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Ilana Stonebraker, Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies

Ilana Stonebraker, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies

The Marshall and Susan Larsen Leaders Academy in the Krannert School of Management provides an ideal place for Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies Associate Professor Ilana Stonebraker to teach Purdue students.

The Academy, according to its website, “provides high-achieving students with enhanced academic opportunities and learning experiences to help them become top performers in the world of business.” The program creates “a culture of achievement”—a phenomenon that Stonebraker, as an instructor of the Management 110 course offered to students in the Academy, not only fosters and sustains in her teaching, but also one she takes to heart in the pursuit of top performance in her own chosen field.

In Fall 2018, Stonebraker was among 12 faculty members inducted into the Purdue University Teaching Academy as a new Teaching Academy Fellow. She is the first ever Libraries and School of Information Studies faculty member to be inducted into the elite program, which recognizes Purdue faculty for their outstanding and scholarly teaching in graduate, undergraduate, or engagement programs. This recognition is just one among many honors Stonebraker has racked up over the last couple of years. In June 2018, she was one of 10 individuals selected by the Tippy Connect Young Professionals (TCYP) in the organization’s annual Top 10 Young Professionals Under 40 Award program. Last summer, she was recognized by the American Library Association (ALA) Library Instruction Roundtable as an author of one of the Top Twenty Library Instruction Articles of 2017. (She was recognized for the same thing in 2016 for a different article.) In early 2017, she was named a “Mover & Shaker” in Library Journal’s annual roundup that honors individuals making significant impacts in libraries and in education around the world. Last fall, too, she was elected to the Tippecanoe County Council (representing District 1).

While the accolades are rewarding, she noted, it is her work—like teaching the highly motivated students in the Larsen Leaders Academy—that really inspires her.

“I like to figure out where students are and help them build bridges to achieve their dreams, to help them imagine and then try things they never would have imagined themselves doing before,” she explained. “One of the ways I do this is through encouraging them to explore the ways they use information in their decision-making processes.”

Stonebraker has been at Purdue since 2012, and she has been teaching in Krannert since 2013. In addition to her teaching course load, she serves as one of Purdue Libraries’ business information specialists in the Roland G. Parrish Library of Management and Economics. She also researches how individuals use information in their studies and in their work and applies the knowledge she gains from that in her teaching.

“That is how I introduce myself to my students. I tell them, ‘I teach information literacy, and I research how people use information. Based on that, I can teach you skills that others cannot teach you here at Purdue,'” she explained. “Knowing how to use and apply information is increasingly important in a 21st-century economy. People in business, particularly, need to know how to use and apply information quickly. That is basically data analytics.”

Stonebraker is among several Libraries faculty who either teach or co-teach credit courses at Purdue in a variety of departments. She proudly points out that librarians tend to be highly engaged instructors who have been developing and practicing effective active-learning techniques and approaches to instruction for many years (perhaps even before “active learning” became an important practice in education).

“Librarians make interesting teachers because we think systematically about problems. Our brains are set up for inputs and outputs,” she added. “Our default is active learning. You can’t really teach students how to research and use information without actively engaging students in research and information use activities.”

Pete Pascuzzi - Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies

Dr. Pete Pascuzzi in the Wilmeth Active Learning Center at Purdue University (Photo by Purdue Marketing & Media). This article is one in a “Faculty Footprints” series to highlight the work of faculty in Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies during the Purdue Sesquicentennial Campaign, “Take Giant Leaps.” Read more about the 150th anniversary celebration at takegiantleaps.com.

Purdue Libraries Assistant Professor Pete Pascuzzi helps researchers dig deeper into their research data. A biochemistry and bioinformatics expert, Pascuzzi is making an impact in Purdue University’s contributions to biological and biochemical research by teaching faculty and students how to use web-based and open-source tools—tools they can use to better analyze and understand their data.

“Pete’s unique perspective and skill set bridge the traditional roles of the library, i.e., information management and analysis, with an important area of modern biology, bioinformatics, and big data analysis,” explained James Fleet, Distinguished Professor, Purdue University Department of Nutrition Science.

Fleet came to know Pascuzzi through a National Institutes of Health-funded research project, “Big Data Training for Translational Omic Research,” a collaboration with Min Zhang (Department of Statistics) and Wanqing Liu (Wayne State University).

“I had heard about Pete’s skills as a bioinformatician and an educator, and I knew he was the piece we needed to round out our team,” Fleet said. “His contribution to our course was necessary for its success. In addition, he has been instrumental in establishing core bioinformatics and data management/analysis courses for the biochemistry department.”

Image Courtesy of Peter Pascuzzi. “A gene expression pattern for 21 transporter genes was retrieved from CellMiner and visualized with CellMiner Companion.” Image is a figure from the article, “CellMiner Companion: an interactive web application to explore CellMiner NCI-60 data"

“A gene expression pattern for 21 transporter genes was retrieved from CellMiner and visualized with CellMiner Companion.” Heatmap image is a figure from the article “CellMiner Companion: an interactive web application to explore CellMiner NCI-60 data.” Image courtesy of Pete Pascuzzi.

In the recent past, Pascuzzi developed the CellMiner Companion application, one of the open-source tools he teaches researchers to use. “CellMiner Companion is a web application that facilitates the exploration and visualization of output from CellMiner, further increasing the accessibility of NCI-60 data,” states the abstract of the article on pubmed.gov.

CellMiner is a database and web application developed by the National Cancer Institute. Researchers can query the database for gene expression and drug sensitivity data for cancer cells; however, a single query can generate more than 100 files. Many researchers lack the skills to integrate this data, Pascuzzi noted.

“Generating a plot, from publicly available data on cancer cells, isn’t revolutionary. What is revolutionary is that I was able to do it myself—and I am able to teach just about anybody how to do something like that,” he explained. “The technology and data access have moved so quickly that projects like that have become trivial. A decade ago, that would have been a major project. Now it is just all out there.”

Pascuzzi also teaches 400-600 level courses in both biochemistry (BCHM) and information and library studies (ILS), including the ILS 595 course, “Data Management at the Bench” (which he co-teaches with Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies faculty Megan Sapp Nelson and Chao Cai).

“With the work I do here at Purdue, I really want to make an impact on the science, but more importantly, having been a graduate student, I have a lot of empathy with people who get stuck in a place because they don’t have the data skills they need,” Pascuzzi said. “So I have always made a lot of effort to understand what the graduate students need, and that is what motivates a lot of the teaching I do.”

Pascuzzi studied biology and chemistry as an undergraduate, and he earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry at Cornell. As a Libraries and School of Information Studies faculty member in life sciences, Pascuzzi’s subject areas at Purdue include biochemistry, bioinformatics, medicinal chemistry, molecular biosciences, and molecular pharmacology.

Article by Teresa Koltzenburg, Director of Strategic Communication, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies

This week, several members of Purdue University faculty and staff published, “Creating Student-Centered Learning Environments and Changing Teaching Culture: Purdue University’s IMPACT Program” through the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA).

The invited paper describes Purdue’s IMPACT (Instruction Matters: Purdue Academic Course Transformation) course design program, which was recognized last year by The Chronicle of Higher Education as one of six encouraging innovations in education.

According to the paper abstract on the NILOA website, IMPACT has involved 321 instructors, 529 courses, and in some semesters, as many as 95.1% of first-time, full-time undergraduate students.

IMPACT at Purdue UniversityAuthors of the paper include (in order, L to R, top row, center row, and bottom row in graphic):

Download the paper from NILOA at http://learningoutcomesassessment.org/occasionalpaperthirty.

“Critical Data Studies is an emerging interdisciplinary field that addresses the ethical, legal, sociocultural, epistemological, and political aspects of data science, big data, and digital infrastructure.”

Virginia Eubanks, associate professor of political science at the University of Albany, SUNY, at Purdue Feb. 13. Eubanks' talk was part of the Critical Data Studies (CDS) lecture series and the University's Ideas Festival for Purdue University Sesquicentennial Celebration. Eubanks is the author of “Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police and Punish the Poor” and “Digital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in the Information Age.” She also co-edited with Alethia Jones “Ain’t Nobody Turn Me Around: Forty Years of Movement Building with Barbara Smith.” Her writing about technology and social justice has appeared in Scientific American, The Nation, Harper’s and Wired.

Virginia Eubanks, associate professor of political science at the University of Albany, SUNY, speaking at Purdue Feb. 13. Eubanks’ talk was part of the Critical Data Studies (CDS) Distinguished Lecture Series, as well as the University’s Ideas Festival, the centerpiece of the Giant Leaps Sesquicentennial Campaign. Eubanks is the author of “Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police and Punish the Poor” and “Digital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in the Information Age.” Her writing about technology and social justice has appeared in Scientific American, The Nation, Harper’s and Wired. In October 2018, the CDS Distinguished Lectures Series and Ideas Festival featured Dr. Safiya Noble, critically acclaimed author of “Algorithms of Oppression.”

There is a great deal of talk about data-driven research and “Big Data” at Purdue and, in general, in the business and education sectors across the U.S. For example, through the University’s Integrated Data Science Initiative (IDSI) launched this year, Purdue researchers aim to be at the “forefront of advancing data science-enabled research and education by tightly coupling theory, discovery, and applications while providing students with an integrated, data science-fluent campus ecosystem.”

There is growing acknowledgement across sectors that reliance on automated and data-driven decision-making, ubiquitous data collection, and the networked nature of daily life has profoundly impacted human relationships, trust in public institutions, and power imbalances across societies.

Critical Data Studies at Purdue

Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies faculty members Kendall Roark (left), Bethany McGowan (center), Danielle Walker (right).

Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies faculty members who are part of the Critical Data Studies Collaborative at Purdue: Kendall Roark (left), Bethany McGowan (center), Danielle Walker (right).

The Critical Data Studies Collaborative at Purdue is a multidisciplinary community that seeks to create opportunities for dialogue about the ethical, legal, sociocultural, epistemological, and political aspects of data science, big data, and digital infrastructure by providing a space to share work and expertise; promote student, trainee, and faculty learning; and collaborate on new research and learning initiatives.

During the 2018-2019 academic year, the CDS Collective launched the inaugural Critical Data Studies Distinguished Lecture Series, Fall (Safiya Noble, Oct. 3) & Spring (Virginia Eubanks, Feb. 13); and the monthly Open Seminar Series. Beginning 2019-2020, the collaborative will launch a Critical Data Studies Cohort of the Data Mine Learning Community in collaboration with faculty and postdocs affiliated with the Purdue Honors College, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies, African American Studies, and the Department of Anthropology.

To learn more, visit http://tinyurl.com/critdatastudies.

Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies Assistant Professor Bethany McGowan, part of the Critical Data Studies Collective, helped introduce Virginia Eubanks when she spoke at Purdue Feb. 13.

Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies Assistant Professor Bethany McGowan, part of the Critical Data Studies Collective, helped introduce Virginia Eubanks when she spoke at Purdue Feb. 13.

Critical Data Studies Spring 2019 Events Calendar

  • Spring Kickoff Meet and Greet
    12:30-2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27: CDS Seminar Series and Digital Humanities Studio
    Humanities, Social Science, and Education (HSSE) Library, first floor (Periodical Reading Room)
  • CDS Seminar Series—Power: Technology, Ethics, and Social Justice in the Classroom Roundtable
    2-3 p.m. Friday, March 29, Swaim Conference Room, fourth floor, HSSE Library
  • CDS Seminar Series—Power: Critical Political Ecologies Roundtable
    2-3 p.m. Friday, April 26, Swaim Conference Room, fourth floor, HSSE Library
Jason Reed, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies

Jason Reed, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies

In late 2017, at a conference in Bonn, Germany, Jason Reed and a few of his Purdue University colleagues convinced government officials to play a game.

If you are wondering why on Earth people from Purdue would do such a thing, Earth is exactly why they did.

Here’s some context… The conference was the Bonn Climate Change Conference, a midyear working meeting between the UN Climate Change conferences, the “foremost global forums for multilateral discussion of climate change matters”; the government officials were climate negotiation delegates; and the video game, “Earth Remembers” is a unique teaching and learning tool developed within a research project that explores “the relationship between global temperature targets, a hot topic in the recent Paris Agreement, and global climate tipping points….”

Reed, an assistant professor and a health sciences information specialist in Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies, is among the members of the Purdue University faculty working on this project, “Climate Tipping Points: Gaming Climate Futures,” led by principal investigator Assistant Professor of Political Science Manjana Milkoreit.

Along with three other funded projects, the project is part of Purdue’s “Breaking Through: Developing Multidisciplinary Solutions to Global Grand Challenges” internal grant opportunity, a three-year program that “enables multidisciplinary teams to tackle grand challenges in new ways. Supported through funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the program also “embeds policy experts, publishing professionals, and Libraries faculty in the scholarly research and communication process, in order to provide researchers with expert assistance in communicating results directly to the public and key stakeholders.” (See www.purdue.edu/breaking-through/ for more information.)

Reed has been part of “Climate Tipping Points: Gaming Climate Futures” since a few short months after he arrived at Purdue in late 2016. The “Breaking Through” program began in August that year and will continue to fund the four projects through May 2019.

“We spent the first year collecting data, because the first thing we needed to know is what climate negotiators know about climate tipping points. We’re working on a paper right now to present the results of that project,” Reed noted.

The Highest Stakes

Through the project, Purdue and external researchers at Utrecht University and Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) commissioned GCU undergraduate-student game developers to create “Earth Remembers.” At the Bonn Climate Change Conference, “Gaming Climate Futures” team members were able to engage a few climate negotiation delegates to play the game. Other officials, including non-government organization (NGO) officials, as well as a group of students, played “Earth Remembers,” too.

“In the game, the players take on roles to represent different countries. As the representative of a specific nation, the player will make funding decisions for that country, so the player considers how much to allocate for non-environmental-related projects, such as infrastructure, healthcare, defense—all the things governments have to fund. Then, in the game, the players allocate money toward mitigation and adaptation for climate change, as well as money toward a net energy technology. If it is real climate negotiation delegates playing the game, we ask them to represent another country besides their own. That way, they can see the results of their decisions from the perspective of another nation,” Reed explained. “They are allotted 10-15 minutes to talk within their alliances, which are based on real-world alliances. For example, a player can discuss funding allocation ideas with other country representatives in the same alliance. They can also talk with representatives from countries in other alliances. This provides the opportunity for countries that do not have a lot of money to have input with nations with more financial resources; they can advocate for their larger-nation counterparts to pledge more funds to help the environment.”

Once the players lock in their allocation decisions, the game takes the players to a screen that represents what the world will look like in five years.

“The game will show where we, as humans, are on the path to the outlined global temperature targets, which call for humans to limit the global average temperature rise to between 1.5 and 2 degrees above that of the pre-industrial age,” Reed added. “With those results, based on the percentage chance of a tipping point occurring (which is based on the temperature), we assess whether or not we have come closer to—or even surpassed—a climate tipping point. In the situation (within the game) that we have surpassed at a tipping point, we will then discuss the real-world effects.

Reed noted the game can simulate what could happen, based on sustaining the global temperature target (or surpassing the target range), as far as 50 years into the future.

He points to the world’s threatened coral reefs as an often-discussed example of negative outcomes resulting from nearing or surpassing climate tipping points. The disappearance of these extremely biodiverse ecosystems will have economic, social, and health consequences, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN, www.iucn.org/resources/issues-briefs/coral-reefs-and-climate-change).

The “Gaming Climate Change” researchers have plans to continue to tweak and improve the “Earth Remembers” game, as well as recruit even more climate negotiation delegates to play it at upcoming climate change conferences and events. They are still working through their plans to seek funding to extend the research project, as well as how to further develop the game for possible use by educators in high school and college-level classrooms.


The second annual Women in Data Science (WiDS) at Purdue University is set for Monday, March 4 in the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship in Discovery Park.

Started at Stanford in 2015, the WiDS initiative aims to inspire and educate data scientists worldwide, regardless of gender, and support women in the field. The annual global conference is now held in conjunction with many other entities around the world. At Purdue, the goal is to help build a community focused on data science and to inspire and raise awareness among students and community members about the opportunities for women in the data science field.

The daylong conference is set from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. in Morgan (MRGN) 121 and is open free to Purdue University students, faculty, staff, and individuals in industry who work in data science. Registration is required, and the deadline is noon, Monday, Feb. 25. Register online at http://go.lib.purdue.edu/wids/. Breakfast, lunch, and a networking reception will be available (please list any dietary restrictions via the online registration form).

“This year, we have an exciting lineup, including a keynote presentation, presentations by distinguished faculty, a workshop session, a panel discussion on data ethics, and poster presentations by students,” noted WiDS Purdue University 2019 Co-Ambassador Anna Subramaniam, administrator of library applications, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies. “In conjunction with dozens of other WiDS events worldwide, we will livestream some of the Stanford events, which, hopefully, will make for a unique and collaborative conference experience.”

Dimple Dhawan, a senior Purdue student majoring in computer science is serving as the 2019 WiDS co-ambassador with Subramaniam. The event is sponsored by the Department of Biochemistry, Purdue University Center for Cancer Research, Department of Computer Science, College of Engineering, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies, the Integrative Data Science Initiative (IDSI), and the College of Science.

The full conference schedule is also available at http://sites.lib.purdue.edu/wids/.

For more information about the WiDS Conference at Purdue, contact Subramaniam at subrama@purdue.edu.

Research and Writing Help in Hicks - Purdue Libraries Hone your research and writing skills with help from personnel in Purdue Libraries and the Purdue Writing Lab! Purdue University students can now set up one-on-one consultations—conveniently located in the Hicks Undergraduate Library—with members of Purdue Libraries faculty and/or Purdue Writing Lab personnel.

Libraries faculty can work with you on a number of research and scholarly communication topics including: research questions, literature review sources, and poster design. Libraries faculty can also connect you with others to discuss research methods exploration, data storage, data ethics, and more.

Writing Lab staff can work with you on any aspect of writing, including getting started, focusing your topic, integrating your research, developing your argument, genre conventions, and more.

  • Where: Hicks Library (outside the G980D classroom)
  • When: 2-5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoons
  • How: Sign up online, or drop in and go to the information desk at Hicks.

Sign up for research consultation at http://calendar.lib.purdue.edu/booking/researchconsult

Sign up for a writing consultation at https://cla.purdue.edu/wlschedule.


In March, Purdue Libraries will offer a special Tinkering Humanist Workshop series focused on text analysis. Led by Purdue Libraries Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities Matt Hannah and Library Assistant Trevor Burrows, the series will explore how to incorporate such methodologies as sentiment analysis and stylometrics into humanities research using the programming language R. The workshop instructors will also consider some of the practical and theoretical questions particular to these approaches.

The series schedule is listed below. Registration for each workshop is required.

  • Introduction to Text Analysis with R
    1–4 p.m. Tuesday, March 5
    Please note: this session is required to attend the other two sessions.
  • Sentiment Analysis with R
    2–4 p.m., Tuesday, March 19
  • Stylistic Analysis with R
    2–4 p.m., Tuesday, March 26

Register online at https://goo.gl/forms/u6KdezbBE4jgyDpm2. No previous programming experience is necessary, but participants should be comfortable with basic computer operations.

All sessions will be held in D-VELoP (Data Visualization Experience Lab of Purdue), located in the Wilmeth Active Learning Center (WALC 3045).

For more information, contact Assistant Professor Hannah at hannah8@purdue.edu.

Digital Humanities - Purdue University Libraries

Purdue Libraries’ Tinkering Humanist workshops are presented by Matt Hannah, assistant professor of digital humanities in Purdue Libraries and are designed to help instructors and researchers explore and “tinker” with new tools and technologies to use in their scholarship and teaching.

Explore the power of annotation for your research and instruction in a new “Annotating the Humanities” workshop courtesy of the Purdue University Libraries’ Tinkering Humanist Digital Humanities (DH) Workshop Series.

“Annotating the Humanities” is set from 2-4 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13, in the Data Visualization Experience Lab of Purdue (D-VELoP) in the Wilmeth Active Learning Center, room 3045. Registration is required.

According to Matthew Hannah, assistant professor of digital humanities in Purdue Libraries, the session will cover the challenges of building new digital tools with special guest Hongshan Li, graduate student in the Purdue University Department of Mathematics, who will share a new tool he built to annotate documents.

“These tools are perfect complements for courses because they require students to focus on texts and ‘mark up’ their reading. Hongshan will also share an exclusive first look at his annotation tool designed for classroom application,” Hannah explained. “In this session, we will also discuss the unique challenges of building DH tools.”

Register online at https://bit.ly/2Jja8m6. For more information, contact Assistant Professor Hannah at hannah8@purdue.edu.



Courtesy of Purdue Marketing and Media

Four finalists for dean of Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies will be on the West Lafayette campus for two-day interviews in late January and early February.

David Reingold, chair of the search committee and the Justin S. Morrill Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, says that as part of the process, each finalist will make a 35- to 40-minute public presentation and then take questions from the audience.

The Board of Trustees approved a new name for the unit — now called the Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies — during its meeting on Dec. 7. “The new name better reflects the teaching and scholarly contributions the Libraries faculty and staff are making to the broader University,” Reingold says.

Each candidate’s full curriculum vitae is on the search website, where a link for livestreaming of the candidate’s presentation can be found as well. Feedback on the candidates is requested, and an online feedback tool is located at the same site. The feedback link will be live after each candidate’s presentation.

“Learning technology, digital scholarship and data science are already having a material impact on our faculty, staff and students — and changing the role of libraries nationwide,” says Jay Akridge, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity. “We are a leader in many of these areas, and I’m looking forward to working with the new dean to help our Libraries and School of Information Studies move to even higher levels of national leadership, impact and service.”

Finalists and their presentation details are below:

* Beth McNeil, dean of library services and professor, Iowa State University — 11 a.m. Jan. 14, Stewart Center, Room 206.

* Maria Bonn, associate professor, School of Information Sciences, University of Illinois; former director, Scholarly Publishing Office, University of Michigan — 11 a.m. Jan. 28, Stewart Center, Room 302.

* Stephanie Walker, dean of libraries and information resources, University of North Dakota — 11 a.m. Jan. 31, Stewart Center, Room 218ABC.

* Evviva Weinraub, associate university librarian for collections and technologies, Northwestern University — 11 a.m. Feb. 4, Stewart Center, Room 206