Dean's Lecture

The Discipline of Organizing: The Intellectual Intersection of the Information Schools

Wednesday, October 3, 2012
4:10 pm to 5:30 pm
Robert J. Glushko

The Discipline of Organizing: The Intellectual Intersection of the Information Schools

The Discipline of Organizing: The Intellectual Intersection of the Information Schools

The Information School community suffers from a splintered identity, because the schools differ greatly in the problem domains emphasized, the degrees offered, the courses required, and the types of jobs found by graduates. But despite the obvious differences among them, we believe there is an intellectual intersection among the I Schools in the study of “Organizing Systems” — intentionally arranged collections of resources and the interactions they support. All organizing systems share common activities: identifying resources to be organized; organizing resources by describing and classifying them; designing resource-based interactions; and maintaining resources and organization over time. This framework exposes design concepts and patterns that apply to libraries, museums, business information systems, personal information management, and social computing contexts.

In this talk I will present the key ideas of the Organizing System perspective, discuss how it is being collaboratively taught this semester at several I Schools, and describe how its transdisciplinary character has inspired new concepts for customized e-books as its delivery platform.

Bob Glushko is an adjunct professor at the School of Information, where he has been since 2002.

Glushko has over thirty years of R&D, consulting, and entrepreneurial experience in information systems and service design, content management, electronic publishing, Internet commerce, and human factors in computing systems. He founded or co-founded four companies, including Veo Systems in 1997, which pioneered the use of XML for electronic business before its 1999 acquisition by Commerce One. Veo’s innovations included the Common Business Library (CBL), the first native XML vocabulary for business-to-business transactions, and the Schema for Object-Oriented XML (SOX), the first object-oriented XML schema language. From 1999–2002 he headed Commerce One’s XML architecture and technical standards activities and was named an engineering fellow in 2000. In 2008 he co-founded Document Engineering Services, an international consortium of expert consultants in standards for electronic business.

From 2005–2010, Glushko was a member of the board of directors for OASIS, an international consortium that drives the development, convergence, and adoption of “open standards for the global information society,” and is currently on the board of directors for the Open Data Foundation, dedicated to the adoption of global metadata standards for statistical data. He is the President of the Robert J. Glushko and Pamela Samuelson Foundation, which sponsors the annual Rumelhart Prize in Cognitive Science.

In 2011 he was named one of 50 UCSD Alumni Leaders by the UC San Diego Alumni Association to celebrate the university’s 50th anniversary.

Last updated:

August 23, 2016