The School of Information kicked off the 2009–10 academic year by welcoming 41 new students to South Hall.
The 38 members of the MIMS Class of 2011 arrived on campus on Tuesday, August 25, for a day-long orientation, before beginning classes on Wednesday.
The majority of the new master's students are returning to school from the working world, with an average of six years of experience in information-related fields. One-third are international students, from countries such as France, Germany, India, Malaysia, Mexico, South Africa, and Switzerland.
The students' accomplishments before joining the I School are wide-ranging and varied.
One was an information services manager for the Girl Scouts, where she developed an "Online Cookie Finder". Another comes from the biotech industry, where he worked on clinical trials for a potential HIV vaccine. Another is an entrepreneur and the founder of Green Grove Media, an eco-friendly social network.
One new student is a career journalist for newspapers such as the San Jose Mercury News; another is a technology writer for CNET, ZDNet, and Salon.com; and another has written for The Onion's entertainment newspaper (The Onion A.V. Club).
One new student is a National Defense Service Medal recipient and an officer in the US Coast Guard, where she supports a variety of IT and cryptographic systems.
As an undergraduate at UC Berkeley, one new student was a staff photographer for the Daily Californian and a member of the track & field team, where he set the university's indoor 800 meter record.
Another new student was responsible for the the launch of Creative Commons South Africa and worked with Lawrence Lessig (founder of Creative Commons) and Jimmy Wales (founder of Wikipedia) on the iCommons Board of Directors.
The I School also welcomes three new doctoral students this year, chosen from a pool of over 80 applicants.
Jennifer King comes to the I School Ph.D. program from the Samuelson Law, Technology, and Public Policy Clinic at the UC Berkeley School of Law. She is interested in how law and policy shape society, particularly in the areas of information privacy and surveillance, and advocates an interdisciplinary approach to these issues. In her doctoral studies, King hopes to bridge the gap between legal analysis, technical approaches, policy-based solutions, and an understanding of the social implications of the challenges of privacy and surveillance.
Ashwin Mathew plans to focus on the relationship between society's social, political, and economic norms and the core design of Internet protocols, contributing toward a theory of the political economy of the Internet infrastructure. In particular, he is interested in exploring how the Internet spreads geographically, using the evolution of Internet backbone networks in Africa as a microcosm of the relevant technical and political issues.
Yiming Liu is interested in exploring the intersection of Internet systems and HCI, especially in the design of information systems and the development of automated techniques to improve the user experience of such systems. As the Internet enables the collection of vast datasets of social network data, location-based information, and personal metadata collections, Liu is interested in exploring how intelligent systems can use this information to improve user experiences and deliver new insights into how users interact with the information around them.