Research Projects

Principal Investigator: Myeong Lee, Shiyun Chen, Yuheng Zhang
The urban renewal project was a national effort in the 1960s and 1970s to transform “blighted” neighborhoods into living spaces such as public housing and modern amenities with an emphasis on economic values.
Principal Investigator: Beth St. Jean
Although youth are increasingly going online to fulfill their needs for information, many youth struggle with information and digital literacy skills, such as the abilities to conduct a search and assess the credibility of online information. In order to investigate youths’ conceptions of the Google search engine, a drawing activity was conducted with 26 HackHealth after-school program participants to elicit their mental models of Google.
Principal Investigator: Eun Kyoung Choe
Self-monitoring for older adults and surgical patients can be difficult but beneficial–increased awareness, reduced negative behaviors, goal setting. This research looks at whether combining manual and automatic tracking (semi-automated tracking) can promote user engagement while reducing user burden for the best data collection.
Principal Investigator: Andrea Wiggins
Citizen science is a form of collaboration that engages non-professionals as contributors to scientific research, typically through the processes of gathering, transforming or analyzing data.
Principal Investigator: Jennifer J. Preece
This project engages members of racially and economically diverse communities in identifying and carrying out environmental projects that are meaningful to their lives, and adapts technology known as NatureNet to assist them. NatureNet, which encompasses a cell phone app, a multi-user, touch-based tabletop display and a web-based community, was developed with prior NSF support.
Principal Investigator: Ricardo L. Punzalan
Dr. Punzalan has been actively pursuing research that to help libraries, archives, and museums better document and assess the impact of access to their digitized ethnographic archives.
Principal Investigator: Gagan Jindal
Drawing on an exploratory study involving 15 semi-structured in-depth interviews with individuals who have chronic health conditions, this study investigates their experiences searching for information on local resources to manage their health more effectively.
Principal Investigator: Xiaoyun Huang
In most systems, the digital footprints people leave behind are archived by default, whether it’s a message sent in Facebook’s Messenger app or every edit made on a Google Doc. Automatic archiving supports collaboration, provides backup or evidence when needed, helps people reminisce, and supports reflection.
Principal Investigator: Fiona Jardine
Human milk (HM) is regarded as optimal nutrition for infants and the perfect version of milk for the first years of life.
Principal Investigator: Mega M. Subramaniam
This project responds to the IMLS National Leadership Grants for Libraries (funding category: Research in Service to Practice), focusing specifically on helping library staff evaluate and improve computational thinking (CT) programming for youth (ages 11-18).
Principal Investigator: Vanessa Frias-Martinez
This project envisions mobile cyber-physical systems (CPS) where people carrying cell phones generate large amounts of location information that is used to sense, compute and monitor human interactions with the physical environment during environmental dislocations.
Principal Investigator: Katie Shilton
Mobile data are one of the fastest emerging forms of personal data. Ensuring the privacy and security of these data are critical challenges for the mobile device ecosystem. Mobile applications are easy to build and distribute, and can collect a large variety of sensitive personal data.
Principal Investigator: Niklas Elmqvist
This project seeks to learn how we can use the existing ecosystem of networked devices in our surroundings to make sense of and exploit massive, heterogeneous, and multi-scale data anywhere and at any time.
Principal Investigator: Katie Shilton
This project will study academic and commercial software research and development (R&D) to discover factors that encourage discussion and action on ethical challenges.
Principal Investigator: Katie Shilton
Computer security researchers navigate ethical dilemmas about how to use big data and shared networked resources to discover vulnerabilities; how to safely expose vulnerabilities; and how to best ensure that vulnerabilities are fixed.
Principal Investigator: Katie Shilton, Jessica Vitak, Richard Marciano, Greg Jansen
The increasing scope and scale of pervasive data about people has enabled fundamentally new computational research. Simultaneously, changes in scale, scope, speed, and depth of data availability require reconsideration of the ethical calculus for computational research.
Principal Investigator: Susan Winter
This research will develop a foundational tool for understanding how civic technologies are used and how information inequalities manifest in a city. User data from new civic technologies that reveal inequalities in the information environments of citizens has only recently become available.
Principal Investigator: Joel Chan
Comparisons between two things are useful to support creative thinking and reasoning. Many important breakthroughs in science and technology were driven by analogy: observing water led the Greek philosopher Chrysippus to speculate that sound was a wave phenomenon; an analogy to a bicycle allowed the Wright brothers to design a steerable aircraft.
Principal Investigator: Philip Piety, Susan G. Campbell
Collaboration in the Future of Work: Developing Playable Case Studies to Improve STEM Career Pathways is a project by three collaborating institutions to develop curricular modules, formative and summative assessments, and learning analytics to be inserted into undergraduate courses supported by a Playable Case Study (PCS) infrastructure.
Principal Investigator: Philip Piety
This project aims to serve the national interest by implementing educational simulations to improve career preparation among STEM students. There is a shortage of qualified workers in many STEM careers, including cybersecurity and data science.
Principal Investigator: Keith Marzullo
Emotion regulation (ER) is an essential skill in the workplace and everyday life. Failure to manage the type, intensity, and duration of emotions can result in not just misunderstandings, but also damage to people, relationships, and organizations.
Principal Investigator: Katie Shilton, Jessica Vitak
Increasingly pervasive data about people enables fundamentally new computational research. Simultaneously, changes in scale, scope, speed, and depth of data availability require reconsideration of ethics for computational research. Much work addressing ethics for big and pervasive data proceeds from first principles, applying traditional tenets of research ethics to computational data research.
Principal Investigator: Yuhan Luo
The decision-making circuitry of people’s food choices can be complicated, which involves both conscious and unconscious thoughts; what to eat, when to eat, how much to eat, and when to stop eating. Rather than being deliberate, food decisions are usually “automatic,” because they are the result of the interplay between one’s physiological cues such as feelings of hunger and external cues such as food labels, package size, and social context. Therefore, people often fail to effectively regulate their food decisions even if they have the goal of maintaining a healthy diet.
Principal Investigator: Mega M. Subramaniam, Kelly M. Hoffman
The article, titled “Using Technology to Support Equity and Inclusion in Youth Library Programming: Current Practices and Future Opportunities,” describes the findings of the first year of the three-year IMLS-funded ConnectedLib project.
Principal Investigator: Philip Piety
A prestigious, invited literature review paper is in progress, but the author and reviewers think it would be an even stronger paper with some more research into relevant literature.

Principal Investigator: Paul T. Jaeger, Ana Ndumu
The University of Maryland iSchool is seeking $101,593 to host the Counted In: National Forum on Libraries, Census 2020, and New Americans, a one-day pre-conference event on promoting census participation among immigrants.
Principal Investigator: Yla Tausczik
Online communities, from question and answer sites to general-purpose discussion forums, are increasingly working to solve hard problems together, often through a process of open sharing and discussion of ideas and information.
Principal Investigator: Gagan Jindal, Beth St. Jean
Individuals with chronic health conditions often do not translate knowledge of appropriate health behaviors to manage their condition into active lifestyle changes.
Principal Investigator: Alisha Pradhan
Smart speaker-based voice assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google assistant, etc. have an increasing presence in many users’ everyday activities. Compared to smartphone-based voice assistants (e.g., Siri on a smartphone), smart speakers have unique qualities.