New Faces at the School of Information

Dr. William (Bill) Aspray, an internationally recognized expert in the social impact of computing, joins the School of Information at The University of Texas this Fall 2008. Formerly the Rudy Professor of Informatics at Indiana University, Dr. Aspray will hold the Bill and Lewis Suit Professorship in Information Technologies at the School of Information, with courtesy appointments in the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the Dept. of Computer Science.

Dr. Aspray holds a B.A. in philosophy and mathematics and M.A. in mathematics from Wesleyan University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in history of science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He served for six years as executive director of Computing Research Association, an educational nonprofit that represents the doctoral-granting computing-related academic organizations and industrial and government computing research laboratories in North America. His previous experience also includes teaching at Harvard, Minnesota, Penn, Rutgers, and Williams, as well as research and management positions with the Charles Babbage Institute and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He has published widely on both historical and contemporary issues facing the computing and information community, most recently co-editing The Internet and American Business for MIT Press (2008, with Paul Ceruzzi); the Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award winner "Women and information technology: research on underrepresentation (MIT Press, 2006, with Joanne Cohoon of the University of Virginia) and Computer: A History of the Information Machine (Basic Books, 1996; 2nd ed. Westview 2004; with Martin Campbell-Kelly)

Dr. Aspray's current research interests include labor and education issues associated with IT globalization; health informatics; legal, business, and economic issues related to the Internet; history of computing, information, and information technology; gender and entrepreneurship in high technology; and the social dimensions of privacy and security in the digital age. At the iSchool he will teach a variety of courses including Information in Everyday Life, Understanding Users, and electives in Social Informatics.

Dr. Lecia Barker will join the iSchool in Fall 2008 as an Associate Professor of Research with a courtesy appointment in the College of Communications. Until this year Lecia led the Assessment and Research Center in the Alliance for Technology, Learning, and Society (ATLAS) Institute at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is also Senior Research Scientist with the National Center for Women in IT (NCWIT). In this role, Lecia identifies effective practices for implementation by NCWIT members, consults with Academic Alliance members and NCWIT Hubs on their research and implementation projects, supports evaluation through advising, instrument development, and analysis, and disseminates NCWIT and outside research projects and findings.

Dr. Barker holds a PhD in Communication from the University of Colorado, an MBA from San Diego State University and a B.A. In Linguistics and Spanish from the University of Iowa. She conducts research into under-representation in IT at the K-12, undergraduate, and graduate levels. For example, working with the Denver Public Schools Computer Magnet Program, Lecia and colleagues are studying methods and messages that can lead to greater recruitment of girls into computing. Her ethnographic work in higher education has focused on identifying features of IT classroom environments that attract or repel women. In addition to these projects, Lecia evaluated the 2004 Grace Hopper Celebration of Diversity in Computing, the 2001 and 2003 Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conferences, and the University of Houston-Downtown's Visiting Scientist Program for Minority Institutions and Small Colleges. She has published widely in leading journals and conferences including the Journals of Educational Research in Computing, Computer Science Education, and Educational Technology. Dr. Barker has secured more than $10m in external grants the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Health. At the iSchool she will teach a variety of courses such as Research Methods and a new course on Information Credibility.

Posted: 08/05/2008

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