Snowden Becker

Snowden Becker

Snowden Becker has been a leader in the field of moving image archives and amateur film preservation since 2001. She is a co-founder of the international Home Movie Day event and the non-profit Center for Home Movies, and has hosted a number of local Home Movie Day events in Los Angeles and Austin, Texas over the last ten years. She holds an MLIS degree from UCLA; her doctoral work at UT, currently in progress, explores the archival aspects of evidence management practices in law enforcement agencies, which is just one of many research areas that have grown out of her long-standing interest in home movies and amateur film. She has also written, taught workshops, and presented on a wide variety of other topics, including the use of home movies in the study of autism and mental illness; home movies as historical evidence and public records; and incorporating amateur films into multi-disciplinary research and teaching projects.

Specializations:  Archives, preservation, audiovisual materials


Nilavra Bhattacharya

Nilavra Bhattacharya

Nilavra Bhattacharya is a first year doctoral student. His current research interests are interactive information retrieval, applied computer vision in HCI, and health informatics. He has previously worked on texture classification, and fractal image compression.

Degrees:  B.E. in Computer Science & Technology, 2015, Indian Institute of Engineering Science & Technology

Specializations:  Human Computer Interaction

Committee:  Dr. Jacek Gwizdka (Chair), Dr. Yan Zhang, Dr. Matt Lease

Research: Link

CV: cv_icon


Yung-Sheng Chang

Yung-Sheng Chang

Yung-Sheng Chang is a doctoral student in the School of Information at The University of Texas at Austin. He received a bachelor degree in Psychology at National Chung Cheng University and a master degree in Industrial Engineering specializing in Human Factors at National Tsing Hua University. After graduation, he had one and a half year experience working as a research assistant at Chang Gung University. Currently Yung-Sheng is studying relevance criteria users use in information retrieval.

Degrees:  B.S. in Psychology, 2011, National Chung Cheng University; M.S. in Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management, 2013, National Tsing Hua University

Specializations:  Human Computer Interaction, Usability, Human Factors, Information Relevance

Committee:  Jacek Gwizdka  (Chair), Matthew Lease, Yan Zhang


Johanna Cohoon

Johanna Cohoon

Johanna Cohoon studies scientific research practices and tools. Johanna previously worked at the Center for Open Science where she researched reproducibility in Psychology. She is interested in open science practices—why and when people participate in them—as well as the tools that encourage transparency in research.

Degrees:  B.A. in Cognitive Science, 2013, University of Virginia

Specializations:  open science, reproducibility, scientific policy, software development, persuasive technology

Committee:  James Howison (Chair), Tanya Clement, Andrew Dillon


Anubrata Das

Anubrata Das

Anubrata (pronounced as Anubroto) is a Doctoral Student interested in Natural Language Processing and Information retrieval. He is a part of the Information Retrieval & Crowdsourcing Lab. He has done his bachelors in Computer Science and has worked with Microsoft as a software engineer prior to joining iSchool.

Degrees:  Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science and Technology, Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur

Specializations:  Information Retrieval, Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning, Crowdsourcing

Committee:  Matt Lease (Chair), 


Islam Akef Ebeid

Islam Akef Ebeid

Islam studies Human-Computer Interaction from a technical perspective. He is exploring the real-time processing of data streaming from biometric and computer vision based technology like eye trackers and facial expression detectors to build higher-level models of human cognition and emotions. In his vision, this would help in developing intelligent systems that would implicitly infer or elicit human behavior and adapt accordingly. This paradigm in technology is also known as Affective Computing. Prior to coming to the iSchool, Islam was a research associate at the Emerging Analytics Center at the University of Arkansas.

Degrees:  B.Sc. in Electrical & Computer Engineering, 2008, Ain Shams University (Egypt) \ M.Sc. in Computer & Information Science, 2013, Arkansas Tech University

Specializations:  Human-Computer Interaction

Committee:  Jacek Gwizdka (Chair), Edison Thomaz, Unmil Karadkar

CV:  cv_icon


Jin Gao

I came to the iSchool at 2012 Fall. My personal interest is human computer interaction, health informatics and technology.

Specializations:  User interaction design


Ayse Gursoy

Ayse is a third year doctoral student interested in video and computer game preservation, and in the relationship of archival practice to scholarship. She is curious about how the intellectual model of the artifact, such as "game as software object," engages with the preservation strategies employed, e.g., emulation.

Degrees:  A.B. in English, 2011, Princeton University; S.M. in Comparative Media Studies, 2013, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Specializations:  archives, digital archives, digital preservation, video and computer games, digital humanities

Committee:  Melanie Feinberg, Karen Wickett (Chair), Ciaran Trace, Tanya Clement, Diane Bailey


Kolina Koltai

Kolina Koltai

Kolina "Koko" Koltai is a doctoral student working under the advisement of Dr. Kenneth R. Fleischmann. Her previous employment has been as a research contractor on collaborative projects with NASA, AFRL (Air Force Research Lab), and other government institutions that focused the relationship between automation transparency and trust. Her current research interests include trust in automated systems and information, decision making in scientific controversies, implicit stereotyping and bias, and AYA oncology survivorship.

Degrees:  B.A. in Psychology and Asian American Studies, minor in Human Sexuality, California State University Northridge, 2012

Specializations:  human computer interaction, automation transparency, stereotyping and bias, trust assessment of information

Committee:  Kenneth R. Fleischmann (Chair), Andrew Dillion, Diane Bailey


Virginia Luehrsen

Virginia Luehrsen

Virginia Luehrsen is a PhD candidate at the University of Texas at Austin School of Information, where her research focuses on the intersections between disaster recovery, indigenous knowledge creation and management, and information practice. Besides studies, she has designed and taught two different undergraduate courses at the School of Information - “Preservation and Representation of Cultural Heritage Information” and “Research Strategies”. Virginia has also spent several years working in government and higher education administration, including in areas of disaster and crisis management, and currently serves as a student affairs specialist under the Vice President of Student Affairs at UT-Austin. Outside the academy, Virginia volunteers with various groups, including Hands-on Housing, Gold Ribbon Rescue, and Austin Pets Alive. She also is a classically trained singer and musician, and participates in various local musical groups as both an ensemble member and soloist.

Degrees:  MA - Folklore and Ethnomusicology (Indiana University - Bloomington) MLS - Rare Books and Manuscripts (Indiana University - Bloomington) BA - International Relations, History; Minor - Central Asian Studies (University of Wisconsin - Madison)

Specializations:  Preservation Disaster Response and Recovery Politics of Indigineity LIS Education Assistive Technologies Rare Books and Special Collections


Eunyoung Moon

Eunyoung Moon

Eunyoung Moon has broad research interests in Open Collaboration. The focus of her research has been on Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) development, investigating organizational aspects in FLOSS development that is realized by both geographically distributed volunteers and corporately employed participants involving rich organizational ties. She has been fascinated by how the structure of FLOSS and organizational circumstance of FLOSS projects evolve over time. She is, currently, much interested in organizational dynamics in FLOSS projects, drawing on theories from the discipline of organizational studies and empirical software engineering.

Degrees:  B.S. in Computer Science and Engineering, 2007, Ewha Womans University (Summa Cum Laude); M.S. in Graduate School of Culture Technology, 2010, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)

Specializations:  Open Collaboration, Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) development, Software evolution

Committee:  James Howison (Chair), Diane Bailey, Lecia Barker, Wenhong Chen

CV:  cv_icon


Md Mustafizur Rahman

Md Mustafizur Rahman

Md Mustafizur Rahman is a second year PhD student at the School of Information, University of Texas at Austin. He is interested in Deep Learning and its applications to Information Retrieval, Natural Language Processing, Text Data Analysis and Crowd Computing. Dr. Matthew Lease is his PhD supervisor. Before joining iSchool, he completed his Masters in Computer Science from the University of Virginia.

Degrees:  Masters in Computer Science, 2016, University of Virginia, Virginia, USA, M.Sc. in Computer Science & Engineering, 2013, Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology (BUET), Dhaka, Bangladesh, B.Sc. in Computer Science & Engineering, 2011, Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology (BUET), Dhaka, Bangladesh

Specializations:  Information Retrieval, Machine Learning, Text Mining, Data Mining, Deep Learning

Committee:  Matthew Lease  (Chair), Unmil P. Karadkar, Edison Thomaz

CV:  cv_icon


Rachel Simons

Rachel Simons

Rachel Simons is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the School of Information at The University of Texas. She received her B.A. and M.A. from the University of Georgia, both in Comparative Literature. Rachel's research centers on diversity and ethics issues in both the use of information and communication technology (ICT) and in ICT development. Currently, she is planning a research project that aims to better understand diversity in collaborative video game design work, including an analysis of diversity as represented by: minority and under-represented group participation, the roles that organizational structure may play in aiding or hindering diversity and diverse perspectives, and the effects of cooperative computer tool selection and use in representing and/or cultivating diversity and diverse perspectives. Previously, Rachel examined the impact of gender-based harassment on social media. She has also recently been involved with a project related to university-level ethics education for Information and Computation professionals and another project dealing with curricula development for teaching future Social Media Professionals. Rachel served as Coordinator for the iSchool Doctoral Student Association for its inaugural 2013-2014 school year. She is a coordinator for the iSchool chapter of ASIS&T and its related iSchool student group, Advocating Women in Technology (AWIT).

Degrees:  B.A. in Comparative Literature, 2006, University of Georgia; M.A. in Comparative Literature, 2012, University of Georgia

Specializations:  Ethics, Education, Diversity, ICT Use and Society, Social Media, Computer-supported Cooperative Work, Feminist STS, Information Work, Video Games

Committee:  Dr. Kenneth R. Fleischmann (Chair), Dr. James Howison, Dr. Loriene Roy, Dr. Clay Spinuzzi (Department of English)

CV:  cv_icon


Yalin  Sun

Yalin  Sun

Yalin's research is mainly focused on online information seeking behavior, health information seeking, and social media addiction.

Degrees:  B.B.A. in Information Management and Systems, 2012, North China Electric Power University, Beijing, China; M.S. in Information Studies, 2014, the University of Texas at Austin

Specializations:  Consumer health information seeking & social media

Committee:  Dr. Yan Zhang (Chair), Dr. Bo Xie, Dr. Randolph Bias Dr. Ricardo Ainslie (College of Education)


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