GOOGLE, TWITTER AND MICROSOFT FUTURE-ISTS ASK, “WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF INFORMATION?”

The University of Maryland is leading the way in questioning how to address the scale and ever-changing nature of information through the creation of the  Future of Information Alliance.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - What is the future of information? Is it exciting? Is it scary? Leading innovators from Google, Microsoft and Twitter will spend the week of November 14 at the University of Maryland to share ideas and engage in conversations about the future of information with students, faculty and staff from across the College Park campus.

The Visiting Future-ists are: Dan Russell, Google's "director of user happiness," who leads efforts to improve the effectiveness of web searching; Mary Czerwinski, who manages the research on human-computer interaction at Microsoft and focuses on information visualization, group awareness and lifelogging; and Abdur Chowdhury, former chief scientist at Twitter, who has been working to improve the ability to separate "signal" from "noise" in the explosion of information on the Web.

Their visit marks the launch of the Future of Information Alliance (FIA) at the University of Maryland, an endeavor unusual in its reach across disciplines to focus in a collaborative way on one of the hallmarks of our time: the evolving role of information in our lives. The Alliance was created to serve as a catalyst for such transdisciplinary dialogue and research. By identifying shared challenges and encouraging innovative solutions, the Alliance seeks to create a future in which information in all its forms can be an effective resource for everyone.

During their week at Maryland, the three "Visiting Future-ists" from Google, Twitter and Microsoft will take part in four on-campus programs, another at the Newseum's Knight Conference Center that will air later on Maryland Public television, and an appearance live on the Kojo Nnamdi radio program on WAMU 88.5 in Washington, D.C.

In addition to the Alliance’s three "Visiting Future-ists," panels during the week will feature University of Maryland faculty whose scholarly research and creative work across a wide variety of interests – the Arab Spring, food safety, the arts, entrepreneurship, environmental sustainability, mobile computing, social disparities, and more – all intersect around one theme: the challenges and opportunities at hand and ahead in the role that information does play or might play in our lives.

The Future of Information Alliance is directed by Ira Chinoy, Associate Professor in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, and Allison Druin, Associate Dean for Research in Maryland’s iSchool.

The Alliance and the events of Future of Information Week have support and involvement from every academic college at the University of Maryland, College Park campus.

The FIA’s founding partners to date include the Newseum, the National Archives, the Library of Congress, the National Geographic Society, the Smithsonian Institution, the U.S. National Park Service, Sesame Workshop and WAMU Radio.

The FIA website establishes an online community designed to be a catalyst for networking across all disciplines. Twitter feeds using the hashtag #UMDfia will help create an ongoing and interactive discussion in this online community. Video recordings from the FIA week of events will also be made available on the website.

EVENTS:

All campus events require free registration. See the Future of Information Alliance website for more information.

Visiting Future-ists - Opening Program
November 14, 2011
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Stamp Student Union, Colony Ballroom

Tech Tuesday on WAMU 88.5
November 15, 2011
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Tune in to 88.5FM or visit the Kojo Nnamdi website to listen on-line to our Visiting Future-ists

Newseum Reception and Program hosted by WAMU's Kojo Nnamdi
7 p.m -9 p.m.
November 15, 2011
By personal invitation only, with advance registration
(Media coverage welcome - please register)

Creativity and Culture
November 16, 2011
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Stamp Student Union, Colony Ballroom

Transparency and Boundaries
November 17, 2011
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Stamp Student Union, Colony Ballroom

Science in Our Lives
November 18, 2011
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Stamp Student Union, Colony Ballroom

MEDIA:

Media coverage is welcome for all events. The Tuesday night event at the Newseum requires registration (see below) If you are interested in one-on-ones with our Visiting Future-ists you will also need to register with either Ted Knight or Dave Ottalini (see information below):

            •           Monday November 14 following the opening event in the Colony Ballroom at noon and;

            •           Thursday, November 17: Join us for lunch and media availability afterwards in the nearby Hornbake Library until 2 p.m.

Parking is available on campus in the Union Lane Garage next to the Stamp Student Union.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Follow the FIA all week on Twitter: @FIAumd . We will also be using the hashtag: #UMDLeads.

CONTACT:

For more information or for media registration for any of the FIA events, please contact:

Ted Knight
Director of Research Communications and Government and Corporate Outreach
University of Maryland
301-405-3596 (office)
teknight@umd.edu

David Ottalini
Senior Media Relations Associate
Strategic Communications
University of Maryland
301-405-4076 (office)
dottalin@umd.edu

About the University of Maryland

The University of Maryland is the state's flagship university and one of the nation's preeminent public research universities. Ranked No. 18 among public universities by U.S. News & World Report, it has 32 academic programs in the U.S News Top 10 and 73 in the Top 25. The Institute of Higher Education (Jiao Tong University, Shanghai), which ranks the world's top universities based on research, puts Maryland at No. 36 in the world and No. 12 among U.S. public universities. The university has produced six Nobel laureates, seven Pulitzer Prize winners, more than 40 members of the national academies and scores of Fulbright scholars. The university is recognized for its diversity, with underrepresented students comprising one-third of the student population. For more information about the University of Maryland, visit www.umd.edu .

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The University of Maryland is the state's flagship university and one of the nation's preeminent public research universities. Ranked No. 18 among public universities by U.S. News & World Report, it has 32 academic programs in the U.S News Top 10 and 73 in the Top 25. The university is recognized for its diversity, with underrepresented students comprising one-third of the student population. emailum@umd.edu.

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