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, 2017 for fall admission.

For more information on admission requirements please visit Office of Graduate Education, Prospective Students web page.

news & events
CIS 720 Seminar by Dr. Luz Quiroga, The Web 3.0
Please join us for a talk by Dr. Luz Quiroga in CIS720 4:30-5:30 Hamilton Library 3F.

Title: The Web 3.0: the semantic & personalized web. Opportunities for improving community oriented information systems & services.
In this talk I will share my experience on the transition related to the analysis & design of information systems. Approaches have been broaden from modeling factual data (Database systems), then modeling information (Information retrieval systems), to the current emphasis in knowledge management systems.Specifically I will discuss the relationship between knowledge management and the most current generation of the web, the web 3.0: the semantic & personalized web. Focus of the web 3.0 is improving representation of communities information needs, by using content and personal ontologies.

I will illustrate work on ontological modeling I am collaborating (e.g. homelessness ontology) or students’ research I am supervising (e.g. Native ontologies, Hula ontology).Finally I will comment on how my courses involve notions of community engagement, community informatics and ontological semantic modeling.
CIS 720 seminar by Dr. by Dr. Sonia Ghumman, Religious Harassment in the Workplace
Please join us on Monday 4:30 - 5:30, in Hamilton Library, room 3F for a talk by Dr. Sonia Ghumman (associate professor of management in the Shidler College of Business).

Religious Harassment in the Workplace: An Examination of Observer Interventions
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (2011) reports that religious harassment claims have risen sharply over the past decade. However, victims of religious harassment may not always report harassment and true rates may be higher. Hence, actions taken by third parties present (observers) are important in combating religious harassment in the workplace. The purpose of this paper is to extend the Bowes-Sperry and O’Leary-Kelly (2005) model of observer intervention by testing it empirically in the context of religious harassment and identify factors that influence observers’ decision to intervene (intervention), when they intervene (level of immediacy), and how much they intervene (level of involvement). Across two studies, we find evidence that verbal harassment, ambiguity of intent, relationship to target/ harasser, recurrence belief, religious commitment, pro-social orientation and the interactive effect of shared religion and religious commitment predict intervention. Furthermore, individuals show higher levels of involvement and immediacy when costs are low and emotional reactions are high. Implications of these findings are discussed.
CIS 720 Seminar by Dr. Rachel Neo, The Limits of Peer Influence
Please join us on Monday 4:30 - 5:30 in HL 3F for a talk by Dr. Rachel Neo.

The Limits of Peer Influence: Explaining How Online Ratings Cause Boomerang Effects
Dr. Neo recently joined the School of Communications (and CIS faculty). She received her doctoral degree from the Ohio State University's School of Communication. Her current research program examines the persuasive effects of social media cues on political outcomes. Her most recent work has examined how online ratings influence trust in fact checking messages, and the conditions under which these ratings backfire. She intends to expand her research program to include cross-national comparative work on how digital media influence political expression and public engagement in Asia.