Research areas

Social Informatics


Liz Davidson investigates blogging as discursive activity and critical analysis of technology discourse in general.

Rich Gazan's work addresses how people integrate diverse types of knowledge, both in social computing environments such as social question answering (social Q&A) communities, and in interdisciplinary scientific collaborations.

Scott Robertson's research focuses on how social networks mediate political discourse, integrating HCI and social informatics issues to support civic affairs.

Dan Suthers was the Principal Investigator of the Traces project, that was building a theoretical foundation for analysis, a data model, and software tools to trace out the movements, confluences, and transformations of people and ideas in online social networks.


Human Computer Interaction

Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) has a broad interdisciplinary nature.

Following CIS faculty members are working on HCI projects that also extend to other areas:

Kim Binsted - Entertaining and Affective Intelligent Interfaces (principal investigator of HI-SEAS Project).

Martha Crosby is currently researching different types of physiological measures used to assess the computer user’s cognitive state. Recent work includes HCI applications of eye tracking and the pressures applied when using a computer mouse.

Jason Leigh is the head of LAVA lab, in which different visualization tools and technologies are being developed, including the virtual reality spaces such as Cyber CANOE (Collaborative Analytics Navigation and Observation Environment).

Randy Minas is responsible for the Hawaii Interdisciplinary Neurobehavioral and Technology Lab (HINTLab), and the research that examines technological use and the positive or negative effects on humans.

Brett Oppegaard works in HCI areas related to media accessibility and ubiquitous computing, particularly focused on mobile technologies; he is the principal investigator on The UniDescription Project.

Scott Robertson - HCI issues in digital democracy, social computing and civic engagement (head of HICHI lab);

Dan Suthers - How representational affordances of interfaces affect collaboration (director of LILIT lab).

Bo Xiao studies Internet technologies for electronic commerce to evaluate how to better design systems for effective use. She is also investigating the “dark side” of Internet use for fraud, cyberbullying, and similar.

CIS faculty working in the Intelligent Agents & Human-Robot Interaction area are Susanne Still.

Data Science

Data Science is a research area introduced to CIS just recently. This practice is applying data-intensive methodologies that could be found across different scientific disciplines.

Rich Gazan is interested in interdisciplinarity issues that emerge from NASA astrobiology research publications, with performing document and scientometric analysis.

Mahdi Belcaid’s focus in data science is on natural language processing, bio data science and data science software engineering.

Jason Leigh’s interests in data science are data visualization, immersive analytics, computer supported cooperative work and natural language interfaces.

Dan Port’s interests are in empirical systems and software engineering, economics and risk-driven systems and software engineering, decision science for systems and software, cost estimation, actionable management analytics, business sustainability modeling, process modeling and simulation, and systems assurance.

Peter Sadowski’s research focuses on machine learning, data science, and artificial intelligence. He aims to understand and use learning systems to address the most challenging problems in science and engineering. Three overarching themes of his work are: (1) Understanding learning in neural networks (both real and artificial); (2) Developing new algorithms, models, and methods to learn from limited data; (3) Accelerating scientific discovery through applications of machine learning. In particular, he collaborates on funded research projects to apply machine learning in a number of fields that are specialties of University of Hawaii: astronomy, atmospheric sciences, microbiome science, and improving medical care for diverse populations.

Dan Suthers' data science interests lie in analysis of sociotechnical systems, for example to understand social affordances of technology, characterize the nature of public interactions in social media, and understand how interpersonal ties and community structures are technologically embedded. Professor Suthers is methodologically eclectic, having worked with microanalysis of interaction as well as social network analysis, natural language processing, and traditional statistical methods.

Peter Washington’s research in data science are within these areas: crowdsourcing, gamified data curation, human-in-the-loop data management, self-supervised learning, and multimodal learning.

Information Policy and Planning

Jenifer Winter and Liz Davidson are studying data governance and stewardship in the era of “big data.”  Currently, they are conducting case studies of personal health data governance models to identify how governance models take form and how issues of privacy, security, integrity, and reuse can be managed for optimal value realization.

Cybersecurity and assurance

Several ICS affiliated professors are involved in the research related to the topic of information assurance (Edo BiagioniDavid ChinMartha Crosby, and Philip Johnson).

Edo Biagioni is interested in the technology and the theory of modern computer networks and other fundamental computing infrastructure such as operating systems. He is also interested in social and ethical aspects related to these technologies.

Depeng Li’s research interests are mainly in information, cyber and physical security, with an emphasis on applied cryptography. His research projects span across areas, mainly in security, privacy, and safety for Internet of Things as well as related applications such as healthcare/medical privacy, aviation safety, and energy saving solutions.

Barbara Endicott-Popovsky’s cybersecurity interests include addressing the talent gap, digital forensics, software engineering, cyber operations and cybersecurity related standards.

Digital Business Transformation

Elizabeth Davidson and Bo Xiao, in collaboration with CIS Alumni Kaveh Abhari, are studying open innovation on digital platforms for social product development.

Tung Bui studies new business models for commerce enabled by internet technologies, as well as the use of ICTs in crisis response.

Working with Dr. Bui, recent CIS alumni, Rajib Subba, studied the use of social media platforms in organizing and delivering resources in crisis and disaster recovery.



Health Informatics

A variety of faculty and students are working in the area of health information and technologies. Elizabeth Davidson conducts research on the adoption and diffusion of clinical information systems, such as electronic health records, and on the organizational assimilation of clinical and administrative health systems.

CIS students working with her are pursuing health IT studies: Joanne Loos is studying the impact of activity trackers on patient/provider communications in a field experiment.  In an action research project, Christina Higa is studying how integrating friends and family with mobile technology and telehealth education can improve health outcomes for individuals with diabetes in underserved communities. Kelly Holden is studying the impact of wellness programs and IT on employee health behavioral change.  CIS PhD candidate Weranuj Ariyasriwatana is completing her study of how healthy eating is depicted in online restaurant reviews.

Parallel Distributed Systems
Henri Casanova is the principal investigator of CoRG, a lab for the development of novel simulation models, algorithms, and systems for parallel and distributed computing platforms and applications.

Historical studies of information, communication and ICTs

History of Libraries

Andrew Wertheimer's research interests fall in the areas of information science, library history, and Japanese-American print culture. He is currently working on projects related to prewar and wartime Japanese American print culture, including community libraries in America’s Concentration Camps, in 1942-1946. In addition, he is researching the history of libraries in Hawaii, Asian American librarians, library and information sciences education, and the relationship between collection management and changes in publishing.