The Alliance will be a catalyst for transdisciplinary dialogue and research on evolving issues related to the role of information in our lives. By identifying shared challenges and encouraging innovative solutions, the Alliance seeks to facilitate a future in which information in all its forms can be an effective resource for everyone.
WANTED: PROGRAMMERS, SCIENTISTS AND CIVIC HACKERS
Create data-driven applications that increase public engagement and aid in
Chesapeake Bay restoration.
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
August 1-3, 2014
Initiated by Governor O'Malley, organized by the Future of Information Alliance, hosted by the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, and in collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Congratulations to the FIA-Deutsch Seed Grant Competition seed grant teams! The four interdisciplinary teams of FIA-Deutsch Seed Grant Fellows and one team of FIA-Seed Grant Honorees included 22 students and six faculty mentors from 9 UMD colleges and schools!
Highlights from a Week-Long Exploration Organized by the Future of Information Alliance at the University of Maryland Dec. 2-6, 2013
Full list of speakers - see below*; video produced by Jayne Gould
Even in the midst of an information explosion, the information treasures that make up vast parts of our cultural heritage are in danger of being lost, forgotten, or neglected. What new technologies can be harnessed to help us better access, understand and use the past? With support from the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation and the University of Maryland, the Future of Information Alliance and its partners welcome “Future-ists” who are on the cutting edge of exploring these issues, ranging from innovative uses of satellites and 3D imaging, to confronting the challenges of archiving social movements.
As stewards of our cultural heritage in an era of declining resources, how can we best keep the past preserved and alive for future generations? This FIA event hosted by the National Park Service at Fort McHenry included a discussion about the value of both place-based learning and virtual tools for engaging students and their teachers with history. The presenters have backgrounds in history, K-12 education, national parks as sites for learning, and Internet-based teaching and research.
A live WAMU 88.5 broadcast of the Kojo Nnamdi Show was held at the National Geographic Society’s Grosvenor Auditorium. The first hour focused on ways that modern-day explorers can carry out archaeology from space, from the depths of the ocean, and by using ground-penetrating high-tech tools. In the second hour, thought leaders from the Smithsonian Institution discussed the future of museums and the power of new digital tools to understand and investigate the past.
The Newseum hosted a program exploring the unparalleled challenges associated with the rapid expansion of content across all forms of media. Preservation and management of born-digital and other materials faces an array of obstacles - technical, financial, legal, and cultural - that were discussed by innovators working on searchable audio, the evolution of web search, and the archiving of children’s television and social movements.
This closing event brought together all of our FIA partners to reflect on the week’s events. They discussed with each other and with the audience ways of enhancing the “future of the past” through interdisciplinary research and action. Ten FIA partner representatives shared the stage with Dan Russell, Google’s “director of user happiness,” and other participants from the week’s programs.
*Speaking in the highlights video (in order of first appearance), are:
Kojo Nnamdi, host of the Kojo Nnamdi Show on WAMU 88.5
Amy Rosenkrans, Director of Humanities at Baltimore City Public Schools
Fred Hiebert, archaeologist, explorer and National Geographic Fellow
Sarah Parcak, founding director, University of Alabama Laboratory for Global Observation
Nick Pyenson, curator, Department of Paleobiology, National Museum of Natural History
Günter Waibel, director, Smithsonian Institution’s Digitization Program Office
G. Wayne Clough, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution
Paul Sparrow, Senior Vice President for Broadcasting and New Media, the Newseum
Howard Besser, Professor of Cinema Studies at New York University
Daniel Russell, Google’s “director of user happiness”
The Future of Information Alliance is a campus-wide initiative facilitated by the Office of the Vice President for Research with participation from every academic college and co-directed by Professor Allison Druin of the iSchool, and Associate Professor Ira Chinoy of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism.