The iSchools are pleased to announce that Dr. Maia Jacobs of the Georgia Tech iSchool has been named winner of the 2019 iSchools Doctoral Dissertation Award. The runner up is Dr. Jennifer King of the UC Berkeley iSchool. The iSchools organization congratulates both honorees on their achievement. The pair will be recognized at the upcoming iConference 2019 in Washington DC.
The iSchools Doctoral Dissertation Award recognizes the best iSchool dissertations of the preceding year. Nominations are solicited from all members of the iSchools organization, now approaching 100 institutions worldwide, and judged by an award committee drawn from leading international schools. The winner receives a cash prize of $2,500 US, the runner up $1,000. This year’s committee was chaired by Prof. Tawanna Dillahunt of the University of Michigan (USA) and Prof. Voker Wulf of the University of Siegen (Germany).
Dr. Jacobs’ winning dissertation is titled Personalized Mobile Tools to Support the Cancer Trajectory. The Award Committee felt it was timely and important, and lauded its impact in how patients manage their health. “Dr. Jacobs’ thesis Personalized Mobile Tools to Support the Cancer Trajectory contributes MyPath, an adaptive system that provides personalized support to patients throughout their cancer journey, including diagnosis, treatment, and post-treatment survivorship. Her research provides insight into the usability of recommender systems within a health context and finds promise in recommendations that stimulate coping behaviors. Dr. Jacobs’ dissertation stands out because of its strong contributions to health informatics, HCI, and innovative methods that can be used across these fields. The thesis was well-written, the research questions well designed, and Dr. Jacobs did an outstanding job of putting her research questions into context making it the clear winner for this year’s competition.”
The Committee had this to say about the work of runner-up Dr. King: “In the thesis Privacy, Disclosure, and Social Exchange Theory, the author uses Social Exchange Theory (SET) to explore reasons why individuals decide to disclose personal information to companies. The object of exchange implied by this approach draws on rather strong background assumptions like an objective givenness or unity of information as an object of study. Granted that individuals entertain relationships to companies it may indeed be worthwhile to analyze the impact of such relationships on the disclosure of private information in return for gratifications expected. The assumption about the applicability of SET to privacy issues is tested by empirical methods, i.e. qualitative interviews and three online surveys. The author provides clear descriptions of the methods and reasons for using each approach and also delivers a satisfying discussion of the theory.“
Dr. Jacobs and Dr. King will be recognized during a presentation at iConference 2019, which takes place March 31 – April 3 in Washington DC. iConference 2019 is expected to draw more than 500 information scholars and researchers from around the world, and registration is open now, with discounted early rates available through Jan. 21.
The iSchools will begin accepting nominations for next year’s Doctoral Dissertation Award in July. All member schools are invited to submit a nomination. The iSchools Doctoral Dissertation Award was established in 2013 to honor outstanding work in the information field. Details on previous honorees can be found here.