A Fond Farewell to Nicholas Proferes

A Fond Farewell to Nicholas Proferes

Feature by Haemee Lee

Nicholas Proferes, a Postdoctoral Scholar at the College of Information Studies’ Ethics and Values in Design Lab, has accepted an assistant professor position at the University of Kentucky, effective this fall. Dr. Proferes joined the University of Maryland in August 2015. While at the iSchool, Proferes has been an integral part of Dr. Katie Shilton’s Ethics and Values in Design Lab, researching how developers saw social implications of their work and the values that their work would promote. He also worked with Dr. Jessica Vitak to research how institutional review boards (IRBs) are confronting ethical issues. Dr. Proferes’ research involves examining how users understand and think about information and policy on social media platforms. Through his research, he has studied how Twitter users’ understandings of information flows impact the choices users make. Dr. Proferes has also taught two courses for the iSchool master’s program, Information Policy and Policy and Ethics in Digital Curation. He said, “It was an amazing experience because the students were super engaged, and I had folks who worked in the government and the private sector. I learned from them as they learned from me.” Dr. Proferes has been published in journals such as New Media & Society, First Monday, and the Journal of Information Science, and has been discussed in popular press outlets such as The Guardian, Le Monde, and on podcasts such as Software Engineering Daily. Recently, Dr. Proferes published an article in Social Media + Society, titled Information Flow Solipsism in an Exploratory Study of Beliefs About Twitter. In addition, Dr. Proferes’ workshop on User Perceptions and Experiences with Algorithms was included in the 2017 International Conference on Web and Social Media in Montreal in May. “This was a really cool experience. I’ve come to embrace the Maryland life, and now I’m moving,” he said. We will miss Dr. Proferes, and we wish him the best of luck, as he moves on to a new chapter in his career.