The past, present and future of information studies

For this episode we stopped by the the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies, also known as the iSchool. Students and faculty in this department still find themselves surrounded by books but, for the most part, they’re concerned with access to information in a more general sense. In the digital age, that job is taking on all kinds of new forms. 

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Acting Director Luanne Freund spoke with us about the evolving state of the field and the information professional’s role within it.

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Jennifer Douglas in a CiTR studio with Rachel Sanders

Jennifer Douglas, an assistant professor in the Master of Archival Studies program, shared how archival work is not a “fusty, musty, old endeavour,” it’s important and exciting work. For example, in an increasingly digital age, what are the best ways of archiving not only corporate and institutional records but also our own personal archives? Archivists are concerned with what to keep (a simple diary could hold the answers to future questions) and how to keep it.  

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Muhammad Abdul-Mageed in his office with Brittany Duggan

Assistant Professor Muhammad Abdul-Mageed was excited to tell us about the intersection of his three areas of study: social media mining, natural language processing, and machine learning. What can we learn from social data? How do we program machines, like Siri, to understand us and respond back? And where will AI go next?

Professor Abdul-Mageed is new to the iSchool this year and says that the varied backgrounds that make up the school inspire creativity in the field.

Hear these three in conversation right here.

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