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UMSI Awards & Honors: April 2024

Recent UMSI awards and honors.

Tuesday, 04/09/2024

University of Michigan School of Information researchers are addressing real-world problems through their work. Each day, UMSI faculty and PhD students are thinking through complex issues like privacy and security, the ethics of artificial intelligence, how best to use technology to leverage better health outcomes and meaningful practices for archiving works from marginalized communities. 

Their accomplishments are recognized both nationally and internationally. See their most recent achievements below. 

University of Michigan School of Information doctoral student Tam Rayan earned a 2024 Anti-Racist Digital Research Institute grant. Their project, “Al-Shatat: A Digital Archive for the Palestinian Diaspora” will facilitate a series of community ideation workshops with the southeast Michigan Palestinian community. 

The outcome of the project will be a digital archive preserving the community’s history while facilitating interaction and the sharing of cultural knowledge between Palestinians worldwide.

“This is coming out of pre-candidacy research and ethnographic work with Palestinians in southeast Michigan and asking questions of how they are documenting themselves in diaspora and what informal memory work practices they are engaged in,” Rayan says. “For second and third generation Palestinians, stories and memories are passed down, and I’m looking for sustainable long-term preservation practices.” 

Rayan is a second-year PhD student. Their work researches how traditional archival methods can be bridged with digital infrastructure to better preserve the recordkeeping needs of ethnic groups with unique intergenerational traumas. 

“I'm excited to take part in the Anti-Racist Digital Research Institute and learn about more inclusive and social justice oriented practices,” Rayan says. 

UMSI professor Lionel Robert was recognized as a senior member of the Institute for Operational Research and the Management Sciences. As a senior member, Robert was appreciated for his involvement, contribution and engagement with INFORMS. 

“I am honored that INFORMS has recognized my contributions to the field of operations research and management science,” Robert says. 

INFORMS is the largest professional association for decision and data sciences. Robert’s research focuses on human-robot collaboration, the use of technology in the workplace and the impact of automation on the economy. 

UMSI doctoral candidate Anjali Singh earned a 2024 best short paper award at the Learning Analytics and Knowledge conference. Her paper, “Bridging Learnersourcing and AI: Exploring the Dynamics of Student-AI Collaborative Feedback Generation” explores artificial intelligence's role in enhancing student learning when students engage in content generation tasks such as writing hints. 

Singh’s research studies how students’ learning outcomes can be improved by making their learning more active, engaging and meaningful. Her research is centered on systems that harness the power of learnersourcing, where students contribute educational content while engaging in creative learning activities.

“Data collected from students' interactions with learning platforms can often provide valuable insights for designing new learning experiences and measuring the impact of new designs,” Singh says. “This is why I decided to enter the field of learning analytics. What fascinates me about this field is how tangible the impacts are of the research people do and the highly interdisciplinary nature of researchers in this field.” 

Singh is a fifth-year PhD candidate. She is expected to graduate in the summer or fall of 2024. 

“It was an honor to win this award, and I feel grateful to the LAK committee members for recognizing our work and validating the importance of the research I do,” she says.

Singh is also grateful for the help of her advisers, Christopher Brooks and Xu Wang, as well as her coauthors Juho KimDeepti Wilson and Warren Li


Learn more about the UMSI PhD in Information program and apply today! 

Read research from UMSI faculty and PhD students by subscribing to the UMSI research roundup


— Noor Hindi, UMSI public relations specialist