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 http://www.fia.umd.edu.
 
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 http://www.fia.umd.edu/events/launchweek
-- 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: [log in to unmask]
 
We look forward to seeing you in November.