Fall 2015 Talk Schedule

The Changing Landscape of Access: Digitization and Privatization

Nov 24
11 am – 12 pm
2116 Hornbake Bldg, South Wing

kriesberg_adam_166_5x7hSpeaker: Adam Kriesberg
Adam Kriesberg is a Postdoctoral Scholar at UMD’s iSchool, working with Ricky Punzalan on Agricultural Data Curation at the National Agricultural Library. He received his PhD from the University of Michigan School of Information

Abstract: In this talk I will provide an overview of my dissertation research and connect this work with my current projects at the National Ag Library. My dissertation is a mixed-methods study of public-private partnerships between state and territorial archives in the US and private companies such as Ancestry.com and ProQuest. I argue that archival materials are public goods as understood by economists and public policy scholars, and assert that this designation merits a new perspective on government archives. In my results, I identify the negotiation period as a time when archivists have learned to leverage their unique holdings in order to advocate for their institutional interests. Through information sharing among government archives, they work to obtain the best contract terms on behalf of their holdings and users. I also highlight the impact of public records and freedom of information laws on the interactions between public archives and private firms. This dissertation documents an information environment in transition and is the first comprehensive study of public-private partnerships involving state and territorial archives in the US.


How Hackers Think: A Mixed Method Study of Mental Models and Cognitive Patterns of High- Tech Wizards

Nov 10
11 am – 12 pm
2116 Hornbake Bldg, South Wing

Speaker: Tim Summers

Bio: Dr. Timothy C. Summers, President of Summers & Company, a cyber strategy and organizational design consulting firm, helps clients understand cyber security risks within their organizations. He is a member of the esteemed faculty and the Director of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Engagement within the iSchool (College of Information Studies) at University of Maryland College Park.


At the age of eleven, Dr. Summers wrote his first computer program, and shortly thereafter he began hacking phone systems. In 2007, he designed systems and processes at the U.S. Dept. of Defense (DoD), enabling the government, military and autonomous systems to withstand and recover quickly from adversarial interruptions. In 2009, he became an Executive Advisor and Cyber Strategist at Booz Allen Hamilton, a multinational strategic consulting firm. He was instrumental in increasing revenue through innovative and forward-thinking programs, resulting in over $3 billion in business value for the firm. He designed and exploited complex systems, both technical and human.
Dr. Summers has been a consultant to Fortune 500 companies worldwide, such as Bank of America, Google, and Booz Allen Hamilton, and regularly speaks at prestigious academic institutions. In 2015, he received a PhD from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, under the tutelage of Dr. Kalle Lyytinen, where he was selected Innovation and Design Fellow, and his disciplinary focus was on How Hackers Think. He received an M.S. in Information Security Policy and Management from the Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University, and completed his undergraduate studies at the historic Elizabeth City State University in Elizabeth City, NC.


Abstract: Hackers account for enormous costs associated with computer intrusion in a world
increasingly reliant on computer and Internet-based technologies. In the general sense, a hacker
is a technologist with a love for technology and a hack is an inventive solution executed through
non-obvious means. They speak the language of code which propels the evolution of our
information technology. This makes hackers the solvers of our largest, most complex
issues. They seek out weaknesses in computers and networks that can be used to steal data or
impact the functionality of the entire Internet. In consequence, they are experts at solving poorly
understood and challenging problems in a variety of settings requiring deep understanding of
technical details and imagination.
Hacking is an activity that requires exceptional cognitive abilities. Through explanatory,
sequential mixed methods research completed over three empirical studies, I discover how the
mental models and the cognitive skills and traits of skilled hackers affect the way they learn and
perform forward thinking. Proficient hackers construct mental representations of complex
systems and their components. As they learn and interact with the system, their mental models
evolve and become more reliable. This research reveals that hackers use these continuously
evolving cognitive structures to conceive of future results through speculative forecasting. These
models are instrumental in setting the hacker’s expectations about effects of actions, planning of
actions, and ways of interpreting feedback.
This research makes theoretical and empirical contributions to the literature on the
mental models and the cognitive faculties of hackers and practice through the development of
evidence-based and research-informed strategies for improving the cognitive mechanisms
necessary for hacking. The findings are useful for leaders and managers in private, government,
and nonprofit sectors with an interest in the advanced thinking required for cybersecurity and
innovation. Additionally, this research contributes to the development of strategies for
developing and managing effective hackers and improving talent identification and recruitment
performance. It can serve as the foundation for the development of a training and education that
improve the cognitive abilities necessary for effective hacking.


An ethnographic account of family in a world of iPhones and 24/7 work demands

Oct 27
11 am – 12 pm
2116 Hornbake Bldg, South Wing

Speaker: Christine Beckman

Christine BeckmanProfessor Beckman joined UMD in 2013. She currently serves as Academic Director of the Center of Social Value Creation (CSVC) and as the Smith ADVANCE Professor for 2015-16. She is an Associate Editor at Administrative Science Quarterly and teaches Organizational and Behavioral Strategy doctoral courses, Implementing Strategy for MBA students, and Social Entrepreneurship for undergraduates. Her first faculty position was at University of California, Irvine, and she has visited at UC Berkeley and London Business School. Professor Beckman’s recent research focuses on mobile technologies and how this shapes new forms of organizational control as well as the boundaries between the personal and the professional. Her research sites are varied and include F500 companies, Silicon Valley start-ups, mutual funds, the U.S. Navy, German football teams, American baseball teams, hospitality companies, and urban charter schools.

Abstract: We are at the beginning stages of a book project on the intersection between technology, work and family life. We spent 6 months in a hotel management firm, exploring the role of mobile technologies in daily work, then we followed nine employees home to understand how these technologies shaped family life as well. We look at how technology supports individual narratives of achievement but underlies the actuality of a set of interdependent relationships in the personal and professional realm. We will explore how technology enhances and restricts connection, makes activities both visible and invisible, and is used by individuals to craft their identities.

Learning About Our Genomes: SNPedia & Promethease and How They Are Used

Oct 20
11 am – 12 pm
2116 Hornbake Bldg, South Wing

Speakers: Greg Lennon & Mike Cariaso
Greg Lennon & Mike Cariaso are human genome project scientists. Since 2006 they’ve run SNPedia.com, a wiki using crowdsourcing and software automation to collect and curate scientific findings about the medical and genealogical implications of human DNA variation. SNPedia is used by Promethease, a program they’ve developed to produce a report specific to an individual’s DNA.


Abstract: We live in a world where personal data is gathered on a massive scale by corporations and governments, yet there are questions about how much a person should be allowed to know about their own DNA. This talk will focus on how two online services, SNPedia and Promethease, are being used by a diverse community to learn about the scientific literature associated with DNA variations. The community includes researchers, health-care providers and students in addition to individuals seeking information for personal use.



The GLOBE project: Transforming scientific knowledge production in Land Change Science

Oct 6
11 am – 12 pm
2116 Hornbake Bldg, South Wing

ISRC_WLutters_HSSpeaker: Wayne Lutters, Associate Professor of Information Systems in the College of Engineering and Information Technology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)

Dr. Wayne Lutters is the director of the multi-disciplinary Interactive Systems Research Center and an Associate Professor of Information Systems in the College of Engineering and Information Technology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Dr. Lutters’ research interests are at the nexus of computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW), social computing, and social informatics. He specializes in field studies of IT-mediated work, from a socio-technical perspective, to better inform the design and evaluation of collaborative systems. Recent projects have included cyberinfrastructure for e-Science, visualization tools for system administrators, virtualized help desk systems for small businesses, and reflective social media systems. He has served as a Program Director for Human-Centered Computing at the National Science Foundation. He earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in Information and Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine and his B.A. in both Cognitive Science and History from Connecticut College.

Abstract: Science advances through the co-evolution of practice and sociotechnical infrastructure. This talk will introduce the on-going, multidisciplinary GLOBE project. This cyberinfrastructure development project supports new methods of synthetic knowledge production in the emergent interdiscipline of Land Change Science – the study of coupled human and natural systems on land use change. GLOBE assists meta-study analysis at-scale, enabling comparisons of local and global data sets from a wide range of scientific disciplines. This promotes novel forms of scientific inquiry, especially around better understanding representativeness and bias. We can discuss design issues ranging from modeling the user experience, to integrating diverse intellectual property, to managing computational complexity.


Exploring the Horizons of User Power at the Intersections of Information Flows, Discourse, and Belief

Sep 22
11 am – 12 pm
2116 Hornbake Bldg, South Wing

proferesmediconSpeaker: Nicholas Proferes, Postdoctoral Scholar at the UMD iSchool’s Ethics and Values in Design Lab, led by Dr. Katie Shilton
He is a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Information Studies.

Abstract: During this talk, I will introduce myself and a recent stream of my research. I hope to discuss connecting my newest findings to ongoing conversations in information studies. In my work, I argue is that there is an inherent connection between our knowledge of how social media function and our abilities to make meaningful decisions about use, to gauge the risks for information disclosure, and to participate in conversations about the governance of these spaces. To explore this phenomenon, I recently examined how information flows on Twitter, what users know (and don’t know) about information flows on Twitter, and how Twitter’s business owners talk to users about information flows. Through the triangulation of findings from a STS-informed close technical reading of the platform, the descriptive inferential and descriptive quantitative analysis of user survey data, and a critical discourse analysis of the language Twitter, Inc. uses to describe its platform, I raise a number of serious questions about the horizons of user power.


Developing a new stream of research: Investigating the role of online crowdsourcing platforms in improving productivity, social inclusion, and the mental health of ‘unemployables’

Sep 8
11 am – 12 pm
2116 Hornbake Bldg, South Wing


SONY DIGITAL CAMERASpeaker: Mark Boons a Visiting Scholar at the iSchool for the Fall 2015.

He is from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University in the Netherlands. To open our fall 2015 speaker series, Mark will be talking about his research and looking for collaborators to work on projects about online crowdsourcing. Please join us next Tuesday at 11am in Hornbake 2116 to welcome Mark and hear about his work!


Abstract: During this short talk, I will introduce myself, my current research, and my broad idea for a new stream of research that I hope to develop during my stay here at the iSchool. This new stream of research is focused on the societal impact of online crowdsourcing platforms. These online platforms have increasingly been used to allow individuals who are not employed by the platform to work on tasks for third-party clients. The tasks that are being crowdsourced vary considerably in the required amount of effort and/or required skills and knowledge; from mundane human intelligence tasks to the solving of scientific problems. While most research so far has focused on the potential ‘business impact’ of crowdsourcing, this fundamental change in organizing work is also expected to affect workers differently than employees working in more traditional organizational arrangements. Moreover, these online platforms might provide the opportunity to engage in meaningful work to those who are, for various reasons, considered ‘unemployable’ in traditional organizations. Taken together, online crowdsourcing platforms have the potential to profoundly change the way in which ‘work’ will be organized in the 21st century.