By: J.D. Ross
Kevin G. Crowston, professor at the School of Information Studies (iSchool), was appointed Distinguished Professor of Information Science by Syracuse University Vice Chancellor and Provost Eric F. Spina. Distinguished Professor is one of the University’s highest honors for faculty whose exemplary scholarship has advanced the University’s mission.
At the iSchool, Crowston’s research examines new ways of organizing made possible by the use of information technology. He approaches this issue in several ways: empirical studies of coordination-intensive processes in human organizations (especially virtual organization); theoretical characterizations of coordination problems and alternative methods for managing them; and design and empirical evaluation of systems to support people working together.
Crowston’s extensive publications in the area of coordination theory—seeking to understand how work is coordinated across various open source network organizations—have had a significant and lasting contribution to coordination theory, and have fundamentally changed how the field thinks about and shape the field of coordination.
In addition to his scholarly publications, Crowston has also had a leading role in creating one of the largest and most important collections of open source data available to the community through the FLOSSMole project. This endeavor provides data about free, libre and open source software (FLOSS) projects in multiple formats; integrates donated data from other research teams; and provides a community for researchers to discuss public data about FLOSS development.
From 1999 to 2007, Crowston served as an elected member of the University’s Faculty Senate on the subcommittees for curriculum, administrative operations, computing services, and academic affairs.
Crowston is a member of the Academy of Management, the American Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIST), the Association for Information Systems (AIS) and the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS).
“Kevin is a true leader in the information science community whose excellent work is consistently cited by peers and students,” says Spina. “His seminal contributions to this rapidly evolving field have already demonstrated a lasting and practical impact across a variety of disciplines, here at the University and beyond.”
“While Kevin’s CV demonstrates his very solid academic accomplishments in funded research, refereed publications and conference papers, I believe that gaining the fullest understanding of Kevin’s scholarly reputation and impact may actually require seeing him in context at a conference. Kevin is typically the person who has the most people around him and talking with him. This includes colleagues, more senior researchers, and always many, many students,” says iSchool Dean Elizabeth D. Liddy. “Given the obvious impact that Kevin has had, and is having, I am extremely pleased and proud that Kevin has been bestowed with this honor.”
Crowston received his A.B. in applied mathematics (computer science) from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in information technologies from the Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.