Last week Information Evolution paid a visit to the University of Texas at Austin School of Information (UT iSchool). As an alumna of the UT iSchool, I was excited and proud to be back on campus with the IEI team. Our own Kevin Dodds was a guest speaker in Dr. Matt Lease‘s class, Human Computation & Crowdsourcing, which focuses on the computational aspects of how people use mathematical equations, statistics, and computer algorithms, exploring issues of human factors design. Lease is an Assistant Professor at the UT iSchool and the Director of the UT Austin Information Retrieval Crowdsourcing Lab. He specializes in crowdsourcing, natural language processing, and information retrieval. Kevin Dodds is a Senior Project Manager at IEI, and is our resident crowdsourcing guru.
Information Evolution has included crowdsourcing in its array of solutions for a few years now, and we enjoyed discussing our first-hand experience with the students. We talked about the ethics of crowdsourcing, its cost effectiveness, crowdsourcing scams, and current academic research on crowdsourcing. Kevin touched on all these issues, focusing on our experience with IEI partner Amazon Mechanical Turk, past crowdsourcing successes, and, of course, potential pitfalls. Kevin’s examples of how IEI has integrated crowdsourcing into our client solutions spurred an interesting discussion with the students.
IEI is continuing to develop its relationship with the UT iSchool, whose work is important to the future of the information science community. Look for more in next week’s post, Kevin’s own summary of his presentation and experience.