Information Science is a broad discipline, and our students come from a range of backgrounds. Some have computer science degrees, and come prepared to take on information science with a toolkit of computational and data science methods. Some have little to no experience in computing, but have backgrounds in social science or qualitative research. Some come to us with a rich knowledge of domains (e.g., public health, education, or journalism) to which information science research and techniques can be applied. Some come straight out of undergraduate programs, others have already completed graduate degrees, and others have years of professional experience.
Our program is designed to help Ph.D. students tailor their education towards their own research interests and skill sets while developing a shared body of knowledge around methods, computational techniques, theoretical frameworks, and design practices.
Student Voices: Why CU?
"My experience at CU Boulder's information science department has been one of a kind. Not only are the faculty knowledgeable and supportive, they work hard to help the graduate students have a strong professional network. My experience at CU is truly incredible."
"As an international student, my first year was really challenging because of language and culture barriers. My professors encouraged me a lot, which gave me confidence in my research. And other Info students were always happy to answer questions about research and life in Boulder."
"I joined the Visualab to work with Dr. Szafir because I get to exercise my technical muscles (building fun and interactive visualization systems) while at the same time thinking creatively about visualization design and how we can make a positive impact for people in the real world."
Research a mile above ordinary.
You can find out more about the research interests of both our faculty and current PhD students on their profile pages. Examples of research groups led by our faculty include the VisuaLab, the Too Much Information (TMI) Lab, the Philanthropic Informatics Lab, the Creative Communities Group, the Recommender Systems Lab, and the Internet Rules Lab (IRL).
High Impact Publications
Within the first few years of our PhD program, our students have published and presented work in venues such as CHI (human-computer interaction), VIS (information visualization), AAAI (artificial intelligence), CSCW (collaboration & social computing), NAACL (computational linguistics), Ubicomp (ubiquitous computing), AOIR (internet research), and SIGCSE (computer science education).
Recent Student Publications
Funded Research Projects
Across our department, there are many research projects happening at any given point, covering a wide range of domains and methods. Examples of funded projects in our department include research involving building computational tools to help scale qualitative data analysis, computer-mediated communication during crisis, organizational behavior in e-sports teams, research ethics for social computing, real-world machine learning, and humanizing algorithms.
Members of our faculty sometimes seek PhD prospective students with an interest in specific funded projects. Here are a few targeted recruitment calls for both PhD students and post-docs.
Drs. Amy Voida and Robin Burke are recruiting a Ph.D. student to carry out research exploring the many different ways that algorithmic fairness is understood in the real-world, mission-driven context of nonprofit organizations. The student will carry out qualitative research to inform the design of new algorithms for recommendation systems. This unique position brings the methods and concerns of human-computer interaction, computer supported cooperative work, and philanthropic studies to the domain of machine learning. Candidates with diverse disciplinary backgrounds (including non-technical backgrounds) are encouraged to apply. Because of the wonderful interdisciplinary ethos at CU, the student will be able to enroll through any of three degree programs: Information Science, Computer Science, or the ATLAS Institute’s Technology, Media & Society program. For more information please reach out to Amy at email@example.com.
Dr. Jed Brubaker is looking to take on new PhD students who are interested in studying the intersections of technology, death, dying, and grief. We are spinning up a number of new initiatives that will benefit from the contributions of students interested in designing ways to make death kinder for those passing, as well as those they leave behind. Student looking to develop their skills in community- and family-based research, design, and/or ethnography are especially encouraged to reach out. For more information, see this post.
The Identity Lab in the Department of Information Science at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU) seeks a postdoctoral researcher for qualitative and design projects focused on the intersection of human-centered computing and machine learning. This postdoc will work directly with Prof. Jed Brubaker and join an inter-disciplinary research team investigating how big data analytics and machine learning techniques can be extended to qualitative analysis. The post-doc would serve a central role in pressing forward qualitative and design investigations that focus on the sociotechnical interplay between qualitative researchers and novel analysis tools. For more information, see this post.
Student Voices: Industry Research Internships
Jordan Wirfs-Brock (Yahoo!)
"During my internship with Yahoo, I got intense hands-on experience with many research methods that I wouldn't have necessarily had the chance to use during the academic year. Experiencing research at the pace of industry expanded my understanding of how to scope my own projects."
Matt Whitlock (Autodesk)
"I think it is important to intern as a PhD student for the opportunity to see research through a different lens--one where emerging technology isn't just a frontier to be explored, but also something that fits into forward-facing business plans."
Aaron Jiang (Facebook)
"My research internship at Facebook really let me see what it’s like to do industry research and work on projects that can impact billions of people and has led to ongoing collaborations. My understanding of industry research from the internship will also help me with industry job interviews."