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 Alan Dennis, Ph.D. Priming and the Design of 3D Virtual Worlds to improve Group C
Please join us for a talk by Dr. Alan Dennis at the CIS 720 Seminar. Dr. Dennis is a senior IS scholar at Indiana University and HICSS Track Chair. His work involves a variety of topics dealing with HCI, collaborative technologies, and behaviors.

Title of the talk: Priming and the Design of 3D Virtual Worlds to improve Group Creativity

This study examined whether the 3D virtual reality environment in which users work affects their creativity. We tested two theoretically different ways to design the background objects that offered no additional functionality and found that the background triggered different numbers of ideas. I will also talk about the "back-story" of the study; that is, how it changed over time as the paper went through the review process.
CIS 720 seminar by Dr. Anthony Vance
Please join us for the CIS PHD seminar on Monday 4:30-5:30 in Hamilton Library. Our speaker will be visiting scholar Dr. Anthony Vance.

Title: How Do People Habituate to Security Warnings Over Time? Insights from Longitudinal fMRI and Field Experiments
Abstract: Research in the fields of information systems and human–computer interaction has shown that habituation—decreased response to repeated stimulation—is a serious threat to the effectiveness of security warnings. Although habituation is a neurobiological phenomenon that develops over time, past studies have only examined this problem cross-sectionally. Further, past studies have not examined how habituation influences actual security warning behavior in the field. For these reasons, the full extent of the problem of habituation is unknown.

We address these gaps by conducting two complementary longitudinal experiments. First, we performed an fMRI experiment to directly measure habituation to security warnings as it develops in the brain over a five-day workweek. Our results show not only a general decline of participants’ attention to warnings over time, but also that attention recovers at least partially between workdays without exposure to the warnings. Further, we found that updating the appearance of a warning—i.e., a polymorphic design— substantially reduced habituation of attention.

Second, we performed a three-week field experiment in which users were naturally exposed to privacy permission warnings as they installed apps on their mobile device. Consistent with our fMRI results, users’ security behavior substantially decreased over the three weeks. However, for users who received polymorphic permission warnings, adherence dropped at a substantially lower rate and remained high after three weeks compared to users who received standard warnings. Together, these findings provide the most complete view yet of the problem of habituation to security warnings, and demonstrates that
polymorphic warnings can substantially improve warning adherence behavior.
CIS 720 seminar by Dr. Depeng Li, Internet of Things
Please join us for another CIS PhD seminar, with title: "Security for Internet of Things and Case Studies"

Where: Hamilton LIbrary 3K
When: 4:30 - 5:30, Monday Feb 5
The Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming an emerging trend and a growing reality in our age. In IoT, a variety of smart objects (things) interacts and communicates with the environment by exchanging the information. Its pervasive presence offers the ability to measure the contextual indicators and to facilitate information sharing by enabling network connections among physical objects. However, the growing importance of Internet of Things (IoT) and its use to support critical applications have made security and privacy a central issue today. It becomes evident that weaknesses of IoT could open a door for adversaries and some vulnerability, inherent in IoT, could be targeted by the malicious users. The potential vulnerability of IoTmay lead to a compromised system if there is no deployment of appropriate, well-designed counteractions. This talk will will introduce some interesting case studies such as air traffic management (ongoing) and e-Health (future work).