Page 1

NONPROFIT ORG US POSTAGE PAID PERMIT No. 10 COLLEGE PARK, MD

i m pact

profiles

Office of the Vice President for Research 2133 Lee Building University of Maryland College Park, MD 20742-5121

Evaluating Trust Online

P

eople are communicating as easily through social media as with their cell phone, but how do the messaging nuances heard in someone’s voice transfer to a status update on Facebook? Jennifer Golbeck, an assistant professor in the iSchool and one of the first researchers in the United States to analyze online social networks, is seeking to answer that question. Trained in computer science, Golbeck builds algorithms that can estimate levels of trust relationships in social media. “Trusted information is a powerful source of information,” says Golbeck. “If you can determine the level of user trust, it allows individuals—or government agencies and private organizations—to make specific choices based on that data.” This can help validate consumer-driven choices like a positive movie review or product recommendations, and might also be used to assess the level of user trust in secure communications between members of the U.S. intelligence community, Golbeck says. Golbeck is also researching how trust in social networks might support decision makers in military combat situations. She is building computational models that determine how much trust a commander could have in battlefield reports that are contradictory or uncertain, and how these reports can be annotated and sorted to help the military better process the information. m

IMPACT

Vol. 4 No. 2

| Fall 2009

Impact is published by the Office of the Vice President for Research and is mailed to members of the mid-Atlantic research community and others who have an interest in the latest research at the University of Maryland. Your comments and feedback are welcome; please e-mail your comments to vpr@umd.edu or fax them to Anne Geronimo, executive editor, at 301.314.9569. If for any reason you would not like to receive this publication, contact us using the same information above.

research & education

spotlight

PUBLISHER

Mel Bernstein Vice President for Research EXECUTIVE EDITOR

Anne Geronimo Director for Research Development MANAGING EDITOR

Tom Ventsias CREATIVE DIRECTOR AND PHOTOGRAPHER

John T. Consoli ART DIRECTOR

Jeanette J. Nelson Cover and feature art include the following digital works: Paradise City by Martin Muir; The End, Way Back and Fall by Airi Pung; Between this year and next, by Paul S. Dixon; Lego Marmelade2 by Johannes Wessmark; Daydream Believer by Shanina Conway; and Cloud Chair by Richard Hutten.

Timeless Art, No Matter the Medium Doug Reside uses the same care and meticulous scholarship to preserve digitally created art as other scholars do in archiving handwritten drafts of literary, artistic or musical masterpieces. The assistant director of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, or MITH, Reside researches how digital technologies are changing the creation of American musical theater. He is working with the Library of Congress to preserve the digital files of the Tony Award-winning musical “Rent,” which the family of late com-

poser and playwright Jonathan Larson willed to the federal institution. In addition to hard-copy drafts of “Rent,” Reside is reviewing the almost 150 floppy disks that contained earlier versions of the musical before its 1996 Broadway premiere. Also included in the archived material are specific sound effects that Larson created using now-obsolete technologies. “We feel it important that the original files need to be preserved in the way they were conceived,” says Reside, who has degrees in English and computer science. m

UM Fellows Use New Media Tools to Define New Voters

LESLIE WALKER

The 2008 presidential election was historic in many ways, not the least of which was the surge of interest and involvement from young and minority voters. A team of 12 journalism fellows (pictured above) spent this summer studying these emerging political voices to gain insight into how they are influencing American voting behavior and attitudes. The fellowships were part of News21, a national journalism program sponsored in part by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. A key part of the project was incorporating new technologies—including a talking bar chart and a video player that blends linear and nonlinear

storytelling—into the reporting process, says adviser Leslie Walker, the Knight Visiting Professor in Digital Innovation. “In the face of the Internet and disruptive change, the news media must innovate if they are to survive,” Walker says. “And I believe the change agents who will reinvent news and preserve the values of journalism are young journalists like our News21 fellows.” Before joining the Merrill College, Walker was a longtime reporter and columnist who spent more than a decade covering the digital media for The Washington Post. To view the project, go to www.thenewvoters.com. m

Exploring new media Preserving electronic art Mining online data Maryland researchers are shaping the digital future


impact impact

overview overview

01011001 ou needn’t look far to catch a glimpse of America’s digital future: The New York Times is transmitting breaking news via 140-character “tweets,” President Obama is using Facebook to inform the nation of his healthcare agenda, and the Smithsonian Institution plans to put its entire 137 million-object collection online. Technology, through online media, wireless Internet, social networking and the creation of digital art and literature, is changing who we are and how we live. Faculty and students at the University of Maryland are exploring these new media tools, examining how people interact online and fostering digital creativity to address the most relevant questions regarding information and society. In the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, the topic is not only timely, but urgent, as people increasingly get their news online and traditional media have had to rethink how they do business. New media tools empower news consumers as well as journalists, says Dean Kevin Klose. His school is putting a new emphasis on the burgeoning, Web-centered fields of “entrepreneurial journalism,” in which journalists focus on their passion and independently market their work to fill a niche, as well as “participatory journalism,” in which the public actively collects, reports, analyzes and disseminates news and information. Highly skilled journalists will remain in demand, as a free society depends upon an informed populace, Klose says. “We’ll see the workforce at many newspapers dispersed from a centralized location,” he says. “We need to train students what that means for them—they’re going to have to be much more self-sufficient.”

Humans and Technology In the College of Information Studies, Maryland’s iSchool, faculty aren’t just teaching students how to interact in a changing digital world. They’re studying that interaction, even as technology evolves at a dizzying pace. “It’s always been the case that technology runs far ahead of the research analyzing the social implications of that technology,” says Dean Jenny Preece. Professor John Bertot is principal investigator on a project to determine the role that public libraries might play in a national emergency. The iSchool’s Center for Library and Information Innovation, which Bertot directs, has received $1 million from the American Library Association and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a national survey of public library Internet connectivity.

The research expands upon data collection by Bertot and Assistant Professor Paul Jaeger in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina delivered a devastating blow to New Orleans. “We found that when people have lost their homes, Internet access and personal computers, they go to a public library to access trusted information and services from government agencies like FEMA,” Bertot says. “How people search for information in an emergency, how they access services and how the federal government can streamline e-government is what we’re interested in.” The iSchool offers training for information specialists through graduate programs and professional development courses designed specifically for government information experts. Maryland faculty are also conducting groundbreaking research in data management, storage, retrieval and analysis as well as information policy, children’s use of technology, online communities and social networks. “The key issues we want to address are accessibility, usability and sociability. We want to learn how to design technology to support people better and how these new technologies impact and change society,” says Preece.

MITH The Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, or MITH, is the university’s primary intellectual hub for scholars and practitioners of digital humanities. Based in the College of Arts and Humanities, MITH innovates with technology across creative, scholarly and pedagogical disciplines, and recently hosted an international conference on topics such as how to preserve art, culture and records that were created in a digital format. “We don’t yet know what will become the lasting art forms of our time, but we do know if we can’t save any of it, that nothing is going to be there for the future,” says Director Neil Fraistat. MITH will launch a two-year living and learning program in the digital humanities for Maryland undergraduates next fall. Students will get involved in activities including digital music and video production, digital art, creative electronic writing, virtual worlds and the development of software and online communities. “There is a new generation of young people today—we call them ‘digital natives’—who are writing and designing new pieces in the humanities in an entirely digital format,” says Matthew Kirschenbaum, associate director of MITH, who will lead the new program. “Up till now they didn’t have a specific home. Now they will.”

To view the latest research in Maryland’s iSchool, visit www.ischool.umd.edu. For more on journalism, go to www.journalism.umd.edu; for MITH, go to www.mith. umd.edu.

research, scholarship & the digital future LOCATION The university’s location just outside of Washington, D.C., offers a trove of resources for Maryland faculty, students and visiting scholars. These include the Library of Congress, the National Archives, the National Press Club and the National Science Foundation, as well as scores of other agencies, think tanks and nonprofits that assess and develop the nation’s digital future. m

KNIGHT HALL The $30 million John S. and James L. Knight Hall, the new home for the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, is set to open in January 2010. The building (shown below in an artist’s rendering) will be transparent and open—reflecting the goals of good journalism—and a high-tech training ground for a new era in the industry. It will feature several multimedia labs, including one that will allow graduate students to explore, design and test new-media concepts for reporting and delivering news. “Innovation in journalism must include developing, testing and using new storytelling techniques that keep audiences engaged,” says Assistant Professor Ronald Yaros, who helped design the lab. In its classrooms, faculty like Associate Professor Ira Chinoy will help students learn to seek and use public records that exist in digital form, but are unavailable on the Internet. Though the law deems government records “public” unless they are subject to specific exemptions, students approaching state, county or local agencies often meet resistance when requesting records in database form, says Chinoy. “We spend a lot of time trying to understand the motivations for denial of access. These can include all sorts of fears, some of which stem from a lack of understanding of the ease with which these databases might be copied in digital form,” he says. “Understanding this resistance is a big step in changing the dynamics.” m

CLOUD COMPUTING CENTER The Cloud Computing Center is an interdisciplinary project with faculty researchers from the iSchool, computer science and the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies. With funding from Google, IBM, Amazon and the National Science Foundation, the research focuses on interconnecting banks of computers worldwide that can process and search through very large volumes of data. One project is developing technologies for building a scalable and reliable infrastructure for the long-term access and preservation of digital assets. Another project tackles the problem of making information available on a global scale across the world’s languages, using the richly linked structure of Wikipedia to help improve automatic language translation. “Cloud computing represents a potential paradigm shift, and the center hopes to cement the university’s leadership position in this emerging field,” says Jimmy Lin, associate professor in the iSchool and director of the center. m


impact impact

overview overview

01011001 ou needn’t look far to catch a glimpse of America’s digital future: The New York Times is transmitting breaking news via 140-character “tweets,” President Obama is using Facebook to inform the nation of his healthcare agenda, and the Smithsonian Institution plans to put its entire 137 million-object collection online. Technology, through online media, wireless Internet, social networking and the creation of digital art and literature, is changing who we are and how we live. Faculty and students at the University of Maryland are exploring these new media tools, examining how people interact online and fostering digital creativity to address the most relevant questions regarding information and society. In the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, the topic is not only timely, but urgent, as people increasingly get their news online and traditional media have had to rethink how they do business. New media tools empower news consumers as well as journalists, says Dean Kevin Klose. His school is putting a new emphasis on the burgeoning, Web-centered fields of “entrepreneurial journalism,” in which journalists focus on their passion and independently market their work to fill a niche, as well as “participatory journalism,” in which the public actively collects, reports, analyzes and disseminates news and information. Highly skilled journalists will remain in demand, as a free society depends upon an informed populace, Klose says. “We’ll see the workforce at many newspapers dispersed from a centralized location,” he says. “We need to train students what that means for them—they’re going to have to be much more self-sufficient.”

Humans and Technology In the College of Information Studies, Maryland’s iSchool, faculty aren’t just teaching students how to interact in a changing digital world. They’re studying that interaction, even as technology evolves at a dizzying pace. “It’s always been the case that technology runs far ahead of the research analyzing the social implications of that technology,” says Dean Jenny Preece. Professor John Bertot is principal investigator on a project to determine the role that public libraries might play in a national emergency. The iSchool’s Center for Library and Information Innovation, which Bertot directs, has received $1 million from the American Library Association and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a national survey of public library Internet connectivity.

The research expands upon data collection by Bertot and Assistant Professor Paul Jaeger in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina delivered a devastating blow to New Orleans. “We found that when people have lost their homes, Internet access and personal computers, they go to a public library to access trusted information and services from government agencies like FEMA,” Bertot says. “How people search for information in an emergency, how they access services and how the federal government can streamline e-government is what we’re interested in.” The iSchool offers training for information specialists through graduate programs and professional development courses designed specifically for government information experts. Maryland faculty are also conducting groundbreaking research in data management, storage, retrieval and analysis as well as information policy, children’s use of technology, online communities and social networks. “The key issues we want to address are accessibility, usability and sociability. We want to learn how to design technology to support people better and how these new technologies impact and change society,” says Preece.

MITH The Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, or MITH, is the university’s primary intellectual hub for scholars and practitioners of digital humanities. Based in the College of Arts and Humanities, MITH innovates with technology across creative, scholarly and pedagogical disciplines, and recently hosted an international conference on topics such as how to preserve art, culture and records that were created in a digital format. “We don’t yet know what will become the lasting art forms of our time, but we do know if we can’t save any of it, that nothing is going to be there for the future,” says Director Neil Fraistat. MITH will launch a two-year living and learning program in the digital humanities for Maryland undergraduates next fall. Students will get involved in activities including digital music and video production, digital art, creative electronic writing, virtual worlds and the development of software and online communities. “There is a new generation of young people today—we call them ‘digital natives’—who are writing and designing new pieces in the humanities in an entirely digital format,” says Matthew Kirschenbaum, associate director of MITH, who will lead the new program. “Up till now they didn’t have a specific home. Now they will.”

To view the latest research in Maryland’s iSchool, visit www.ischool.umd.edu. For more on journalism, go to www.journalism.umd.edu; for MITH, go to www.mith. umd.edu.

research, scholarship & the digital future LOCATION The university’s location just outside of Washington, D.C., offers a trove of resources for Maryland faculty, students and visiting scholars. These include the Library of Congress, the National Archives, the National Press Club and the National Science Foundation, as well as scores of other agencies, think tanks and nonprofits that assess and develop the nation’s digital future. m

KNIGHT HALL The $30 million John S. and James L. Knight Hall, the new home for the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, is set to open in January 2010. The building (shown below in an artist’s rendering) will be transparent and open—reflecting the goals of good journalism—and a high-tech training ground for a new era in the industry. It will feature several multimedia labs, including one that will allow graduate students to explore, design and test new-media concepts for reporting and delivering news. “Innovation in journalism must include developing, testing and using new storytelling techniques that keep audiences engaged,” says Assistant Professor Ronald Yaros, who helped design the lab. In its classrooms, faculty like Associate Professor Ira Chinoy will help students learn to seek and use public records that exist in digital form, but are unavailable on the Internet. Though the law deems government records “public” unless they are subject to specific exemptions, students approaching state, county or local agencies often meet resistance when requesting records in database form, says Chinoy. “We spend a lot of time trying to understand the motivations for denial of access. These can include all sorts of fears, some of which stem from a lack of understanding of the ease with which these databases might be copied in digital form,” he says. “Understanding this resistance is a big step in changing the dynamics.” m

CLOUD COMPUTING CENTER The Cloud Computing Center is an interdisciplinary project with faculty researchers from the iSchool, computer science and the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies. With funding from Google, IBM, Amazon and the National Science Foundation, the research focuses on interconnecting banks of computers worldwide that can process and search through very large volumes of data. One project is developing technologies for building a scalable and reliable infrastructure for the long-term access and preservation of digital assets. Another project tackles the problem of making information available on a global scale across the world’s languages, using the richly linked structure of Wikipedia to help improve automatic language translation. “Cloud computing represents a potential paradigm shift, and the center hopes to cement the university’s leadership position in this emerging field,” says Jimmy Lin, associate professor in the iSchool and director of the center. m


impact impact

overview overview

01011001 ou needn’t look far to catch a glimpse of America’s digital future: The New York Times is transmitting breaking news via 140-character “tweets,” President Obama is using Facebook to inform the nation of his healthcare agenda, and the Smithsonian Institution plans to put its entire 137 million-object collection online. Technology, through online media, wireless Internet, social networking and the creation of digital art and literature, is changing who we are and how we live. Faculty and students at the University of Maryland are exploring these new media tools, examining how people interact online and fostering digital creativity to address the most relevant questions regarding information and society. In the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, the topic is not only timely, but urgent, as people increasingly get their news online and traditional media have had to rethink how they do business. New media tools empower news consumers as well as journalists, says Dean Kevin Klose. His school is putting a new emphasis on the burgeoning, Web-centered fields of “entrepreneurial journalism,” in which journalists focus on their passion and independently market their work to fill a niche, as well as “participatory journalism,” in which the public actively collects, reports, analyzes and disseminates news and information. Highly skilled journalists will remain in demand, as a free society depends upon an informed populace, Klose says. “We’ll see the workforce at many newspapers dispersed from a centralized location,” he says. “We need to train students what that means for them—they’re going to have to be much more self-sufficient.”

Humans and Technology In the College of Information Studies, Maryland’s iSchool, faculty aren’t just teaching students how to interact in a changing digital world. They’re studying that interaction, even as technology evolves at a dizzying pace. “It’s always been the case that technology runs far ahead of the research analyzing the social implications of that technology,” says Dean Jenny Preece. Professor John Bertot is principal investigator on a project to determine the role that public libraries might play in a national emergency. The iSchool’s Center for Library and Information Innovation, which Bertot directs, has received $1 million from the American Library Association and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a national survey of public library Internet connectivity.

The research expands upon data collection by Bertot and Assistant Professor Paul Jaeger in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina delivered a devastating blow to New Orleans. “We found that when people have lost their homes, Internet access and personal computers, they go to a public library to access trusted information and services from government agencies like FEMA,” Bertot says. “How people search for information in an emergency, how they access services and how the federal government can streamline e-government is what we’re interested in.” The iSchool offers training for information specialists through graduate programs and professional development courses designed specifically for government information experts. Maryland faculty are also conducting groundbreaking research in data management, storage, retrieval and analysis as well as information policy, children’s use of technology, online communities and social networks. “The key issues we want to address are accessibility, usability and sociability. We want to learn how to design technology to support people better and how these new technologies impact and change society,” says Preece.

MITH The Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, or MITH, is the university’s primary intellectual hub for scholars and practitioners of digital humanities. Based in the College of Arts and Humanities, MITH innovates with technology across creative, scholarly and pedagogical disciplines, and recently hosted an international conference on topics such as how to preserve art, culture and records that were created in a digital format. “We don’t yet know what will become the lasting art forms of our time, but we do know if we can’t save any of it, that nothing is going to be there for the future,” says Director Neil Fraistat. MITH will launch a two-year living and learning program in the digital humanities for Maryland undergraduates next fall. Students will get involved in activities including digital music and video production, digital art, creative electronic writing, virtual worlds and the development of software and online communities. “There is a new generation of young people today—we call them ‘digital natives’—who are writing and designing new pieces in the humanities in an entirely digital format,” says Matthew Kirschenbaum, associate director of MITH, who will lead the new program. “Up till now they didn’t have a specific home. Now they will.”

To view the latest research in Maryland’s iSchool, visit www.ischool.umd.edu. For more on journalism, go to www.journalism.umd.edu; for MITH, go to www.mith. umd.edu.

research, scholarship & the digital future LOCATION The university’s location just outside of Washington, D.C., offers a trove of resources for Maryland faculty, students and visiting scholars. These include the Library of Congress, the National Archives, the National Press Club and the National Science Foundation, as well as scores of other agencies, think tanks and nonprofits that assess and develop the nation’s digital future. m

KNIGHT HALL The $30 million John S. and James L. Knight Hall, the new home for the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, is set to open in January 2010. The building (shown below in an artist’s rendering) will be transparent and open—reflecting the goals of good journalism—and a high-tech training ground for a new era in the industry. It will feature several multimedia labs, including one that will allow graduate students to explore, design and test new-media concepts for reporting and delivering news. “Innovation in journalism must include developing, testing and using new storytelling techniques that keep audiences engaged,” says Assistant Professor Ronald Yaros, who helped design the lab. In its classrooms, faculty like Associate Professor Ira Chinoy will help students learn to seek and use public records that exist in digital form, but are unavailable on the Internet. Though the law deems government records “public” unless they are subject to specific exemptions, students approaching state, county or local agencies often meet resistance when requesting records in database form, says Chinoy. “We spend a lot of time trying to understand the motivations for denial of access. These can include all sorts of fears, some of which stem from a lack of understanding of the ease with which these databases might be copied in digital form,” he says. “Understanding this resistance is a big step in changing the dynamics.” m

CLOUD COMPUTING CENTER The Cloud Computing Center is an interdisciplinary project with faculty researchers from the iSchool, computer science and the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies. With funding from Google, IBM, Amazon and the National Science Foundation, the research focuses on interconnecting banks of computers worldwide that can process and search through very large volumes of data. One project is developing technologies for building a scalable and reliable infrastructure for the long-term access and preservation of digital assets. Another project tackles the problem of making information available on a global scale across the world’s languages, using the richly linked structure of Wikipedia to help improve automatic language translation. “Cloud computing represents a potential paradigm shift, and the center hopes to cement the university’s leadership position in this emerging field,” says Jimmy Lin, associate professor in the iSchool and director of the center. m


NONPROFIT ORG US POSTAGE PAID PERMIT No. 10 COLLEGE PARK, MD

i m pact

profiles

Office of the Vice President for Research 2133 Lee Building University of Maryland College Park, MD 20742-5121

Evaluating Trust Online

P

eople are communicating as easily through social media as with their cell phone, but how do the messaging nuances heard in someone’s voice transfer to a status update on Facebook? Jennifer Golbeck, an assistant professor in the iSchool and one of the first researchers in the United States to analyze online social networks, is seeking to answer that question. Trained in computer science, Golbeck builds algorithms that can estimate levels of trust relationships in social media. “Trusted information is a powerful source of information,” says Golbeck. “If you can determine the level of user trust, it allows individuals—or government agencies and private organizations—to make specific choices based on that data.” This can help validate consumer-driven choices like a positive movie review or product recommendations, and might also be used to assess the level of user trust in secure communications between members of the U.S. intelligence community, Golbeck says. Golbeck is also researching how trust in social networks might support decision makers in military combat situations. She is building computational models that determine how much trust a commander could have in battlefield reports that are contradictory or uncertain, and how these reports can be annotated and sorted to help the military better process the information. m

IMPACT

Vol. 4 No. 2

| Fall 2009

Impact is published by the Office of the Vice President for Research and is mailed to members of the mid-Atlantic research community and others who have an interest in the latest research at the University of Maryland. Your comments and feedback are welcome; please e-mail your comments to vpr@umd.edu or fax them to Anne Geronimo, executive editor, at 301.314.9569. If for any reason you would not like to receive this publication, contact us using the same information above.

research & education

spotlight

PUBLISHER

Mel Bernstein Vice President for Research EXECUTIVE EDITOR

Anne Geronimo Director for Research Development MANAGING EDITOR

Tom Ventsias CREATIVE DIRECTOR AND PHOTOGRAPHER

John T. Consoli ART DIRECTOR

Jeanette J. Nelson Cover and feature art include the following digital works: Paradise City by Martin Muir; The End, Way Back and Fall by Airi Pung; Between this year and next, by Paul S. Dixon; Lego Marmelade2 by Johannes Wessmark; Daydream Believer by Shanina Conway; and Cloud Chair by Richard Hutten.

Timeless Art, No Matter the Medium Doug Reside uses the same care and meticulous scholarship to preserve digitally created art as other scholars do in archiving handwritten drafts of literary, artistic or musical masterpieces. The assistant director of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, or MITH, Reside researches how digital technologies are changing the creation of American musical theater. He is working with the Library of Congress to preserve the digital files of the Tony Award-winning musical “Rent,” which the family of late com-

poser and playwright Jonathan Larson willed to the federal institution. In addition to hard-copy drafts of “Rent,” Reside is reviewing the almost 150 floppy disks that contained earlier versions of the musical before its 1996 Broadway premiere. Also included in the archived material are specific sound effects that Larson created using now-obsolete technologies. “We feel it important that the original files need to be preserved in the way they were conceived,” says Reside, who has degrees in English and computer science. m

UM Fellows Use New Media Tools to Define New Voters

LESLIE WALKER

The 2008 presidential election was historic in many ways, not the least of which was the surge of interest and involvement from young and minority voters. A team of 12 journalism fellows (pictured above) spent this summer studying these emerging political voices to gain insight into how they are influencing American voting behavior and attitudes. The fellowships were part of News21, a national journalism program sponsored in part by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. A key part of the project was incorporating new technologies—including a talking bar chart and a video player that blends linear and nonlinear

storytelling—into the reporting process, says adviser Leslie Walker, the Knight Visiting Professor in Digital Innovation. “In the face of the Internet and disruptive change, the news media must innovate if they are to survive,” Walker says. “And I believe the change agents who will reinvent news and preserve the values of journalism are young journalists like our News21 fellows.” Before joining the Merrill College, Walker was a longtime reporter and columnist who spent more than a decade covering the digital media for The Washington Post. To view the project, go to www.thenewvoters.com. m

Exploring new media Preserving electronic art Mining online data Maryland researchers are shaping the digital future


NONPROFIT ORG US POSTAGE PAID PERMIT No. 10 COLLEGE PARK, MD

i m pact

profiles

Office of the Vice President for Research 2133 Lee Building University of Maryland College Park, MD 20742-5121

Evaluating Trust Online

P

eople are communicating as easily through social media as with their cell phone, but how do the messaging nuances heard in someone’s voice transfer to a status update on Facebook? Jennifer Golbeck, an assistant professor in the iSchool and one of the first researchers in the United States to analyze online social networks, is seeking to answer that question. Trained in computer science, Golbeck builds algorithms that can estimate levels of trust relationships in social media. “Trusted information is a powerful source of information,” says Golbeck. “If you can determine the level of user trust, it allows individuals—or government agencies and private organizations—to make specific choices based on that data.” This can help validate consumer-driven choices like a positive movie review or product recommendations, and might also be used to assess the level of user trust in secure communications between members of the U.S. intelligence community, Golbeck says. Golbeck is also researching how trust in social networks might support decision makers in military combat situations. She is building computational models that determine how much trust a commander could have in battlefield reports that are contradictory or uncertain, and how these reports can be annotated and sorted to help the military better process the information. m

IMPACT

Vol. 4 No. 2

| Fall 2009

Impact is published by the Office of the Vice President for Research and is mailed to members of the mid-Atlantic research community and others who have an interest in the latest research at the University of Maryland. Your comments and feedback are welcome; please e-mail your comments to vpr@umd.edu or fax them to Anne Geronimo, executive editor, at 301.314.9569. If for any reason you would not like to receive this publication, contact us using the same information above.

research & education

spotlight

PUBLISHER

Mel Bernstein Vice President for Research EXECUTIVE EDITOR

Anne Geronimo Director for Research Development MANAGING EDITOR

Tom Ventsias CREATIVE DIRECTOR AND PHOTOGRAPHER

John T. Consoli ART DIRECTOR

Jeanette J. Nelson Cover and feature art include the following digital works: Paradise City by Martin Muir; The End, Way Back and Fall by Airi Pung; Between this year and next, by Paul S. Dixon; Lego Marmelade2 by Johannes Wessmark; Daydream Believer by Shanina Conway; and Cloud Chair by Richard Hutten.

Timeless Art, No Matter the Medium Doug Reside uses the same care and meticulous scholarship to preserve digitally created art as other scholars do in archiving handwritten drafts of literary, artistic or musical masterpieces. The assistant director of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, or MITH, Reside researches how digital technologies are changing the creation of American musical theater. He is working with the Library of Congress to preserve the digital files of the Tony Award-winning musical “Rent,” which the family of late com-

poser and playwright Jonathan Larson willed to the federal institution. In addition to hard-copy drafts of “Rent,” Reside is reviewing the almost 150 floppy disks that contained earlier versions of the musical before its 1996 Broadway premiere. Also included in the archived material are specific sound effects that Larson created using now-obsolete technologies. “We feel it important that the original files need to be preserved in the way they were conceived,” says Reside, who has degrees in English and computer science. m

UM Fellows Use New Media Tools to Define New Voters

LESLIE WALKER

The 2008 presidential election was historic in many ways, not the least of which was the surge of interest and involvement from young and minority voters. A team of 12 journalism fellows (pictured above) spent this summer studying these emerging political voices to gain insight into how they are influencing American voting behavior and attitudes. The fellowships were part of News21, a national journalism program sponsored in part by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. A key part of the project was incorporating new technologies—including a talking bar chart and a video player that blends linear and nonlinear

storytelling—into the reporting process, says adviser Leslie Walker, the Knight Visiting Professor in Digital Innovation. “In the face of the Internet and disruptive change, the news media must innovate if they are to survive,” Walker says. “And I believe the change agents who will reinvent news and preserve the values of journalism are young journalists like our News21 fellows.” Before joining the Merrill College, Walker was a longtime reporter and columnist who spent more than a decade covering the digital media for The Washington Post. To view the project, go to www.thenewvoters.com. m

Exploring new media Preserving electronic art Mining online data Maryland researchers are shaping the digital future

IMPACT Magazine Fall 09  
IMPACT Magazine Fall 09  

Read the Fall edition of IMPACT, spotlighting the research of ARHU faculty as it relates to the digital humanities.

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