UNC-Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science (SILS) alumnus Miles Efron (MSIS ’00, PhD ’03) has been named the Centennial Scholar for 2015-2016 by the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The award is endowed by alumni and friends of GSLIS and given in recognition of outstanding accomplishments and/or professional promise in the field of library and information science.
“This award will help me to continue organizing GSLIS’s ongoing participation in the annual Text Retrieval Conference (TREC), hosted by the National Institute for Standards and Technology,” Efron said. “It will also afford me a much-welcomed freedom to pursue a project in the digital humanities—analyzing data from the HathiTrust—that I have had on the back burner for a few years now.”
Efron joined the GSLIS faculty in 2009. His research areas include information retrieval in emerging domains such as social media and large collections of digitized books; diachronic issues in information retrieval; and human interactions with information search and retrieval systems. His current work focuses on information filtering problems, with special emphasis on applying unsupervised and semi-supervised statistical learning to filtering-related tasks. He has received funding to support this work from Google and the National Science Foundation.
Efron has published papers in several scholarly journals—including the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST), Information Processing and Management, Journal of Digital Information, and Knowledge and Information Systems—and has presented at international conferences, receiving best paper awards and nominations. He currently serves on the editorial board of JASIST.
“Miles is working in new areas of enormous importance and promise, pioneering novel methods of information retrieval and analysis that will help us make better use of social media and other new sources of digital information. He is an extraordinary young scholar who already has great accomplishments to his credit and certainly more to come,” said GSLIS Dean Allen Renear. “We are very proud to have him here with us.”
Prior to joining the GSLIS faculty, Efron was an assistant professor in the School of Information at the University of Texas and a postdoctoral researcher and instructor UNC. In addition to being an associate professor at GSLIS, Efron holds a courtesy appointment in the Department of Computer Science.