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 Rich Gazan; his contact information and office hours are here.

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

news & events
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
Stacy Naipo awarded Tapia Scholarship
CIS student Stacy Naipo has been awarded a Tapia 2015 Scholarship, sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The scholarship includes conference registration, hotel accommodations and reimbursable travel stipend.
The ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing will be held in Boston, February 18-21, 2015. For more information, see Congratulations Stacy!
Chamil Rathnayake first recipient of Dan J. Wedemeyer Teaching Award
CIS PhD student Chamil Rathnayake is the first recipient of the Dan J. Wedemeyer Excellence in Teaching Award, given by the UH School of Communications. Congratulations Chamil!
(from the UH School of Communications official announcement)

We are excited to announce the first recipient of our new Dan J. Wedemeyer Award for Excellence in Teaching, Chamil Rathnayake! This award honors a Graduate Teaching Assistant who has demonstrated outstanding teaching skill and concern for student learning. The award is named in honor of Emeritus Professor Dan J. Wedemeyer, who served as a mentor and model for excellence in teaching for hundreds of graduate students over the course of his career in the School of Communications and the Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Communication and Information Sciences.