Colloquia/Guest Speakers

The School of Information Colloquia series features speakers from departments and programs across campus, plus visitors from industry and other universities. These free, public talks highlight interdisciplinary research that emphasizes the use of computing to solve complex problems and develop new insight.

Dates and times have not yet been scheduled for the 2018-2019 Colloquia.  Additional information will be added as they become available. 

You can watch videos of previous talks on the School of Information YouTube Channel.

Upcoming Research Talks:

Monday, April 22, 2019, Harvill room 460, 10-11am

Semantic Program Analysis for Scientific Model Augmentation
James Fairbanks, Georgia Tech Research Institute

Traditionally, computational models are implemented by translating conceptual models of natural phenomena into mathematical models on a chalkboard and then implementing those models in high level code that is then compiled into executable instructions to run on a machine. Small changes to the model can lead to large and complex changes of the implementing software. Modeling frameworks attempt to solve this problem by creating embedded Domain Specific Languages for describing models. Dr. Fairbanks will discuss a novel approach to modeling frameworks, SemanticModels.jl, which represents models at a semantic level and allows novel models to be expressed in terms of transformations on existing models. Code implementing the novel models is generated, compiled, and executed in an interactive modeling environment. 

We will discuss how knowledge graphs, category theory, abstract algebra, and program analysis can help analyze software implementing scientific models. This analysis leads to practical tools for helping scientists develop novel models.

Dr. James Fairbanks is a research engineer at the Georgia Tech Research Institute where he has worked on applied research problems since 2016. His research interests include scientific and mathematical computing and data science. Prior to joining GTRI he studied numerical, statistical, and streaming algorithms for the analysis of large, complex graphs at Georgia Tech. 


Tuesday, April 23, 2019, Harvill room 460, 10-11am

Guided Tools for Scientific Exploration

The increasing sophistication of NLP and computational reasoning mechanisms are positioning researchers to be able to automate and improve many of the traditionally laborious tasks that are critical parts of the scientific research process. In this talk we discuss our design, implementation and evaluation of two platforms that aim to better scientific research and discovery.  The first, TechSight, is designed to automate the discovery and characterization of progress across science and technology research, producing analytics over varied datasets, including journal publications, patents, venture capital investments, and government program funding. We discuss our testing of various algorithmic approaches (such as densification-based metrics for bibliographic networks) for quantifying scientific evolution, especially as focused on the discovery of scientific surprise and disruptive technology.  The second tool is Archean – designed to aid and augment literature review and experimental study design for social scientists. We discuss how users, both novice and experienced, make use of these analysis tools in order to discover and document research in science and technology and present lessons learned from the design of scientific research-focused analytics platforms.

Dr. Erica Briscoe is the interim Chief Technology Officer and a lab Chief Scientist at the Georgia Tech Research Institute, the applied research arm of Georgia Tech. As CTO, she oversees a large portfolio of internal research and development (IRAD) programs spanning from robotics to hypersonics.  In addition to her role as CTO, she works with a diverse group of researchers to conduct basic research and develop operational behavioral and data science/analytics applications in various areas.  Recent and current projects involve research and software development centered on the creation and application of analytics to open source and Multi-INT, which marries computational work across many fields (including natural language processing, graph analytics, and behavior modeling) to produce actionable intelligence in various domains, such as scientific discovery and information operations. Other projects focus on a number of problem spaces, including: computational social science, technology emergence and prediction, social network analysis, insider threat detection, terrorism and radicalization, human and machine perception, the characterization of statecraft, and human concept formation. She has been funded by DARPA, NIJ, CDC, ASD R&E, DTRA, and NSF. Dr. Briscoe received a BS degree in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Tech, an MS degree in Information Science from Drexel University, and an MS and PhD from Rutgers University in Cognitive Psychology.


Friday, April 26, 2019, Harvill room 460, 10-11:30am

League of Legends and the Sexualization of Game Characters

The sexualization of female gamer characters is nothing new.  Games of all time periods can be cited as offenders.  When gamergate happened in August 2014, the sexualization and portrayal of female game characters - among other important issues - took center stage.  The sexualization was no longer something that "just happened."  It became something that needed to be talked about.  More important, it become something that was worth fixing.

This project seeks to examine the lasting results of gamergate on the sexualization of female by looking at character splash art within League of Legends.  It hypothesizes that, after the events of gamergate, the developers will have grown, creating less sexualized female characters.  By looking at a single platform, the project seeks to maintain a consistent baseline and remove variables, such as the narrative growth that happens throughout a game series, to focus specifically on how female characters are created.  League of Legends proves to be an optimal example because of the number of characters and the length of time the game has been in existence.

Michael W. Jenkins has completed an M.A. in Philosophy at San Diego State University and M.L.S. at the University of Arizona.  He is currently a PhD candidate in the School of Information where he studies Cyberspace Identity and Gender in Games.

Marc Padilla is currently pursuing his Masters in Cybersecurity at the University of Arizona.


Research Talks 2019:

  • Friday, February 27, 2019 - Visiting Scholar, Dr. Barry Wellman, will give a talk on Network Science from 10:30-11:45 a.m in Sociology room 415. Click here to watch the video.
  • Friday, February 8, 2019 - Hazardous Contamination in Communities and the Imortance of Creating Community-engaged Research Opportunities, Denise Moreno Ramírez, doctoral student at the University of Arizona's Departent of Soil, Water and Environmental Science and the School of Anthropology.

Past Research Talks 2018:

  • Friday, November 30, 2018 - Inferring Emotion and Cognitive Changes through Human-Computer Interaction DevicesFrom Basic Research to Communalization, Joe Valacich, Eller Provessor in MIS, University of Arizona, Chief Science Officer, Nero-ID, Inc.
  • Friday, October 12, 2018 - Discovering Dark Data through the Scholarly Literature, Gretchen Stahlman, Ph.D. Candidate, School of Informatoin, University of Arizona
  • Friday, April 27, 2018 - "From Characters to Time Intervals: New Paradigms for Evaluation and Neural Parsing of Time Normalizations" Dongfang Xu, Ph.D. candidate, Egoitz Laparra, Postdoctoral researcher, School of Information, University of Arizona
  • Friday, April 6, 2018 - "Archives, Embodiment, and the Story of America’s India" Ragini Tharoor Srinivasan, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of English, University of Arizona
  • Friday, March 30, 2018 - "A New Feminist Critique of Film Canon: Moving Beyond Liberalism in the Digital Era" Anna Cooper, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, School of Theatre, Film, and Television, University of Arizona
  • Friday, March 16, 2018 - "Managing Research Projects with the Open Science Framework", Fernando Rios, Ph.D., Office of Digital Innovation and Stewardship, University of Arizona (PPT)
  • Friday, March 2, 2018 - "Focused Reading: Reinforcement Learning for What Documents to Read", Enrique Noriega, Ph.D. candidate, School of Information, University of Arizona
  • Friday, February 23, 2018 - "Blockchain: Tech, hope, and hype" David Sidi, Diana Daly, School of Information, University of Arizona
  • Thursday, February 15, 2018 - "Interaction and User Experience: Driver for Future Digital Media" Don Shin, Ph.D., Professor, School of Media and Communication, Chung-Ang University
  • Friday, February 9, 2018 - School of Information Faculty Research Blitz
  • Monday, January 29, 2018 - "Surveillance and Privacy Today: A Panel Discussion"
  • Friday, January 26, 2018 - "Really Real Patterns", Tyler Millhouse, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Philosophy, University of Arizona

Past Research Talks 2017:

  • Friday, November 3, 2017 - "Baby Names as a Window to Culture" Charles Seguin, PhD, Assistant Professor, Sociology, University of Arizona
  • Friday, October 27, 2017 - "How Bayesians Lie to Other Bayesians" Don Fallis, PhD, Professor, School of Information, University of Arizona
  • Friday, October 13, 2017 - "Accumulation and Disappearance: Photography, Visibility and the Archive in an Online Age" Kate Albers, PhD, Associate Professor, School of Art, University of Arizona
  • Friday, October 6, 2017 - "Authors in the driver's seat: fast, consistent, computable phenotype data and ontology production" Hong Cui, PhD, Associate Professor, School of Information, University of Arizona
  • Tuesday, September 26, 2017 - "Visualizing our Universe: An Overview of the WorldWide Telescope Project" Phil Rosenfield, PhD, Post-doctoral Fellow, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
  • Friday, September 22, 2017 - "TD-CHAIN: A System to Enhance Transparency in Data Flows" Laura Brandimarte, PhD, Assistant Professor, Management Information Systems, University of Arizona, and David Sidi, Graduate Student Researcher, School of Information, University of Arizona
  • Friday, May 5, 2017 - "That talk you didn't see: Tracking and reconnecting the knowledge of women amid our technological diminishing" Lili SteffenAmelia Marsh, Diana Daly, School of Information, University of Arizona
  • Friday, April 21, 2017 - "The Real Story Behind Fake News: An Epistemological and Ethical Analysis" Kay Mathiesen, Don Fallis, School of Information, University of Arizona
  • Friday, April 14, 2017 - "Your Voting Information Exposed" Arnold Urken, PhD, Research Professor, College of Engineering, University of Arizona
  • Friday, March 24, 2017 - “Working with Niche Collections: Lessons from the Archives at the Perkins School for the Blind” Molly Stothert-Maurer, Processing Archivist, University of Arizona Libraries
  • Monday, March 20, 2017 - “Mobilities, Robotics, and our Social and Political Lives” David Bissell, Australian National University.
  • Thursday, March 9, 2017 - “Effects of Locomotion on User Experience in Virtual Reality Games” Evren Bozgeyikli, PhD, Post-Doctoral Researcher, University of South Florida.
  • Friday, February 17, 2017 - "A Bayesian Epistemology of Deception" Don Fallis, PhD, Professor, School of Information, University of Arizona
  • Thursday, February 9, 2017 – “Interactive Designs for Computational Media: Free-Hand Interactive Exhibitions and Augmenting Viewer Perception” Hannah Kum, PhD, Visiting Research Professor, Syracuse University
  • Tuesday, February 7, 2017 – "Effects of Virtual Reality Properties on User Experience in Serious Games" Lal Bozgeyikli, PhD, Research Assistant, University of South Florida
  • Friday, February 3, 2017 - "Dark Data in Astronomy" Gretchen Stahlman, Bryan Heidorn, School of Information, University of Arizona
  • Thursday, February 2, 2017 - "Immersive Technology for Medical Application: Current and Future Directions" Markus Santoso, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Associate, LINDSAY Virtual Human Lab, University of Calgary

Past Research Talks 2016:

  • Friday, December 2, 2016 - "So, you want to be a digital archivist…reflections from a practitioner" Erin O'Meara, UA Libraries, University of Arizona (PPT)
  • Thursday, November 17, 2016 - Courtney McKenna (Cunning NYC) discusses creative making, interactive branding, experiential marketing strategies, and digital art across the professions.
  • Friday, November 4, 2016 - "Reconceptualizing the EHR to be a Communication System" Jane Carrington, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, University of Arizona
  • Friday, October 21, 2016 - "Archiving the Ephemeral Experience" Jennifer Jenkins, PhD, Associate Professor, LIterature, Film & Archival Studies, University of Arizona
  • Friday, October 14, 2016 - "Archival Bodies: Ethos and Ethics of Embodied Productions" Jamie A. Lee, PhD, Assistant Professor, School of Information, University of Arizona
  • Friday, October 7, 2016 - "Why Do They Leave: Modeling Participation in Online Depression Forums" Farig Sadeque, PhD Student, School of Information, University of Arizona
  • Friday, April 29, 2016 - "A Game-Theoretic Analysis of Disinformation" Don Fallis, PhD, Professor, School of Information, University of Arizona
  • Wednesday, March 2, 2016 - "Provenance in Databases and Workflows: An Overview" Bertram Ludäscher, PhD, Professor, iSchool, University of Illinois
  • Friday, February 19, 2016 - "Do Intellectual Property Rights Make Us Smarter?" Kay Mathiesen, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, School of Information, University of Arizona
  • Friday, February 12, 2016 - “Investigations in Interdisciplinarity” Erin Leahey, Professor of Sociology, University of Arizona

Past Research Talks 2015:

  • Thursday, October 29, 2015 - School of Information Faculty Research Blitz
  • Thursday, October 8, 2015 - "Platform Politics: Design Practices and the Construction of Scholarly Knowledge" Patricia Garcia, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Scholar in the Center for Gender Equity in Science and Technology, Arizona State University
  • Thursday, September 24, 2015 - "Can Omitting Information Make You A Liar?" Vladimir Krstic, Visiting Scholar from the University of Auckland



College of Social and Behavioral Sciences