The Quello Center congratulates Dr. R.V. Rikard on his promotion to a Senior Research Associate in MSU’s Department of Media and Information. Over the last two years, Dr Rikard has become a highly valued – go to – colleague for our Center. He has helped on grant proposals in the areas of big data, complex data management, and more. In announcing this promotion, Professor Johannes Bauer, Chair of the Department, praised R.V.’s excellence in methods and statistics, which he brings to his work on Trifecta (Technology and Innovation for Health), with Professor Shelia Cotten, but also shares to the entire department.
Intellectually curious, R.V. is a regular participant in Quello Center lectures, seminars, and events, bringing his sense of humor and sharp wit into the academic climate of the College of Communication Arts & Sciences. He is a strong contributor to our academic community. He even follows us on Twitter @QuelloCenter and Facebook.
So keep retweeting, R.V., and congratulations. Seriously well done. All of us at the Quello Center look forward to continuing our collaboration. You can count on us to keep darkening your door.
Claude E. Shannon: Cult Figure
A. Michael Noll
May 7, 2016
© 2016 AMN
Has a cult developed, worshipping Shannon as the guru of information theory? April 28, 2016 would have been his 100th birthday and thus interest in him has exploded. Shannon is characterized an eccentric, riding a unicycle while juggling. This perhaps adds to his status as a cult figure.
I attended a recent event honoring Shannon at which little children ran up and down the aisle, the synthetic-speech Voder was resurrected and played, a tap dance roamed across the stage, lights flashed on the screen, and people in the audience waved their arms. I watched in amazement, wondering what any of this had to do with Shannon, other than being a source of noise.
Shannon warned in 1956 that information theory “has perhaps been ballooned to an importance beyond its actual accomplishments” and that information theory is “not necessarily relevant to such fields as psychology, economics, and other social sciences.” Shannon concluded: “The subject of information theory has certainly been sold, if not oversold.” [Claude E. Shannon, “The Bandwagon,” IRE Transactions on Information Theory, Vol. 2, No. 1 (March 1956), p. 3.]
John R. Pierce (the father of Telstar) knew and respected Shannon. Pierce warned: “Information theory is not nonsense just because much nonsense has been written about it.” [John R. Pierce & A. Michael Noll, Signals: The Science of Telecommunications, Scientific American Library (New York), 1990, p. 54.]
Information theory defined entropy and redundancy in telecommunication. Shannon presented an overall diagram, or model, of a communication system – and all sorts of fields to which its application was unclear then adopted this model. Shannon determined the maximum capacity of a channel based on its bandwidth and signal-to-noise ratio. [C = W log2 (1 + S/N)] Shannon’s work was the foundation of coding theory and error-correcting codes. After the development of integrated circuits and microprocessors, these codes make practical the audio compact disc and digital video disc. One of Shannon’s less publicized accomplishments was the application of Boolean algebra to switching circuits (M.S. thesis, 1938).
It clearly was not solely Shannon. Others had preceded him (e.g. Hartley) and also were contemporary (e.g. Norbert Wiener) with him. Most great discoveries and advancements were not the product of just one person, but include those who preceded, and also contemporaries. Unfortunately, we all too frequently center our attention on just one and ignore all the others.
The Department of Media and Information at MSU is recruiting for three tenure-track positions. They are in the areas of:
– media/information theory/research http://bit.ly/cas-theory
– Internet economics http://bit.ly/cas-ie
– health and data science http://bit.ly/cas-data
Moreover, these are three of 15 academic positions opened across the College of Communication Arts & Sciences. See: http://cas.msu.edu/places/cas-deans-office/jobs/
Please let colleagues know of these positions, and please consider any of these positions for your own career future.
The Department of Media and Information (M&I) at Michigan State University (MSU) invites applications for a faculty position at the rank of Associate or Full Professor in the area of Media and Information Theory and/or Methods. Candidates should have an internationally outstanding record as a scholar and teacher in theory and/or empirical methods in one or more major areas of media and information research.
More detailed information can be found at http://cas.msu.edu/job/posting-1678/. To apply, please visit the Michigan State University Employment Opportunities website (https://jobs.msu.edu), refer to Posting #1678, and complete an electronic submission. Please direct any questions to Professor William Dutton, Search Committee Chair, at email@example.com. Expected start date is August 16, 2016.
MSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. MSU is committed to achieving excellence through cultural diversity. The university actively encourages applications and/or nominations of women, persons of color, veterans and persons with disabilities.
We have opened a search for a Quello Postdoctoral Fellow in Media and Information Policy at Michigan State University. [MSU Job Posting #1180] This is in addition to the search for an Assistant Research Professor.
William Dutton, the Quello Professor of Media and Information Policy and Director of the Quello Center in the Department of Media and Information at Michigan State University (MSU), is seeking to hire a Postdoctoral Fellow for a 1 year position, with the potential for renewal. The position is available beginning as soon as July 1, 2015. The postdoc will work with Professor Dutton on existing Quello research projects and in developing proposals for further research. Projects focus on media, information and Internet policy, regulation and governance, such as the Center’s Network Neutrality Impact Study. The appointment would enable candidates to pursue their own research of relevance to the Center as well as supporting ongoing Quello Center researchwork, with the potential for raising support for continuation beyond the first year.
Applicants should explain the relevance of their background and interests to the mission and work of the Quello Center. Candidates must have defended their dissertation prior to beginning the postdoctoral fellowship. A PhD is normally required in one of the many fields that contribute to the development and study of information, media and communication policy, such as Political Science, Law (where a J.D. degree is expected), Policy, Economics, Sociology, Psychology, Communication, New Media, Internet Studies, Information Studies, or a related field. Candidates must have: strong methodological training and skills of relevance to policy research, such as in modeling or specific social research methods; experience writing grant proposals; good organizational and time management skills; and evidence of the ability to work well as part of a team. The quality of prior publications and grant writing experience will be key in evaluating all applications.
The Postdoctoral Fellow is a 12 month, full-time appointment, with salary up to $45,000 depending upon qualifications. Benefits are also provided. See http://grad.msu.edu/pdo/ and http://www.hr.msu.edu/benefits/ for more information on postdoctoral training and benefits at MSU.
Questions may be addressed to the Director of the Quello Center at Quello@msu.edu, but the following application materials must be submitted via the MSU online system for job posting #1180 at the MSU Job Postings Web site: 1) a cover letter describing why you are interested in this position, and what training, skills, research and methodological background you would bring to the work of the Quello Center and this position; 2) an up-to-date and complete curriculum vitae; 3) one or two samples of your best work; and 4) the names and contact information for three references. The review of applications will begin immediately and continue until a suitable candidate is selected.
The Quello Center seeks to stimulate and inform debate on media, communication and information policy for our digital age. It pursues research that questions taken for granted assumptions about the implications of technology, policy and regulation, and seeks to collaborate with other centers of excellence in research on the social and economic implications of our digital age and the policy and management issues raised by these developments.Information about the Quello Center: http://quello.msu.edu
The Center is based in the Department of Media and Information, which is home to a dynamic, interdisciplinary faculty internationally known for their research on the uses and implications of information and communication technology and policy.
MSU is an affirmative-action, equal opportunity employer. MSU is committed to achieving excellence through cultural diversity. The university actively encourages applications and/or nominations of women, persons of color, veterans and persons with disabilities.
The headline above was the title of a Quello Center roundtable discussion this afternoon, with the participation of several senior figures of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, chaired by Professor William Dutton.
Here are some of my reflections as an outsider – listener:
First, pay attention to the fact that the topic is “the future of the field“. Is it clear to everyone what field we are talking about? Obviously, you think of “Communication” as the “field”; however it is not so obvious, and what Communication is, as an academic field, is not so obvious as well. Actually, this was the core issue of the discussion in the seminar: the definition and the boundaries of “the field”.
Is it an interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary research field? Can scholars from computer sciences, public policy, health education, etc. be considered as communication scholars as well? Are Internet studies, technology engineering studies, etc. part of any Communication department’s syllabus? Are there common research interests for scholars from the Department of Communication, the Department of Media and Information, and the School of Journalism (all of them under the umbrella of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences at MSU)? Does the multifaceted nature of the College reflect diversity or fragmentation in the field? Is it positive or negative? All these questions and many others were addressed as topics of the discussion.
For me, as a relatively young scholar (although not such a young man), this diversity in the field is a blessing; it opens a variety of opportunities; it makes “Communication” a very exciting academic field; it allows a real thorough understanding of the social reality within which we live in the 21st century. So yes, old media as well as new media, media policy as well as media technology, journalism as an occupation as well as journalism as a societal phenomenon; Internet as an infrastructure, a fascinating technology, and a public sphere, and so on… All of these are “Communication” for me.
Therefore, I do not find any need for defining or re-defining the field, I do not see any problem with the fact that there are no precise boundaries to the field, and I can only appreciate the fact that scholars of Communication can contribute to other scholarly fields and can be informed by the contributions of other scholars from various disciplines as well.
Avshalom Ginosar, PhD, Communication Department, The Academic College of Yezreel Valley
Visiting Scholar, The Quello Center, The Department of Media & Information, The College of Communication Arts & Sciences, Michigan State University
The Quello Center is anchored in the Department of Media and Information at MSU, which provides attractive opportunities for doctoral studies with a multi-disciplinary faculty. The Media and Information Studies (MIS) PhD program at Michigan State University would like to hear from outstanding students who wish to join an innovative interdisciplinary program of study at the intersection of the social sciences, humanities, including the study of socio technical systems, Internet studies, and communication policy and governance. Our diverse faculty develops and applies transformative knowledge about media and society and evolving information and communication technologies. The program engages students to become active scholars, teachers, and leaders in the media and information fields.
Offered jointly by the Department of Advertising+Public Relations, the School of Journalism, and the Department of Media and Information, the MIS PhD program give students access to fifty PhD faculty with research interests that span important current and emerging issues in media and information studies. Students get involved early on in projects, complementing theoretical coursework with hands-on research experiences.
Particularly strong research interests of our faculty include:
New this year is an option for undergraduates interested in pursuing advanced studies through an accelerated MA program leading to early admission to our PhD program.
Over 90 percent of our current students are supported by graduate teaching and research assistantships with generous stipends of $2000 per month, tuition remission, and health benefits . University fellowships, dissertation completion fellowships, summer research fellowships, and stipends for travel to academic conferences round out the resources available for students.
Over three-fourths of our graduates are hired into faculty positions at four-year institutions at graduation. They are found in departments of mass media, journalism, advertising, public relations, and information studies across the United States and around the world. Others go on to careers in public service and business.
The National Communication Association (NCA), in their most recent doctoral program reputation study, ranked MSU’s Ph.D. programs as No. 1 in educating researchers in communication technology, and in the top four in mass communication. Michigan State University ranked third in frequency of faculty publication in communication in a study reported in The Electronic Journal of Communication in 2012. QS World University rankings place MSU 11th in the world and 7th in the U.S. in communication and media studies.
East Lansing and the greater Lansing area offer a vibrant cultural environment with easy access to a variety of outdoor activities and the scenic beauty of our state year-round. Blending urban and sub-urban living, it is one of the nation’s most affordable places to complete a doctoral program in media and information studies.