iSchool Welcomes Five New Faculty Members
The School of Information Studies (iSchool) has added five new professors to the tenure-track faculty ranks. Each are exceptional scholars and will continue to burnish the top-ranked programs and award-winning research of the Syracuse iSchool.
Daniel E. Acuna
Acuna earned his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Minnesota in 2011, and has been working as a postdoctoral researcher at Northwestern University’s Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. At Northwestern, his work involved the development of machine learning software to solve scientific problems related to peer reviews, and institutional collaboration. He received his master of engineering sciences in information technology and his bachelor in engineering sciences from the University of Santiago in Chile.
Acuna’s research interests focus on the field of “science of science,” attempting to understand how scientists evaluate each other’s work during peer review processes, hiring and promotion.
“I have always been an interdisciplinary and collaborative person, doing research in computer science, cognitive sciences and machine learning, and developing tools to exploit very large datasets through data science,” explains Acuna. “I am thrilled to be joining the iSchool at Syracuse because it will allow me to apply the full array of approaches that I think are necessary to solve today’s most pressing issues.”
Acuna will join the faculty at the start of the fall semester, and will teach courses in information analytics and data mining.
Rachel Ivy Clarke
Clarke received her Ph.D. in information science from the University of Washington Information School in 2016. Prior to her doctoral studies, Clarke was the cataloging librarian at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles. Clarke received her master of science in information systems from the University of Washington, her master of library and information science from San Jose State University and her bachelor of arts in creative writing from California State University, Long Beach.
Clarke’s research interests focus on the application of design methodologies and epistemologies to librarianship to facilitate the systematic, purposeful design of library services.
“I’m thrilled to be joining the Syracuse iSchool,” says Clarke. “As someone heavily invested in the future of libraries, I was drawn to the school’s status as one of the top MLIS programs in North America, as well as the innovative approaches to the field demonstrated by current faculty research. I also appreciate how education and research is entwined among the various other programs, fostering a highly interdisciplinary atmosphere. I am looking forward to collaborating with faculty, staff and students on a variety of projects, especially the design of new tools, services and pedagogical approaches for libraries and librarianship.”
Beginning in the fall semester, Clarke will teach courses in cataloging of information resources; reference and information literacy services; and organization and access of information resources.
Erickson joins the iSchool after serving as an assistant professor of library and information science at the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University. Erickson received her Ph.D. in management science and engineering from Stanford University’s Center for Work, Technology and Organization in 2009. Prior to her time at Rutgers, Erickson spent two years as a research fellow at the Social Science Research Council in Brooklyn, where she co-led a project to establish a learning network among cultural organizations in New York City, including the New York Public Library, the American Museum of Natural History, the Wildlife Conservation Foundation and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.
Erickson’s research interests are focused on how work practices are shifting as mobile technologies dominate professional lives. During her time at Rutgers, she collaborated with Syracuse iSchool Professor Steve Sawyer on a grant-funded mobile knowledge work project.
“I’m excited to join the faculty at Syracuse because it feels at once very familiar and completely new,” says Erickson. “Many of my friends and collaborators are already here, but I await all of the unexpected gems about the students, school, university and upstate location that I have yet to discover. And, of course, the snow is the best part!”
Erickson will join the faculty in the spring semester of 2017, and will teach courses in information management.
Haythornthwaite comes to Syracuse from the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies at the University of British Columbia, where she has served as a professor since 2010. From 2010 to 2015, Haythornthwaite was the director of the school, responsible for overseeing its five degree programs, faculty, staff and strategic direction. Prior to her time at in British Columbia, she served in various faculty positions at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She earned her Ph.D., her master’s in information science and her master of arts in psychology from the University of Toronto, and her bachelor of science in psychology from Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario.
Haythornthwaite’s research explores the way interaction via computer media supports and affects work, learning and social interaction. She examines how information is exchanged, knowledge is co-constructed, collaboration occurs, and how communities form in and in conjunction with online contexts.
“I am delighted to be joining Syracuse University and the School of Information Studies,” says Haythornthwaite. “I have many long-term associations with friends on faculty relating to common interests in social informatics, social media, virtual organizations and communities, crowdsourcing and more, and It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to add my interests in e-learning, distributed knowledge, social networks and learning analytics. I look forward to new friendships with faculty and students that expand and complement our joint research and teaching initiatives.”
Beginning in the fall semester, Haythornthwaite will teach courses on social network analysis and information policy.
Xiao joins the Syracuse faculty after serving as an associate professor at the University of Western Ontario, where she held appointments in the programs of library and information science and computer science. Since fall 2015, she has been conducting research as a visiting scholar for the iSchool’s Center for Computational and Data Sciences (CCDS). Xiao holds a Ph.D. in information science and technology from Pennsylvania State University, a master of science in computer engineering from the University of Florida and a bachelor of science in chemical engineering from China’s Hunan University.
Xiao’s research interests focus on understanding and supporting rationale-based activity awareness in computer-supported group activities. She has been studying the effects of the rationales in collective activities and exploring ways to identify and extract them automatically. Her secondary research activities include informal learning in community settings and digital humanities.
“I have had a wonderful experience at the iSchool as a visiting professor, and I am looking forward to bringing my unique set of research skills and experiences in reasoning and argumentation research in visual analytic support for human rights data, and in informal learning and community computing to the faculty,” says Xiao. “I have a passion for teaching and mentoring students with my teaching philosophy of reflective thinking and learning by doing, and I look forward to working with everyone in the years to come.”
Xiao will begin her tenure at the iSchool in the fall, and will teach courses in information systems analysis and information retrieval systems.