The Faculty of Information is one of the world's most important information schools. Our programs are led by leading researchers and faculty across multiple disciplines and result in exceptional research and career opportunities.
Putting Information in its social context
It’s both a pleasure and a challenge to take on the role of Acting Dean at the Faculty of Information. Coming as I do from the Department of Computer Science, where we build systems, I see this Faculty as the place where we put those systems in their social context and ask what we can do to ensure that they impact society in positive and equitable ways.
It is a big mission, but the Faculty of Information has a big legacy to build on. After many years of teaching students about libraries, the Faculty branched into archives, museums and knowledge systems, and more recently it expanded into data science and human-computer interaction. This history gives our Faculty a unique interdisciplinary lens and makes us well equipped to pose and answer some of today’s thorniest questions about the roles we want information, cultural institutions, and the systems we are building to play in our lives.
The conversation ranges from rethinking the libraries, archives and museums of tomorrow to using machine learning technologies for the benefit of our society. More people than ever sense the importance of these topics and want to study them, which is why our Faculty continues to grow. By putting information systems and infrastructures into their social context, we give people the tools they need to shape our collective future.
Over the next few months, as the acting Dean of this Faculty, I look forward to getting to know our students, faculty and staff, and helping to spread the word about what we have to offer to both UofT and our communities beyond the campus.
The Faculty of Information has a proud history of great leaders who pushed the Faculty towards an innovative future for the Information field.
Brian Cantwell Smith
Winifred G. Barnstead