2015 Winter Newsletter / Faculty News

Research Grants & Collaborations

The McGill School of Information Studies is pleased to announce the following new research grants and contracts awarded to SIS faculty members as Principal Investigators. This has been an exceptionally strong year for research, with individual and collaborative research grants representing more than $1.7 M in new research funding.

Dr. Ben Fung> Advancing cybersecurity and privacy-supporting health data mining

Dr. Benjamin Fung (PI). Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) Research Contract (2014-2019). Assembly Code Data Mining. $400,000. Dr. Fung’s project aims to develop new data mining techniques to analyze malicious software. The research results will help protect Canada’s critical infrastructures in the cyber world.

(PI). Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Discovery Grant (2013-2018). Privacy-Preserving Data Publishing for Health Data Mining. $150,000. This project aims to develop a cloud-based, privacy-preserving health data sharing system to support health data mining for effective data and knowledge sharing without compromising patients’ privacy.

2014Winter_Faculty_Guastavino> Enhancing 3D audio for realistic virtual environments

Dr. Catherine Guastavino (PI). Spatialized and Interactive Artificial Binaural Reverberation. 6-month Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Engage Grant in collaboration with industry partner Audiokinetic. $56,250. In virtual environments, high-quality interactive audio presentation of acoustics plays a significant role in the perception of virtual space. Dr. Guastavino’s project will develop a next-generation algorithm that produces interactive, head-tracked reverberation for an acoustic approximation of virtualized listening environments to increase the sensation of users’ immersion in 3D virtual environments.


2014Winter_Faculty_Julien> Improving retrieval of unstructured web information

Dr. Charles-Antoine Julien (PI). Improving Retrieval of Unstructured Information using Existing Information Structures. 5-year Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Discovery Grant. $135,000. Dr. Julien’s project aims to improve the performance of information discovery tools used to meet digital information needs by developing novel online searching tools. These tools will alleviate vocabulary mismatch problems by using existing organized information collections (e.g., scientific, library, business, or personal information collections) integrated with web searching.


2014Winter_Faculty_Park> Positioning historical data as networked knowledge

Dr. Eun Park (PI). Linked Historical Collections as Networked Knowledge. 2-year McGill Internal Social Sciences and Humanities (SSHRC) Development Grant. $6,000.

Dr. Park’s project’s new approach will explicitly reconceptualize and restructure historical collections in a more dynamic, interactive and iterative manner to consider historical resources as networked knowledge. This research will benefit academic and non-academic communities across a variety of fields by increasing collaboration and dissemination in an open-access linked data web.




The School’s faculty members are engaged in the broad research area of human-information interaction (HII) with three core research areas: information and knowledge management, human-computer interaction, and information behaviour and services. We are pleased to announce the following recent research collaborations with colleagues at McGill, and partners at other Canadian and international institutions.

Information & knowledge management

Dr. Benjamin Fung (Co-I). Department of National Defense/Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (2013-2016). DND/NSERC Research Partnership Project (DNDPJ), $208,695. Software Fingerprinting for Automated Malicious Code Analysis. This research aims to develop data mining tools to support effective malware analysis with the goal of protecting Canada’s critical infrastructures in the cyber world.

Dr. Benjamin Fung (Co-I) with Osmud Rahman (PI), Ryerson University. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Development Grant (2014-2016), $47,477. Cross-national Consumer Research: Modelling Fashion Shoppers’ Behaviour and Preferences. This project aims to develop a research framework and methodology to investigate and understand the increasingly diverse needs of consumers in different cultures in order to provide recommendations and implications for fashion retailers.

Dr. Eun Park (Co-I), with Claudia Mitchell (Co-PI), McGill University, and others. SSHRC Partnership Grant (2014-2020), $250,000. Networks for Change and Well-being: Girl-led ‘from the Ground Up’ Policy-making. This international, interdisciplinary project explores innovative approaches to disseminating information and communication in relation to forms of evidence and knowledge, and in so doing studies knowledge exchange between girls, institutions, community practitioners, and policy-makers.

Human-computer interaction

Dr. Catherine Guastavino (Co-I), with M. Wanderley (PI) and  40 others. FRQSC – Regroupement Stratégique (2014-2019). $1,600,000. Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Music Media and Technology.

Dr. Catherine Guastavino (Co-I), with M. Wanderley (PI ) and S. Ferguson. 2014 Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) – Leaders Opportunity Fund Award. $915,395. Digital Musical Instrument Performance Research and Rapid Prototyping Laboratory (PR2P).

Dr. Catherine Guastavino (Co-I), with J. Goldman (PI) and 3 others. 2013 SSHRC – Connection, $37,161. Colloque International : Analyser les processus de création musicale/ Tracking the Creative Process in Music. This grant supported an international conference co-organized by Dr. Guastavino at CIRMMT and OICRM (Observatoire interdisciplinaire de création et de recherche en musique).

Dr. Karyn Moffatt (CO-PI), with Leah Findlater (CO-PI), University of Maryland, College Park. Google Faculty Research Award (2014-2015), $683,000 USD. Supporting Communication for Persons with Aphasia via Contextual Prompting on a Heads-Up Display. This project will develop a new form of communication support tool using Google Glasses for unobtrusive vocabulary prompting to give support for users right where it is needed, providing critical support to assist individuals with aphasia to regain independence and quality of life.

Information behaviour & services

Dr. Charles-Antoine Julien (CO-PI), with Thierry Karsenti (PI), Université de Montréal, and 14 others. Fond Québécois de Recherche sur la Société et la Culture (FQRSC). Research Team Support (2014-2018), $418,000. Groupe de recherche interuniversitaire sur les impacts pédagogiques des technologies de l’information et de la communication en éducation (GRIIPTIC). This research aims to develop and study interactive educational tools in context.

This represents a selection of the many exciting research projects underway at the McGill School of Information Studies. For more information on the School’s research activities, please visit our website at www.mcgill.ca/sis/research/areas