One thing that makes the iSchool unique is its emphasis on the human aspect of data, information, communication, and technology. All the research we do aims to benefit both businesses and people, as well as society at large.
That’s why our three newest professors, Md Tariqul Islam (‘Pavel’), Jasmina Tacheva, and Yang Yang make a welcome addition to our roster of world-class faculty and researchers.
Each of them bring a remarkable depth of expertise alongside an unparalleled passion for tackling some of the most critical issues facing our world today.
Md Tariqul Islam (‘Pavel’)
Dr. Md Tariqul Islam ‘Pavel’
How can businesses and organizations protect confidential information when more and more data comes from third-party sources and when the world of cybercrime is ever-evolving?
Those are the questions that motivate Pavel’s research in the field of information assurance and security, something organizations use to protect sensitive information and manage information-related risks.
For Pavel, these aren’t just questions about data. Accidental mishandling, natural disasters, and phishing and fraud are just a few examples of risks to the privacy and livelihood of real people — whether it’s a website in the cloud or a pacemaker in an elderly patient.
“I never feel like I’m doing archaic, unnecessary work,” Pavel said. “Each situation is a unique puzzle and a new opportunity to rise to the challenge.”
That human-centered approach is what makes him a great fit for the iSchool. That and his passionate love for sports and hiking!
Dr. Jasmina Techeva
Jasmina, like so many faculty members at the iSchool, lives at the intersection of technology and social issues. From early on in her career she’s studied both pragmatic approaches to data as well as the history of contemporary philosophy (they’re not as different as you might think).
“I felt torn between my love of coding and my sense of justice,” she said, remembering how it felt to be the odd one out in her research field. “When I found the iSchool, it was a liberating experience.”
Jasmina’s research asks what motivates people to do good even in the face of adversity.
Why, during Hurricane Harvey, for example, would people mourning the loss of their home still tweet photos of stranded pets? How do user-generated reviews increase community support systems? And in the time of COVID-19, how do social media signals from universities impact whether students and staff wear masks?
Outside of her research, Jasmina loves to read and write micropoetry on the web — a constant reminder that there is much more that unites us than divides us.
Dr. Yang Yang
Yang’s background is in computer science, but his interest in social issues led him to seek out diverse perspectives in the field of computational social science.
At the heart of Yang’s research is the desire to understand how social networks affect an individual’s or business’s performance. Recently, that’s meant exploring areas related to science and innovation.
What are the possibilities for combining machine and human intelligence to address issues like knowledge transfer between scientists and the public? And what can social networks teach us about overcoming gender disparity in leadership positions?
Success as a social scientist, Yang said, happens when other people within and beyond your own community integrate your work. The goal isn’t just to achieve a high number of citations, but to have an impact on society and the public as a whole.
While Yang appreciates the rigorous research and teaching environments present in most universities, the thing that makes the iSchool stand out to him in particular might equally apply to the sentiments of Pavel, Jasmina, and the rest of our faculty here.
“I don’t need to change who I am to come to the iSchool.”
We’re so excited for these three to become part of the iSchool community, and we look forward to their continued contributions to the field.