Faculty Spotlight: Katie Shilton, Associate Professor

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Katie ShiltonThe accolade of the “longest commute of any faculty member at the iSchool” (from California) doesn’t get in the way of Katie Shilton’s busy schedule that includes leading the Ethics and Values in Design Lab (a group of postdocs, graduate, and undergraduate students interested in technology ethics), conducting research under a number of federal grants, teaching classes in ethics and policy, serving as the Doctoral Program Director (and working on revising the program’s curriculum), and teaching the introductory doctoral seminar. Originally recruited to the iSchool in 2011 for her knowledge of LIS and archives and interest in privacy and ethics, it’s been the latter that has fueled Katie’s prolific research. Her current interdisciplinary—and often inter-institutional—projects include: PERVADE, which aims to understand both the risks and real-world realities of data practices and to guide community conversations about ethical big data use; an investigation of cultures of ethics in computer security research; building a system for searching email that also respects individual and social notions of privacy; and developing an online and in-person game to help students and developers experience what it’s like to grapple with ethical issues as they design a mobile application. Katie is always brainstorming ideas for future projects and has recently found inspiration in her two young kids: she’s becoming increasingly interested in how children learn about what it means to be an engineer, especially whether social responsibility is (or isn’t) brought into that depiction. To balance her work, Katie loves to cook and can always be engaged in conversation about what episodic TV shows she’s currently watching (probably during her long commute).

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