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Experts Available to Discuss Topics for SXSW Interactive

Thousands of people involved in emerging technologies will converge on Austin on March 11 for the annual South by Southwest Interactive conference. Digital and Web experts at The University of Texas at Austin are available to comment on the many aspects of social media, information technology, human-computer interaction, informatics and usability issues.

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Thousands of people involved in emerging technologies will converge on Austin on March 11 for the annual South by Southwest Interactive conference. Digital and Web experts at The University of Texas at Austin are available to comment on the many aspects of social media, information technology, human-computer interaction, informatics and usability issues.

School of Information

Andrew Dillon, dean and professor
School of Information
Dillon has more than 20 years experience in human-computer interaction, holding diverse appointments in cognitive science, computer science, psychology, instructional/systems technology, management information systems, library and information sciences and informatics. He advocates a view of information science as a means of accelerating discovery and shaping a more democratic world.

Lecia Barker, associate professor
School of Information
Barker’s expertise includes interpreting and managing information on the Web, human-computer interaction and information technology. Before joining the School of Information, Barker led the Assessment and Research Center in the Alliance for Technology, Learning and Society Institute at the University of Colorado. She is a senior research scientist with the National Center for Women and Information Technology.

Randolph Bias, associate professor
School of Information
Bias worked for more than 20 years as a usability engineer, helping software developers make human-computer interfaces (including Web sites) user friendly. Before coming to The University of Texas at Austin, Bias worked for Bell Labs, IBM and BMC Software and co-founded an independent usability lab and consultancy.

Matt Lease, assistant professor
School of Information
Lease focuses on engine design, crowdsourcing and human language technologies. Lease is one of the foremost scholars in crowdsourcing, an innovative new labor model that is radically transforming practice in the information technology sector. With search engine design, his research integrating crowdsourcing enables delivery of new search experiences, capabilities and performance. His experience includes developing automatic systems for syntactic and dysfluency analysis for speech and text, as well as support for natural language search queries.

Loriene Roy, professor
School of Information
Roy’s research interests include cultural heritage services for indigenous peoples and measurement and evaluation of public library services. She was the president of the American Library Association in 2007-2008 and is director and founder of “If I Can Read, I Can Do Anything,” a national reading club for native children.

Megan Winget, assistant professor
School of Information
Winget’s expertise is in video gaming, preservation, human-computer interaction and cataloging. Her research interests include preservation of the cultural record, new media and time-based art, and the ability of libraries, museums and archives to preserve, curate and provide access to these intangible materials, physically and digitally.

College of Communication

Sharon Strover, the Philip G. Warner Regents Professor in Communication
College of Communication
Strover’s research includes social media, the digital divide, rural broadband deployment, e-government, the relationship between economic outcomes and investments in digital media programs in higher education in Portugal, and market structure and policy issues for international audio-visual industries. Her SXSWi panel, “Why the FCC Can’t Please Anyone — Net Neutrality Blues,” will examine the recent developments around net neutrality, one of the more misunderstood principles among the crowd of odd phrasings generated within contemporary telecommunications practice and policy.

S. Craig Watkins, associate professor, Radio-Television-Film
College of Communication
Watkins studies young people’s social and digital media behaviors. His book, “The Young and the Digital: What the Migration to Social Network Sites, Games, and Anytime, Anywhere Media Means for Our Future”, explores young people’s dynamic engagement with social media, games and mobile phones. He has participated in the MacArthur Foundation initiative on Youth, Digital Media and Learning, a collection of scholars, visionaries, thought leaders and practitioners from across the world that explores the intersection of digital media, everyday life and learning. His work on this groundbreaking project has focused on the culture of gaming, the shifting contours of the digital divide and the social consequences of young people’s innovative uses of new media technologies.

McCombs School of Business

Andrew Whinston, professor
McCombs School of Business
Whinston, an economist and computer scientist, was the first to publish a book on electronic commerce, and he continues to study and publish research on digital technologies as they relate to business, markets and consumers. He was honored in 2009 with the Career Award for Outstanding Research Contributions at The University of Texas at Austin for singularly significant research contributions made by a tenured faculty member over an extended period of time. He has written more than 25 books and 400 articles for refereed publications. He will lead a session at SXSWi on March 14 from 11 a.m.-noon.

Cockrell School of Engineering

Robert Metcalfe, professor of innovation
Cockrell School of Engineering
Metcalfe is the newly appointed professor of innovation at the Cockrell School of Engineering, as well as the Fellow of the Clint W. Murchison Sr. Chair of Free Enterprise in Electrical and Computer Engineering. An Internet pioneer, Metcalfe is best known for inventing today’s local-area networking standard, Ethernet, for which he received the National Medal of Technology. For the past 10 years he worked as a venture capitalist, serving as a general partner of Polaris Venture Partners. Metcalfe will be presenting at two official SXSWi events.

Alan Bovik, professor of electrical and computer engineering
Cockrell School of Engineering
Bovik is highly noted around the world for developing advanced algorithms to measure the quality of digital images in a manner that agrees with human perception — something that was considered an “impossible problem” before his breakthroughs. Bovik has recently been researching complex algorithms that can determine perceived video quality. He pioneered the use of new human vision models in image and video processing and his contributions have enhanced our understanding of the interplay between natural image statistics, eye movement and foveation.

Michael Webber, assistant professor of mechanical engineering
Cockrell School of Engineering
Webber is the associate director of the Jackson School of Geosciences’ Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy. He has led research projects for policy issues relevant to energy, innovation and national security, and has commercial experience at a start-up where he invented cutting-edge laser-based gas-sensing instrumentation for homeland security, industrial and environmental monitoring applications. His expertise is in energy, the environment, water, smart grids, power and fuels. On March 9, Webber will host “Energy at the Movies,” an entertaining lecture examining the ways films influence how we think about energy and, in turn, how we influence energy policy.

David Bourell, professor of mechanical engineering
Cockrell School of Engineering
Bourell is the director of the Laboratory for Freeform Fabrication, part of the Advanced Manufacturing Center. Bourell is internationally recognized in the field of Solid Freeform Fabrication, and his research focuses on 3-D modeling and printing. In his lab, Bourell is able to create tangible 3-D models using nanocrystalline powder. Bourell will showcase a few 3-D models that have been created in his lab at an official SXSWi event March 11 with the Cockrell School of Engineering.