By: Diane Stirling
Research Assistant Professor Yun Huang, who joined the School of Information Studies (iSchool) in 2012, has been approved for a tenure track position.
“Yun’s start on the tenure track comes at a time of enormous growth in our data science enrollments, and her academic background in computer science will be a great help in the classroom,” Dean Elizabeth D. Liddy said in making the announcement. “In her short time here she already has been very active as a researcher, with grants, publications, community service, and entrepreneurial work. She has already taught for us on a few occasions and her students rave about her. I warmly welcome Yun to the tenure track,” Dean Liddy added.
Dr. Huang commented, “I’m full of appreciation to the school and the faculty here. I feel like the conversion is a recognition of hard work, so this kind of trust and acknowledgement is way more than the promotion.”
Professor Huang previously was a postdoctoral fellow in the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. She earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in the Computer Science Department at the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Irvine.
In addition to wanting to build “a very successful record in my research lab,” Yun also wants to deliver “research that can bring larger and broader-term impact,” she said. Her current research focuses on mobile computing, crowdsourcing systems, web accessibility and context-aware middleware. She was awarded a U.S. Department of Education five-year grant (The Disability Rehabilitation Research Project on Inclusive Cloud and Web Computing), and has been taking the lead on the development of an infrastructure solution to address web accessibility. While at Carnegie Mellon University, she began working on Tiramisu, a crowdsourced- transit information system that has won an Intelligent Transit Award, and which was beta-tested in Syracuse under her supervision.
The professor builds systems as vehicles for conducting her research and has led student teams in mobile system development for local community-use projects. She guided creation of a navigation app that facilitated referencing and scheduling time slots with “human books” with Syracuse University’s Bird Library and several local public libraries. She also led the student team that developed a mobile community information and geo-alert system and app for the Syracuse University Department of Public Safety that is now in use.
Huang’s initial focus at the iSchool concentrated on establishing a research base of excellence, but the more she interacted with the diverse iSchool faculty, her interest in more formal possible collaborations grew, she said. That prompted her to seek tenure-track status, since “the iSchool has excellent faculty members from diverse disciplines and backgrounds, and there is so much opportunity to work together. Here, I am totally immersed in and exposed to everything, and I can use my skills and expertise to make contributions, collaborate with other researchers, and discover new directions.”
In starting to teach here, Huang found “a rewarding experience; one that makes me feel alive, because every new semester, there are new faces, and every time I teach, I learn some new strategies. I enjoy it, and it is part of my problem-solving process,” she observed. At the iSchool, she has been teaching IST 659, Database Administration Concepts and Database Management.
Dr. Huang noted her appreciation for assistance and support of faculty members and others she has worked with at the iSchool, naming her husband, Yang Wang; plus Dean Liddy; and faculty members Jeff Stanton, Steve Sawyer, Barbara Kwasnik, Carston Oesterlund, Ping Zhang, David Lankes, Jian Qin, Susan Dischiave, Bei Yu, Kevin Crowston, Nancy McCracken, Zixiang Tan, Joon S. Park, Art Thomas, Lee McKnight; and postdoctoral researcher Sarah Inoue. In addition, she said she appreciated the assistance of Psychology Department faculty Corey White and Craig Ewart, and the several PhD. and master’s students who work on her projects.
Yun’s career move dovetails with Syracuse University’s National Science Foundation-ADVANCE project, an initiative that seeks to retain women faculty in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines, Dean Liddy noted. The conversion of the position, which was approved by Syracuse University’s provost, takes effect January 1, 2015.