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Meet our new professors

Submitted on Monday, August 31, 2020

The Faculty of Information has been hiring. Here are the wonderful new faculty members we are welcoming onboard:

Rohan Alexander, Assistant Professor (with Statistics)

Rohan Alexander was named Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Information and the Department of Statistical Sciences starting on July 1, 2020. Prior to joining the Faculty, he completed a PhD at the Australian National University, started a business, and worked at the Australian central bank. Rohan’s background and research are multidisciplinary but fall broadly in the realm of using data science approaches to explore questions in economics, history and politics. Rohan’s research typically involves first constructing new datasets from historical and other sources in a reproducible way, drawing on methods of digitization, record matching, survey collection and web scraping. His research interests tend to fall into one of three tranches: workflow analysis, text-as-data and multilevel regression with post-stratification.

Claire Battershill, Assistant Professor (with English)

Claire Battershill was named as Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Information and Department of English starting August 1, 2020. She is a SSHRC Impact Talent Fellow and was Northrop Frye Visiting Fellow at the University of Toronto for the 2019/20 academic year. She completed her PhD in English Literature and Book History at UofT. Claire is the author of an academic monograph, Modernist Lives: Biography and Autobiography at Virginia and Leonard Woolf’s Hogarth Press (Bloomsbury 2018); two collaboratively written academic books (Scholarly Adventures in Digital Humanities, Palgrave 2017, and Using Digital Humanities in the Classroom, Bloomsbury 2017); a collection of short stories, Circus (McClelland & Stewart 2014); a handful of poems; some short stories; some book reviews; and many academic articles and book chapters on book and publishing history and 20th-century literature.

Stacy Alisson-Cassin, Assistant Professor (CLTA), Teaching Stream, LIS

Stacy Allison-Cassin was named Assistant Professor (CLTA), Teaching Stream at the Faculty of Information effective November 1, 2020. She is a Citizen of the Métis Nation of Ontario, Associate Librarian in the Department of Student Learning and Academic Success, Scott Library at York University, and PhD Candidate in the Humanities Department at York. Her thesis is entitled: Fugitive Phrases: Arcade Fire, Music, and the Amorous Self. She uses Luhmann’s theory of love as an information system to suggest music is a vital part of the communication system of love. At York Libraries she has held the positions of cataloguing librarian for music materials, digital humanities librarian, as well as the W.P. Scott Chair in E-Librarianship where she worked on a project on archives of the “”Mariposa Folk Festival and Linked Open Data.

Her research focuses on metadata, and she is a member of several grant projects, including one of the research team leads on the “Linked Infrastructure for Cultural Scholarship” CFI project. With a deep interest in increasing access and visibility for non-textual materials and marginalized knowledge, Stacy is a passionate advocate for change in information structures and metadata systems within the library profession and across the wider GLAM sector. She is an active community organizer and teacher, particularly in the Wikimedia and open access communities. She is Chair of the CFLA Indigenous Matters Committee, Chair of the IFLA Wikidata Working Group, member of the IFLA Indigenous Matters Section, and member of several other groups.

Priyank Chandra, Assistant Professor, UXD

Priyank Chandra, a Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto’s Department of Computer Science, was named Assistant Professor effective January 1, 2021. His research falls primarily in the area of human-computer Interaction, with a focus on marginalized communities. Priyank has a passion for empirically investigating the lived experiences of hard-to-reach informal communities and understanding needs that can be addressed through the design of computing applications. He designs and develops technological interventions and evaluates them using qualitative and quantitative methods. His work has been published at top HCI and ICTD venues, including an honorable mention at the ACM CHI conference. Priyank received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan’s School of Information, an MS in Economics from the Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi, and a BE in Electronics & Communications Engineering from Visvesvaraya Technological University, India.

Anastasia Kuzminykh, Assistant Professor, UXD

Anastasia Kuzminykh, a Ph.D. candidate in Computer Science at the University of Waterloo, was named Assistant Professor effective January 1, 2021. In her work in human-computer interaction and information dynamics, she analyzes complex communication environments and designs corresponding systems to advance user performance. Her research interests are focused on exploring the mechanisms that motivate the form and structure of context in mediated communication, how these mechanisms affect information exchange dynamics, and how designing context can be approached systematically within computer systems.

Her background incorporates experiences in experimental laboratory research, diverse qualitative methods, ethnographical expeditions and computer systems design. During her Ph.D. work, she has actively collaborated with industry, including Google, Microsoft Research, startups and research institutions worldwide, including in France, Israel and Namibia. Her work has appeared in top-tier venues such as the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (ACM CHI) and the Journal of Interaction with Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies (ACM IMWUT/UbiComp). It has been discussed at the multiple conference workshops (e.g. CHI, CSCW), and received extensive media attention (e.g. ACM Tech News, CBC, CTV News, etc.).

Thy Phu, Professor, Department of Arts, Culture and Media (UTSc

Thy Phu has been appointed Professor of Media Studies in the Department of Arts, Culture, and Media at UTSc with a graduate appointment at the Faculty of Information. After completing her PhD at the University of California Berkeley and a Mellon postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto, she joined Western University where, for 15 years, she taught courses on visual studies, cultural theory and Asian North American culture. Her research and public humanities practice examine the intersections between media studies, diaspora and migration, vision and justice.

She is author of Picturing Model Citizens: Civility in Asian American Visual Culture and co-editor of Feeling Photography. Her most recent books, Warring Visions: Vietnam and Photography and Cold War Camera, explorations of the visual mediation of the global Cold War, are forthcoming at Duke University Press. Another co-edited book, Refugee States: Critical Refugee Studies in Canada, is forthcoming at the University of Toronto Press.

She is also Director and PI of The Family Camera Network, a SSHRC-funded collaborative research project, which partners with arts organizations and educational institutions to engage local communities in the building of an antiracist public archive through the collection and preservation of family photographs and their stories. In 2017, she was elected as member of the College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists at the Royal Society of Canada. She is co-editor of the peer-reviewed journal of Trans Asia Photography and has held visiting positions at the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore and Yale University.