Latest Faculty of Information News

Showcasing PhD Research Talent

Submitted on Wednesday, April 29, 2015

img_6442From how Canadian sell-side investment analysts seek and use information to evaluate the financial health of companies (Natasha Ali), to information behaviour for converts to Islam (Elysia Guzik), to information seeking and use practices and informal “working” conditions of hobbyist game makers in Toronto (Chris J. Young, pictured).

Doctoral students showcased this range of topics at the iSchool throughout April 23 and 24 by sharing their research—at whatever stage of the process they are in—from idea, to work-in-progress, to pending doctoral defense, during PhD Research Days.

Nearly 25 doctoral students and candidates chose to present their work through a talk, and 17 by a poster presentation.

PhD Research Days was established by Dean Seamus Ross in 2009. “Each year, as I listen to our doctoral students describe their research, I am always fascinated as to how they yield innovative methods and results, ultimately impacting society, our understanding of a concept, or the way we view information.”

Invited respondent, Professor Christian Sandvig (link is external) of the School of Information, University of Michigan, was joined by various professors at the iSchool, all who gave comments after listening and seeing each presentation.

“It was an outstanding display of talent, emphasizing both the range and quality at Toronto’s iSchool,” says Prof. Sandvig. “I wish that I had been a part of a day, like this one, during my own PhD education. It’s an opportunity to solicit early feedback and to practice professional speaking that I would have felt lucky to receive.”

Director of PhD Studies, Professor Leslie Regan Shade, who along with Administrative Coordinator Mary-Marta Briones-Bird, facilitated the event, says all updates to research were enlightening for the audience, made up of students, professors, librarians, and professionals in the information community.

“Student presentations were lively and creative, highlighting the innovative and inherently interdisciplinary nature of the information field,” she commented.

img_6512Emily Maemura was the winner of the poster competition for “Digital Objects, Networked Experiences.” Her poster describes and demonstrates the tensions in digital preservation around defining authentic digital objects through a formal notation like significant properties. The nature of the poster itself—experienced differently depending on distance, and with/without glasses or ‘viewing technology’—reflects the varied experiences of born-networked digital objects.

“I am excited to present work that is both fun and provocative, creating a unique experience for the audience and drawing attention to issues of digital preservation,” Emily says. For her win, she received a certificate and a $500 conference travel grant.

There were two honorable mentions as well. Michel Mersereau for “The Abiotic Internet: How Internet-based Technologies Sustain Service Delivery at Toronto’s Native Men’s Residence,” and Rebecca Noone for “Deaestheticized Art is Information; but, What on Earth is Deaestheticized Art?”.

img_6513 img_6510Thank you to Professors Christoph Becker, Matt Brower, Nadia Caidi, Brett Caraway, Nicole Cohen, Wendy Duff, Lynne Howarth, Cara Krmpotich, Rhonda McEwen, Irina Mihalache, David Phillips, Seamus Ross, Susan Sim, Siobhan Stevenson, and Eric Yu, for being a respondent or a poster competition judge.

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