planning and characterization, eJournal ingest, and digital metadata standards. She has consulted on digital life-cycle management issues for a wide range of institutions.


Rebecca Squire Guenther

Rebecca Squire Guenther worked in US national libraries for 35 years, primarily on library technology standards related to digital libraries. She spent most of her professional life at the Library of Congress developing national and international standards related to metadata, including MARC, MODS, PREMIS, METS, BIBFRAME and ISO language codes. She has served on numerous standards and implementation committees, several as chair, including the PREMIS Editorial Committee and the original PREMIS Working Group. She is an adjunct professor in NYU’s Moving Image Archiving and Preservation Program and consults on metadata issues for various cultural heritage organizations.

Sébastien Peyrard

Sébastien Peyrard has been working for 8 years at the National Library of France (BnF) where he is currently head of metadata engineering services. He has worked in various metadata related projects such as the implementation of preservation metadata in SPAR, the institution digital preservation repository, and the linked data project. He is also responsible for maintaining the ARK persistent identifier implementation at BnF. He served on the METS Editorial Board from 2011 to 2013 and on the PREMIS Editorial Committee from 2011 to 2015.

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Heather Hedden: The Accidental Taxonomist!

With the growth of electronic content, taxonomies and other knowledge organization systems are increasingly used to support content and information management and retrieval. Implementations include published literature retrieval databases, digital library collections, digital archives, knowledge repositories, enterprise content and document management, and intranet and website navigation and search.

Librarians, archivists, content managers, digital asset managers, records managers, information architects, knowledge managers, information technologists, and subject-matter-experts all may find themselves at some point performing the role of an accidental taxonomist. Recognizing this, Heather Hedden, an experienced taxonomist for both literature retrieval and enterprise taxonomies, wrote the book The Accidental Taxonomist in 2010, as a practical guide for those getting into taxonomy work. The book’s success led to a thoroughly revised second edition, which was published in 2016.

The webinar, “Taxonomy Fundamentals,” touches on the basics of practical taxonomy and thesaurus design and other issues that are the core chapters of the book. The webinar outline comprises: (1) definitions and types taxonomies and other kinds of knowledge organization systems, (2) applications and uses, (3) the issue of developing vs. licensing a vocabulary, (4) controlled vocabulary and thesaurus standards and guidelines, (5) terms and their variants, (6) and relationship between terms.

About the Author

Heather Hedden
Heather Hedden is a senior vocabulary editor at Gale/Cengage Learning, where she edits the subject thesaurus used in the Gale literature retrieval databases. Previously she designed taxonomies and metadata schemes for various implementations as a consultant. Heather has taught online workshops in taxonomy creation through the continuing education program of Simmons College – School of Library and Information Science and the American Society for Indexing. She currently serves on the board of the American Society for Indexing and on a working group of vocabulary use and reuse for the National Information Standards Organization (NISO). Heather is the author of numerous articles, the chapter “Indexing Arabic Names” in Indexing Names (American Society for Indexing, 2012), and The Accidental Taxonomist (Information Today Inc., 2010, 2016).

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Lynn Sillipigni Connaway & Marie Radford: Research Methods in Library and INformation Science

Lynn Silipigni Connaway and Marie L. Radford Discuss Top Trends and Tips in LIS Research

The new edition of Research Methods in Library and Information Science is a practical and comprehensive introduction to research design, presenting up-to-date coverage of the principles and data collection techniques for quantitative and qualitative research methods — along with the advantages and disadvantages of each. The new edition includes added sections featuring the voices of prominent LIS scholars, researchers, and editors. “Voices of the Experts” text boxes provide researchers’ advice on specific methods and identify the most important or most valuable reasons for using a particular method and software for analysis—such as NVivo, SurveyMonkey, and log capture.

Co-authors, Lynn Silipigni Connaway and Marie L. Radford, provide a foundation of research practice and process for library and information science researchers, students and professionals. The book includes instruction on conducting research using an array of tools as well as guidance in critically reading and evaluating research publications, proposals, and reports. Connaway and Radford will review top trends and tips for LIS research, to highlight some of the book’s comprehensive coverage of what is new and exciting for beginning scholars as well as those wishing to learn about current trends.

Order your copy of Research Methods in Library and Information Science and receive a 30% discount!

Moderator: Joseph Janes, Associate Professor at the iSchool at the University of Washington, and author of the forthcoming book Documents-That-Changed-the-Way-We-Live

About the Authors

Coauthors Lynn Silipigni Connaway, PhD and Marie L. Radford, PhD, bring extensive expertise in research design, securing grant funding, and using the latest technology and data analysis software. Connaway is a senior research scientist and director of user research at OCLC Research where she leads user studies and the digital visitors and residents project. Radford is professor in the Department of Library and Information Science, and director of the PhD Program at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey’s School of Communication and Information. Both are widely published in the field of research methods for librarians.


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Carol Jean Godby: Library Linked Data: From Proof of Concept to Action

This presentation gives the senior author’s perspective on Library Linked Data in the Cloud, a monograph written with OCLC colleagues Shenghui Wang and Jeff Mixter and published by Morgan and Claypool in 2015.

This book describes OCLC’s contributions to the transformation of the Internet from a web of documents to a Web of Data. As many in the library community have acknowledged, the new Web is a growing ‘cloud’ of interconnected resources that identify the things people want to know about when they approach the Internet with an information need. The linked data paradigm is a promising framework for delivering on this promise that is achieving critical mass just as it has become clear that library standards for resource description are nearing obsolescence. In 2015, the authors of the book reported on the technical details underlying the publication of RDF datasets extracted from MARC bibliographic and authority records in WorldCat, VIAF, FAST, and the Dewey Decimal Classification. Taken together, these resources represent some of the oldest, largest, and most widely used RDF datasets published to date by the library sector. But these projects are only a start, a technical proof of concept. Going forward, the transformation to linked data will encourage librarians extend their focus from legacy conversion to original description, and to create better models of resources not described well in MARC This is an opportunity as well as a challenge.

This presentation gives an update on OCLC’s linked data experiments since the book was published nearly two years ago.

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Wayne Wiegand: Part of our LIves: A People's History of the American Public Library

Falling Short of Their Profession’s Needs: Education and Research in Library & Information Studies

In a recent article in Inside Higher Ed, Professor Wiegand provides an analysis based on his recent book, Part of Our Lives: A People’s History of the American Public Library, on how we fail to consider all the various assets public libraries provide.

As a primer to the Meet the Author’s presentation on November 4th, this fascinating article will get you thinking about the salient attributes public libraries provide, not only for information studies, but sociologically and politically as well [more].

In Part of Our Lives: A People’s History of the American Public Library (2015), I discovered people loved their public libraries for three main reasons: access to practical information; the library as a place; and the transformative potential commonplace stories had for library readers. Because conventional LIS research and education mostly focus on the first, and largely overlook and undervalue the last two, I argue that by not having core courses in “reading and libraries” and “library as place” in American Library Association-accredited programs, and by not conducting much more research on the effects of both, LIS research and education fall short of the profession’s needs.

C-span interview

Part of Our Lives Wayne Wiegand talked about his book Part of our Lives, in which he provides a a history of America’s public libraries. He spoke with Greg Mikkels, director of the Madison Public Library, at the 2015 Wisconsin Book Festival, held at the Central Branch of the Madison Public Library. Click here to view the c-span interview

Wayne A. Wiegand is F. William Summers Professor of Library and Information Studies Emeritus at Florida State University. Wiegand was cofounding Director of the Center for the History of Print and Digital Culture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (est. 1992), and co-founder and first Director of the Florida Book Awards (est. 2006), now the nation’s most comprehensive state book awards program. He taught in library schools at the University of Kentucky (1976-86), the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1987-2002), and Florida State University (2003-2010).

This Meet the Author Series event was held on November 4, 2016.


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James Cortada: All the Facts: A History of Information in the United States Since 1870

In this discussion, James W. Cortada will introduce a framework for studying information history that can be applied at the national level. He will also review the role of information in the private and public sectors, how people used information in their public and private lives, and conclude with an argument in favor of understanding the role of information as a central theme in American History.

Dr. James W. Cortada is a Senior Research Fellow at the Charles Babbage Institute at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of over two dozen books on the history and management of information technologies and the role of information in society. His most recent books include All the Facts: A History of Information in the United States Since 1870 (Oxford University Press, 2016) and Information and the Modern Corporation (MIT Press, 2011).

This Meet the Author Series event was held on October 10, 2016.

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Christopher Yoo & Jean-François Blanchette: Regulating the Cloud: Policy for Computing Infrastructure

What is the Cloud?  Who controls it?

Does it change the rules of the game with respect to copyright, privacy, consumer protection, and security?

Find out why you should care about the Cloud and how it functions as a critical infrastructure in our connected society. [more]

Christopher S. Yoo

Christopher S. Yoo is the John H. Chestnut Professor of Law, Communication, and Computer & Information Science and the Founding Director of the Center for Technology, Innovation and Competition at the University of Pennsylvania. His major research initiatives include innovative approaches to connecting more of the world’s citizens to the Internet. Professor Yoo is an influential scholar in the realm of technology and law having written over 70 articles and frequently testifying before Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, and foreign regulatory authorities.

Jean-François Blanchette

Jean-François Blanchette is an Associate Professor in the Department of Information Studies at UCLA. His research focuses on the issues of electronic authenticity, computerization of bureaucracies, and the evolution of the computing infrastructure for the past 15 years. He is the author of Burdens of Proof: Cryptographic Culture and Evidence Law in the Age of Electronic Documents (MIT Press, 2012), and he is currently completing a manuscript on the evolutionary dynamics of the computing infrastructure entitled: Running on Bare Metal: A Material History of Bits.

This Meet the Author Series event was held on September 14, 2016.

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Robert Epstein: Surprising Ways in Which the Internet Can Be Used to Alter People’s Beliefs, Opinions and Attitudes – Even Our Votes

Somewhat accidentally, the Internet has given rise to new techniques for influencing people on a massive scale that have no precedent in human history. When search engines show results that favor one perspective or another, that can easily change the attitudes or preferences of people who are undecided on an issue. Recent research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows, for example, that search rankings favoring one political candidate can easily shift the voting preferences of undecided voters by 20 percent or more – by up to 80 percent in some demographic groups.

Robert Epstein is Senior Research Psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, as well as the former editor-in-chief of Psychology Today magazine. A Ph.D. of Harvard University, he has published 15 books on artificial intelligence, creativity, stress management, and other topics, as well as more than 250 scientific and popular articles, including a recent report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences entitled “The Search Engine Manipulation Effect (SEME) and Its Possible Impact on Elections” ( [more]

This Meet the Author Series event was held on July 21, 2016.


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