| Cornell University Library: InsideCUL

The following is an article from the Cornell University Library. Read the original article on the web here, or download a PDF of the article here.

Kathy Chiang, who has worked in CUL since 1984, was selected to be the recipient of the Ans van Tienhoven Award on its twentieth anniversary. She received the $1,000 award on October 12 at an afternoon ceremony in Warren Hall. Kathy plans to use the funds to investigate the practical applications of information visualization, which refers to the use of interactive visual interfaces to retrieve data from large, complex datasets.

The Ans van Tienhoven Award is presented annually to a Mann librarian for travel and professional development. In 1987 Dr. Ari van Tienhoven, a professor emeritus of animal science, established the award in honor of his wife, Ans van Tienhoven, who shared with her husband a deep appreciation of the role that library staff play in making top-quality education and research possible.

“Wives and librarians are the two more-underrated professions in the world, “Dr. van Tienhoven quipped when he established the award. The celebration of this award remedies that by honoring both Ans van Tienhoven and the work of the library. Ans van Tienhoven passed away unexpectedly last November, so this was first year the ceremony occurred without her presence. Standing in to preside over this year’s award celebration was the couple’s daughter, Arianne Tepper.

From scanning technologies to ontologies, the award has fostered innovation, collaboration, and new technical skills among Mann staff. Kathy is interested in the field of information visualization and visual analytics. Given Cornell’s recent focus on e-science and cyberinfrastructure, her investigation into interactive visual interfaces for retrieving information from large digital databases and datasets will benefit students, researchers, and scholars campuswide.

Kathy plans to visit Dr. Chaomei Chen, of Drexel University, a leading researcher on empirical studies of information visualization, and gather information about the latest uses and testing of those tools. She will also invite Dr. Katy Borner, the director of the information visualization laboratory at Indiana University, to give a seminar at Cornell and speak to library staff as well as others from departments such as computer science and science and technology studies.

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