Professor Shalini R. Urs, International School of Information Management, India
Fri, October 22, 2010 • 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM • UTA 1.208
Prof. Shalini R. Urs will touch upon the state of information science education and research in India.
I have been a faculty at the University of Mysore, since the last 32 years. My Bachelor’s degree is in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics; my Master’s degree is in Library and Information Sciences, and my post graduate diploma is in computer applications. My doctoral research on ‘relevance’ in information retrieval brought out the strong correlations between cognitive sciences and information science. Having researched and taught in varied areas of information sciences including ‘Systems Analysis’ ‘Information Retrieval’ and “Information Use Behavior’. I conceptualized and founded an autonomous institute called the International School of Information Management (ISiM) at the University of Mysore,(www.isim.ac.in) with munificent grants from the Ford Foundation.
As Executive Director of ISiM, I am currently working towards making ISiM a world class educational enterprise in collaboration with University of Pittsburgh, Syracuse University, University of Michigan in USA and Dalhousie University in Canada and through strong linkages with industry majors such as Google, Microsoft, InfoSys, Rediff.com
and others. I am working towards setting up a Centre on Indian Language Technologies at ISiM to carry out a major research project on Indian Language OCR, funded by Rediff.Com. Under the ISiM banner, I have also initiated an annual International Summit series called InfoVision (www.infovision.org.in). Having organized successfully InfoVision in the last three years, Shalini is all set to organize the InfoVision 2008 - the fourth edition sometime in November 2008.
Moving beyond the pure academics, I have spearheaded the digital library movement in India, through my various academic endeavors such as organizing major international conferences, workshops, meetings and carrying out R & D projects. I was a visiting professor at the Documentation Research and Training Centre, Indian Statistical Institute, Bangalore during 1998 and 1999. I was a Fulbright scholar and visiting professor at Virginia Tech, USA during 2000-2001 and team taught a course on digital libraries at Virginia Tech, along with Prof. Edward A. Fox. My major accomplishments include – the Vidyanidhi Digital Library project (www.vidyanidhi.org.in), which is one of the internationally known Indian digital libraries. I was able to put India on the global digital library map by bringing the well known international digital library conference series ‘International Conference on Asian Digital Libraries (ICADL)’ to India in December 2001. I am member of many high level committees and organizations including the National Knowledge Commission’s subcommittee on libraries, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology’s Working Group on Digital Libraries and also a member of the Steering Committee of the Working Group on National Digital Preservation Programme. Currently I am the Vice-Chair and Chair elect of the Steering Committee of the Asian Digital Libraries. I have been a speaker at many international conferences and meetings. I have served on the Program Committees of all the three DL conference series – JCDL (ACM and IEEE Joint Conference on Digital ibraries), ECDL (European Conference on Digital Libraries) and ICADL. I have also organized and led many delegations from India to international workshops and meetings. Some of the notable ones include – the Indo-US Workshop on Open Digital Libraries organized at Washington DC sponsored by the Indo-US Science and Technology
Forum in June 2003 and the International Workshop on Digital Libraries at Tucson, Arizona, USA in July 2004 sponsored by the Ford Foundation; UNESCO Workshop on eBooks in Bangalore in 2004; and the UN4IM International Training Programme in May-June 2005 in Bangalore, supported by UNESCO. Widely traveled and internationally
known, I am the recipient of the first NDLTD–Adobe Leadership award in 2004. I have served as an UNESCO expert on several occasions. I am a member of the Board of Directors of the Virginia Tech, based Global initiative – NDLTD (Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations). I have served on the Governing Board of INFLIBNET –
the Inter University centre of University Grants Commission from 2001 to 2004.
I have been successful in mobilizing enormous resources totaling about Rs. 5 crores for various initiatives including R & D Projects, Workshops, and Training Programmes. I have more than 100 papers to my credit. Along with Ed Fox, I have authored the review paper on digital libraries published in the Annual Review of Information Science and Technology published by the American Society for Information Science and Technology. My areas of research interest include – Digital libraries; Social networks and research collaborations; Topic Maps, Ontologies and Semantic web; Text mining and data analytics; OCR and Natural Language Processing.