Tag Archive | education

JCOM Special Issue on Citizen Science

Dear all,

We are pleased to announce publication of the first issue of JCOM for 2016.


We are delighted to publish the first in a two part series exploring Citizen Science. Following a call for papers, Bruce Lewenstein and Emma Weitkamp received 37 manuscripts. Following review, it was clear that we would need two issues to accommodate the many worthy submissions. This newsletter introduces the essays and research papers that form part one of the Special Issue. April will see the publication of part two, and the final papers accepted through the call. We thank all the authors submitting manuscripts and the many reviewers contributing their time to peer review papers.


Can we understand citizen science?
Bruce V. Lewenstein

Citizen science is one of the most dramatic developments in science communication in the last generation. But analyses of citizen science, of what it means for science and especially for science communication, have just begun to appear. Articles in this first of two special issues of JCOM address three intertwined concerns in this emerging field: The motivation of citizen science participants, the relationship of citizen science with education, and the implications of participation for creation of democratic engagement in science-linked issues. Ultimately these articles contribute to answering the core question: What does citizen science mean?

Read More…


The Importance of Spatial Thinking

by Kirk Goldsberry, Harvard Business Review, September 30, 2013

In its 375 years, Harvard has only ever eliminated one entire academic program. If you had to guess, what program do you think that was and when was it killed off? The answer: Harvard eradicated its Geography Department in the 1940s, and many universities followed suit. … As I look out on the world of data visualization, I see a lot of reinventing of the wheel precisely because so many young, talented visualizers lack geographical training. … Which brings us back to the sheer lack of geographical training available.”

To read this thoughtful and timely essay, visit: http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/09/teaching-and-learning-visualiz/


New NRC Report: Future U.S. Workforce for Geospatial Intelligence

Mapping Sciences Committee, National Research Council Preview Report Release, Jan 2013

Committee on the Future U.S. Workforce for Geospatial Intelligence; Board on Earth Sciences and Resources; Board on Higher Education and Workforce; Division on Earth and Life Studies; National Research Council

Abstract: We live in a changing world with multiple and evolving threats to national security, including terrorism, asymmetrical warfare (conflicts between agents with different military powers or tactics), and social unrest. Visually depicting and assessing these threats using imagery and other geographically-referenced information is the mission of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). As the nature of the threat evolves, so do the tools, knowledge, and skills needed to respond. The challenge for NGA is to maintain a workforce that can deal with evolving threats to national security, ongoing scientific and technological advances, and changing skills and expectations of workers.

Future U.S. Workforce for Geospatial Intelligence assesses the supply of expertise in 10 geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) fields, including 5 traditional areas (geodesy and geophysics, photogrammetry, remote sensing, cartographic science, and geographic information systems and geospatial analysis) and 5 emerging areas that could improve geospatial intelligence (GEOINT fusion, crowdsourcing, human geography, visual analytics, and forecasting). The report also identifies gaps in expertise relative to NGA’s needs and suggests ways to ensure an adequate supply of geospatial intelligence expertise over the next 20 years.

To download a PDF copy of the report, visit Future U.S. Workforce for Geospatial Intelligence.


NSF Issues IGERT Solicitation Focused on Big Data

Logo of the National Science Foundation (NSF)....

Logo of the National Science Foundation (NSF). For NSF logo information visit: http://www.nsf.gov/policies/logos.jsp (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

by Erwin Gianchandi, the Computing Community Consortium blog, April 23, 2012

The National Science Foundation (NSF) last week issued a new solicitation under its Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program, providing a specific track for training the next generation of researchers in computational and data-enabled science and engineering. The solicitation is part of the Foundation’s (and Administration’s) Big Data Initiative, which was announced last month.

According to the new solicitation (emphasis added):

“Building upon the IGERT platform, the purpose of this IGERT solicitation is to support new models in graduate education in which students are engaged in an environment that supports innovation to learn through hands-on experience how their own research may contribute in new ways to benefit society and to learn the processes for the successful implementation of such contributions.

Within the Cyberinfrastructure Framework for 21st Century Science and Engineering (CIF21) and IGERT, NSF recognizes the need to educate and support a next generation of researchers able to address fundamental challenges in 1) core techniques and technologies for advancing big data science and engineering; 2) analyzing and dealing with challenging computational and data enabled science and engineering (CDS&E) problems, and 3) researching, providing, and using the cyberinfrastructure that makes cutting-edge CDS&E research possible in any and all disciplines.

Read More…


The Media Map: Who’s Reading What And Where

Forbes Magazine‘s The Media Map: Who’s Reading What And Where, March 22, 2012

[Forbes] worked with Bitly and its data on millions of Web clicks to find the most influential media outlets in the country. This map shows which news sources are read and shared at above-average levels by state. …To check out this cool interactive map, visit The Media Map: Who’s Reading What And Where [Interactive] – Forbes.

Perhaps it is not a surprise that, according to this map, Wisconsinites and Minnesotans are reading The Onion. Go Badgers!!


Solove on the PII Problem: Privacy and a New Concept of Personally Identifiable Information

From Politico’s Morning Tech, January 4, 2012: HAPPENING TODAY:  The first is the official release of a new paper by professors Paul Schwartz and Daniel Solove on “PII 2.0,” at Microsoft’s D.C. headquarters and featuring a panel discussion afterward with reps from the FTC, ACLU and others. That begins at 9 a.m. For more information, click here.

On SSRN: The PII Problem: Privacy and a New Concept of Personally Identifiable Information

by Paul M. Schwartz, University of California, Berkeley – School of Law, and Daniel J. Solove, George Washington University Law School

  • New York University Law Review, Vol. 86, p. 1814, 2011
  • UC Berkeley Public Law Research Paper No. 1909366
  • GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 584
  • GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 584

Abstract: Personally identifiable information (PII) is one of the most central concepts in information privacy regulation. The scope of privacy laws typically turns on whether PII is involved. The basic assumption behind the applicable laws is that if PII is not involved, then there can be no privacy harm. At the same time, there is no uniform definition of PII in information privacy law. Moreover, computer science has shown that in many circumstances non-PII can be linked to individuals, and that de-identified data can be re-identified. PII and non-PII are thus not immutable categories, and there is a risk that information deemed non-PII at one time can be transformed into PII at a later juncture. Due to the malleable nature of what constitutes PII, some commentators have even suggested that PII be abandoned as the mechanism by which to define the boundaries of privacy law.

In this Article, we argue that although the current approaches to PII are flawed, the concept of PII should not be abandoned. We develop a new approach called “PII 2.0,” which accounts for PII’s malleability. Based upon a standard rather than a rule, PII 2.0 utilizes a continuum of risk of identification. PII 2.0 regulates information that relates to either an “identified” or “identifiable” individual, and it establishes different requirements for each category. To illustrate this theory, we use the example of regulating behavioral marketing to adults and children. We show how existing approaches to PII impede the effective regulation of behavioral marketing, and how PII 2.0 would resolve these problems.

For full text of the article, visit The PII Problem: Privacy and a New Concept of Personally Identifiable Information by Paul Schwartz, Daniel Solove :: SSRN.


The Negligible Role of Fees as a Barrier to Public Access Computing in Developing Countries

by Melody Clark, University of Washington, and Ricardo Gomez, University of Washington

ABSTRACT: Public access to computers and the Internet can play an important role in social and economic development if it effectively helps to meet the needs of underserved populations. Public access venues such as libraries, telecentres and cybercafés are sometimes free, and sometime charge user fees. User fees can be an important barrier to use of public access venues, especially among underserved communities in developing countries. This paper analyzes the role of user fees and other critical barriers in the use of computers in public access venues in 25 developing countries around the world. Results of this study suggest that digital literacy of staff and local relevance of content may be more important than fees in determining user preference for public access venues. These findings are important to public libraries, which tend to offer free services, but where perceptions of digital literacy of staff and locally relevant content tend to be lowest, compared to telecentres and cybercafés, according to the results of this study. More attention to digital literacy of staff and availability of locally relevant content may be more important than free services to meet the information needs of underserved populations.

Clark M., Gomez R. (2011) The negligible role of fees as a barrier to public access computing in developing countries. The Electronic journal of information systems in developing countries (EJISDC) 46:1-14. http://www.ejisdc.org/ojs2/index.php/ejisdc/article/download/768/351

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