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Liu Wins National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship


April 2006

Sophia Liu

Sophia Liu, a Computer Science and Alliance for Technology, Learning and Society PhD student, has won a prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship. NSF Graduate Fellowships are awarded to new graduate students and provide three years of support. They are considered to be a significant academic achievement.

Ms. Liu's research, conducted in coordination with her advisor Professor Leysia Palen, is entitled "Public Expressions: Peer-to-Peer Communications in Response to Crises." Ms. Liu and Professor Palen are affiliated with the Natural Hazards Center on the CU campus.

Recent crisis events around the world have drawn new attention to the role information communication technology (ICT) can play in improving warning and response activities. ICTs are enabling emergency responders as well as members of the public to develop new ways in which to respond to a crisis. Members of the public are not only playing a more active role in seeking information but also in providing information to each other and to formal crisis response and management teams. ICT-supported public communications can spawn information and contribute to intelligence activities in formal response efforts. Ms. Liu's work will build an analytical framework for describing public communications following a disaster through remote and in-field ethnographic studies of real disaster events. Examining both low- and emerging high-tech forms of citizen communications, she will develop prototypes and implications for peer-to-peer, location-aware, and hybrid digital-physical technologies that support different forms of information seeking, provision and personal expression. She will consider how, as people acquire and synthesize information from multiple sources, the public's role following disaster will continue to evolve.

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Department of Computer Science
College of Engineering and Applied Science
University of Colorado Boulder
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