Communication and information technologies are transforming society, impacting a cross section of human activity far greater than any innovation since the printing press. Leaders in this nexus of technology and society require insight and expertise transcending the individual disciplines from which the underlying technologies and their applications arise.

The Communication and Information Sciences (CIS) PhD program at the University of Hawaii was established in 1986 to meet this need. CIS was one of the first interdisciplinary programs of its nature, foreshadowing the recent trend of interdisciplinary information schools. It transitioned from a provisional to a permanent program in 1994. CIS is sponsored by four units: The Department of Information and Computer Sciences and the Library and Information Science Program in the College of Natural Sciences, the School of Communications in the College of Social Sciences, and the Department of Information Technology Management in the Shidler College of Business. The program is unique at UH Manoa, crossing three colleges.

The CIS PhD program participates in the Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). This program allows students from participating states to received reduced tuition rates at the University of Hawaii. More information is available from WRGP and UH Graduate Division.

The CIS Program Office is located in the basement of Hamilton Library (002C) inside the Library and Information Science administrative area. Please email to arrange a visit. The office is closed when Hamilton Library is closed.

The CIS Chair is Liz Davidson (as of 8/1/2015); her contact information and office hours are:

office hours: by appointment

office location: E303e Shidler College of Business or CIS Program Office, Hamilton Library (002c)

The deadline for all applicants is February 1, 2016 for fall admission.

news & events
New student orientation
We will welcome our incoming cohort on Thursday August 20, 2-4pm, Hamilton Library 3F.
Please come to meet our new students and the new chair Professor Liz Davidson. Light pupus will be provided.
Alum Rajib Subba's crisis response work in Nepal
Rajib Subba shared a summary of his work in the aftermath of the April 2015 Nepal earthquake.
Dear Prof. Gazan,

You are aware that Nepal witnessed one of it's biggest disasters in recent times. Aftershock are still coming though frequency has gown down. According to reports Nepal will be experiencing more aftershocks may be for a year.

Now after two months I have some free time to recollect. I am sharing some of the works I did here based on my research with Prof. Bui at CIS Dept.

With in 24 hours of first earthquake on 25 April, I took two initiatives for public service through crowd sourcing crisis information. As a public service and safety professional working with Nepalese government I went extra miles by starting Short Messaging Services and Twitter. The SMS service was started the same day to help citizens provide any crisis related information. I created the twitter account for my organization the next day. And took over facebook page which I had created 2.5 years ago. During the crisis response duration I lead 10 member social media and SMS team. Moreover I was leading Directorate of Communications at the same time.

With in a short period of time our teamís work started to bring results as more and more people were reporting crisis information through these three channels. Social media particularly twitter became immense help in situational awareness and crisis response in Nepal. I single handedly worked for twitter account during search, rescue and relief operations. Use of social media in crisis management is first of its kind in Nepal. Therefore it drew lots of attention from public as well media. I am happy that my work has been featured by two national dailies and I have been quoted in many news in national dailies for my contribution in crisis response through social media.

I have attached a collection of all these news. Thought you would like to know how your student far off is doing. :-)

These newspaper collections are testimonial of my work at the CIS Dept. The theoretical knowledge gained during my PhD literally helped me do my job successfully. The theoretical knowledge was practically experimented. Moreover this work has broadened my understanding of utilizing social media for crisis response.

With best regards,
Michelle Ibanez, PhD!
Michelle successfully defended her dissertation, Virtual Red Light Districts: Detecting Covert Networks and Sex Trafficking Circuits in the US. Congratulations Dr. Ibanez!
Abstract: The United States is the second leading destination country for sex trafficking in the world. Increased effort to understand patterns of sex trafficking within the U.S. is imperative to combating this issue. Covert networks are increasingly using information and communication technologies (ICTs) to extend their operations. Due to the increase in sex trafficking network activity online, there is a need for systematic research and methods especially in terms of technology facilitated sex trafficking. This study examined how publicly available information can be used to uncover covert networks and sex trafficking patterns in the United States through the study of dark networks from a sociotechnical perspective. The intent was to observe the types of data available in online advertisements and to identify ways to exploit data into meaningful information that can be used to disrupt this activity. Network analysis methods were applied to sex trafficking activity in online environments to identify sex trafficking trends within the U.S. Content analysis was used to identify important data fields in online escort advertisement that presented virtual indicators of sex trafficking. This data was further exploited using social network analysis (SNA) methods to identify provider networks and movement trends. Methods are presented to identify potential victims, provider networks, and domestic movement trends. Covert networks are continuously balancing security risk with operational necessity to communicate to external audiences. By using the Internet as a communication channel it becomes a lens to observe this activity. Consistency of findings with known trafficking trends demonstrated the effectiveness of the method to uncover covert networks and circuits within the U.S.

Dissertation Committee:

Dr. Rich Gazan, Chair
Dr. Dan Suthers
Dr. Jenifer Winter
Dr. Scott Robertson
Dr. Susan Chandler