Welcome to the University of Maryland iSchool!
This is an exciting time for iSchools in general and for our iSchool in particular, given its location within the DC beltway, which is at the crossroads of policy, government, and information.
We are being inundated in a tsunami of information, which brings the promise of discovering new knowledge as well as the need to locate relevant data, to evaluate its validity, and to curate it. Technology continues to move deeper into our lives, which is valuable when we use it to amplify human activities and processes, but it also increases the risks to our privacy, creates opportunities for attacks on our safety and well being, and can increase social inequity.
All of this is causing rapid changes to our society and to our industrial base. These changes increase the importance of long-standing institutions such as libraries, archives, and museums as a crucial pillar in education, in supporting human rights and social justice, and in enabling civic society. It also provides opportunities for developing new methods for education, increasing the efficacy and efficiency of both government and non-government organizations, and creating new methods for citizen involvement. All of these issues, and many more, are studied and taught in our school.
We like to illustrate this complex multidisciplinary nature of our school using the simple diagram to the left. Our faculty and students work in all three areas: information and data analytics, in cutting-edge information and communications technology, and in understanding how individuals and organizations operate. The magic happens in the places where these areas intersect. Our professors have backgrounds in all three areas and many have worked in industry, law, archives, and government. Our graduates work as information policy analysts, web designers and app developers, records and data managers, librarians and archivists, usability analysts, educators, directors, professors, partners, project leaders, and entrepreneurs, and work in all levels of government, and for non-profit and for-profit organizations and companies.
There is a lot going on this year. Gregg Vanderheiden joins us this year: he has moved his Trace R&D Center to our school, which works on making everyday technology accessible and usable. Renee Hill, J. Bern Jordan, and Bill Kules are also joining the iSchool as professional track faculty, and bring strength in school libraries, accessibility, and teaching technology. And, we are launching our first undergraduate program: a bachelor’s of science in information science (BSIS). Take a look at infosci.umd.edu for details on this new program.
Please spend some time looking around our web site to learn more about the iSchool and the magic we are making at the intersection of information, technology, and people.
~ Keith Marzullo, Professor and Dean
University of Maryland College of Information Studies (iSchool)