September 2, 2008
For immediate release
Monica Bulger, a Ph.D. candidate at UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School, will take part in the highly selective Networks for Web Science Research Exchange, a program involving Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web. This summer Bulger was one of only 29 students (and the only education student) selected internationally to work with faculty mentors from Oxford, University of Southampton, MIT, Harvard, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as part of the Oxford Internet Institute’s (OII) Summer Doctoral Programme. The intensive two-week course explored the multi-disciplinary nature of the emerging field of Web Science, and in particular, aimed to facilitate collaboration between technologists and social scientists. From that group she was one of three scholars chosen to take part in the Research Exchange at OII.
The OII’s Director of Graduate Studies, Dr Victoria Nash, welcomed Bulger’s selection: “Monica is undertaking important research that fits neatly with both the Web Science research agenda and also our own expertise in e-learning and information retrieval. We look forward to working with her.”
Bulger will reside in Oxford from September 7 through November 1, working on the “Findings and Conclusions” section of her dissertation. Thanks to a grant award from the UK Engineering and Physical Science Council (EPSRC), the OII will pay for her travel, lodging and board, research expenses, and provide her with space to work in a rich multi-disciplinary environment. The grant also provides assistance for Bulger to attend conferences to disseminate her findings.
Kevin Almeroth, Professor and Associate Dean of the Department of Computer Science and a member of Bulger’s dissertation committee, says about the honor, “It really is a testament to Monica’s ability to perform high quality research while also developing important results. She has clearly been successful at synthesizing the work of half a dozen disciplines, executing on her research methodology, and producing results that have generated international attention. She really demonstrates the potential of UCSB’s unique inter-disciplinary philosophy.”
Monica Bulger studies online literacy as a doctoral candidate in the Department of Education. She is currently a National Science Foundation IGERT fellow in Digital Multimedia and is part of an interdisciplinary team that designs interactive data visualizations of current events. Her dissertation research, The Trouble with Information: How Students Gather and Evaluate Online Resources, examines how students negotiate potentially overwhelming online information options. She studies how students gauge credibility and usefulness when evaluating online resources and further, how they use this information when composing academic texts. A goal of her work is to identify a skill set for information literacy in online environments. Before entering the Ph.D. program at the Gevirtz School, Bulger taught technical and scientific writing for five years in the UCSB Writing Program.
[Monica Bulger is available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at 805 893 5789]
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