| SoIC News

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Dr. Katy Börner, Victor H. Yngve Professor of Information Science, is actively involved in helping to interpret Big Data in new ways. Her research extends beyond the university to reach people all over the world. Here are a couple of examples of how she is working to help “make sense of Big Data.”


  1. Visual Insights: A Practical Guide to Making Sense of Big Data was published in earlier this year by MIT Press. Börner co-authored the book with alumnus David E. Polley (MIS/MLS’12) who had been a research staff member of her Cyberinfrastructure for Network Science Center. The book is one of the resources for her Spring 2015 ILS-Z637 class on Information Visualization.

    A quote by Benjamin Franklin is included on her class page: “TELL me, I forget, SHOW me, I remember, INVOLVE me, I understand.” This quote highlights her approach to teaching.

  2. In addition to teaching ILS-Z637 Information Visualization as an on-campus class, she is offering the course online to students in the new Data Science program. She is also offering it as an IV-MOOC.

  3. The Places and Spaces: Mapping Science Exhibit recently celebrated 10 years and completion of 100 maps. The exhibit has travelled the world. The exhibit website displays all 100 maps, and introduces them in ways to help people from all ages and backgrounds understand them. The “What IS a Science Map?” section helps answer the question

    A brief excerpt gives an introduction:

    “Today, our opportunities for discovery reside less in physical places than in abstract spaces. The sea of information is one such space, and it is ever growing, ever changing. Search engines can retrieve facts from this ocean of data, but they cannot answer larger questions about the seascape as a whole: How big is this ocean? How can we navigate to the useful islands of knowledge? How is knowledge interlinked on a global scale? In which areas is it worth investing time, effort, and resources? Drawing from across cultures and across scholarly disciplines, Places & Spaces demonstrates the power of maps to address these vital questions about the contours and content of human knowledge.”


    • The exhibit is currently at the University of Miami, in Coral Gables, FL where it is on exhibit through December 11, 2014.
    • The exhibit next travels to Duke University in Durham, NC, where it is scheduled to open in mid-January and will remain on display until mid-April of 2015.
    • After that the exhibit will travel to the Galter Health Sciences Library at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL. The exhibit will be at Northwestern May 1-September 30, 2015.

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