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Colloquium - King

Evolution of the Information Disciplines
Professor and Dean, School of Information, University of Michigan
4/19/2001
3:30pm-4:30pm

The "information revolution" has been underway for well over 100 years, and it is hard to tell when we'll be able to say it's finally over. This is no surprise: the more important the revolution, the longer it takes to play out. The university has both influenced and been influenced by this revolution, especially through the evolution of the information disciplines. Through most of the past century these disciplines have evolved via reductionistic branching into four primary subdomains: epistemology and the construction of meaning; theory of computation and construction of computing machinery; exploration of intelligence and the nature of mind; and improvement in the management and exploitation of information for practical purposes. The past decade has seen an important in this tradition, as problems have emerged that require the attention of teams of experts drawn from across these subdomains. The evidence of this is seen in the reconstruction of disciplinary boundaries in university departments and programs, but these are poor surrogates for the magnitude of the change underway. A more useful indicator is the in social networks among leading researchers and innovators in the information fields, who are not constrained by the same forces that constrain the university at large. These shifts suggest important implications for the future of the university and its continued relevance in the information revolution.

John L. King is professor of information and dean of the School of Information. He joined the School of Information on January 1, 2000. Previously, he was professor of information and computer science and management and a research scientist in the Center for Research on Information Technology and Organizations at the University of California, Irvine. King held a number of administrative and committee appointments at Irvine, including chair of the Department of Information and Computer Science. He conducted research on the development of high-level requirements for information systems design and implementation. Drawing on engineering and the social sciences, he studies the organizational and institutional forces that shape how information technology is developed. In addition to chairing his department at Irvine, King served as chair of the University of California Committee on the Library and as a member of the Systemwide Library and Scholarly Advisory Committee. In 1990, he was the Marvin Bower Fellow and Visiting Professor at the Harvard Business School.

King is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association for Information Systems, the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), and the Academy of Management. He was editor-in-chief in 1993 - 1998 of the INFORMS journal, Information Systems Research, has been co-editor-in-chief of Information Infrastructure and Policy since 1989 and is a member of several other editorial boards, including that for the Journal of Strategic Information Technology and the ACM Computing Surveys, for which he was associate editor from 1989 - 1997.

Hosted by Leysia Palen.
Refreshments will be served immediately following the talk in ECOT 831.

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