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InfoSci Hires Four New Faculty for both Ithaca and Tech Campuses

Four new faculty members will be joining the Information Science Department at Cornell this fall, reflecting the breadth and impact of our growing field: James Landay and Mor Naaman are our two inaugural faculty hires for the Cornell NYC Tech Campus in New York City, and David Mimno and Malte Jung are two new assistant professors who further strengthen the department in Ithaca.

Information Science is a growing department that continues to evolve as new faculty join. Department Co-Chairs, Jon Kleinberg and Jeff Hancock recently announced their goal of making Cornell's Information Science department one of the top programs nationally and internationally, with the eventual goal of being the top information science program in the world. In order to achieve this goal, the department will continue seeking to attract outstanding faculty and students, and to continue infusing our approach to information science in the global field's broader agenda as it moves forward. The four new additions to our faculty this year in New York City and Ithaca are a significant step toward achieving this goal.

At Cornell's new Tech Campus in New York City, we are building a team of experienced, accomplished faculty members who combine world-class academic excellence with significant external engagement and impact in areas outside academia. Our first two Information Science faculty members, James Landay and Mor Naaman both exemplify this commitment to research and its broader impacts on the world. We're thrilled to have them joining us as colleagues.

Information Science department Co-Chair Jeff Hancock expressed his excitement about the new program in NYC and the new hires in a recent chat, commenting on how the hiring of James Landay and Mor Naaman really sets the tone for the new program. "James is such a well-known and respected figure in HCI that he will help attract top faculty to the program. Mor is at the forefront of analyzing social media to generate new kinds of knowledge about society, and he is already deeply engaged in entrepreneurial activity with his startup. Together James and Mor will be incredible catalysts for growing the Information Science program at the Tech Campus." 

James Landay is a leading researcher in HCI and ubiquitous computing who comes to Cornell from the Computer Science and Engineering Department at the University of Washington. Landay was a founding member of DUB - the University of Washington's Design.Use.Build Center, an interdisciplinary research group focused on HCI and Design. He was also the Laboratory Director of Intel Labs Seattle, a leading center for research in ubiquitous computing. Landay spent two years in Beijing, China building an HCI research group for Microsoft Research. He will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Cornell NYC Tech Campus, setting the tone as we build a new Masters in Professional Studies program in Information Science there.

Mor Naaman is joining Cornell from Rutgers, bringing his active research program in social media to the Cornell Tech Campus. Naaman is also the co-founder and chief scientist at Seen, a startup founded to make sense of the real time feeds of social media data. Previously, he led a research team at Yahoo! Research Berkeley, focusing on social, mobile, and multimedia applications. Naaman is a leading researcher in social media, and will help create a foundation for new work in this field at Cornell. 

In the last decade, the Information Science department in Cornell's Ithaca campus has grown from a small, interdisciplinary program to a full-fledged department, offering undergraduate degrees in each of Cornell’s three largest colleges, a Masters in Professional Studies program and a PhD program. Our faculty expertise includes human computer interaction (HCI), interaction design, ubiquitous computing, machine learning, natural language processing, computer mediated communication, information technology policy, computer supported cooperative work, critical and interpretive analyses of information systems, incentives and market design, social media, and the study of networks, among other topics.

New assistant professors David Mimno and Malte Jung both contribute significantly to our depth in both data-intensive and behavioral approaches to information science, including machine learning, digital humanities, and the dynamics of group interaction

David Mimno comes to Cornell after completing a post doc with David Blei in the Computer Science department at Princeton. Mimno’s research interests include machine learning, text mining and digital humanities, and he developed the topic modeling package in the MALLET Machine Learning Toolkit, which is widely used throughout the field. He is developing new techniques in topic modeling, and has had groundbreaking influence on digital humanities through his methods for bringing text analysis to bear on questions in the humanities and social sciences.

Malte Jung received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and his Ph.D. minor in Psychology from Stanford University. As part of his doctoral work, he demonstrated that the theory and methods originally developed to predict divorce in married couples could be adapted to predict the performance of engineering design teams. Prior to joining Cornell, Jung completed a two year postdoc at the Center for Work, Technology, and Organization at Stanford University.  His research focuses on the intersections of teamwork, technology, and emotion. The goal of his research is to inform our basic understanding of technology supported teamwork as well as to inform how we design technology to support teamwork across a wide range of settings.

Our four new hires range from new assistant professors to senior faculty with a long track record in the field.  All will be contributing significantly to information science as a discipline in the years to come. Both in New York City and Ithaca, we expect to see our departments grow into powerful engines for change within our field and the world as a whole.

Department Co-Chair Jon Kleinberg recently described information science as, "fundamentally concerned with the human-centered aspects of computing and information - with the increasingly rich interactions between information systems and their human audiences, ranging from the scale of individuals and the devices they use every day, to the virtual crowds that inhabit large social and information networks, to the way in which these devices, systems, and networks interact with our society and our culture. It is a field that focuses on applications whose underlying principles involve human behavior, social organization and cultural practices." Information science, Kleinberg explains, is "profoundly interdisciplinary not simply by choice but by necessity - because a merging of traditional areas is the only way to synthesize the different ideas we need to understand how computing and information systems interact with human behavior and human experience."

We welcome our four new colleagues to Information Science at Cornell, and we look forward to growing our programs with them.