Today, the Department of Media and Information is one of the few places in the world that brings together world-class creative and research faculty working in digital media and information, formerly separate industries that are increasingly converging in a new digital media and information ecosystem.
We began as the Department of Radio, Television, and Film in 1958. Focused on broadcasting – a rapidly growing industry at the time – the department was started by visionary faculty who recognized the economic, political and social importance of broadcasting and its technological, business and creative opportunities.
Nearly 20 years later in 1975, technology began changing the media landscape at lightning speed with the emergence of digital innovations and the influx of computing. The department evolved in parallel and changed its name to the Department of Telecommunication. However, as technology and business developments in the media industries continued to advance at an accelerating pace, and as the department continued to expand teaching and research, the name was again adapted to be the Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media in 2003.
Since then, digitization and the rapid growth of the internet have radically changed the ecosystem of communications, which is increasingly computer-mediated. The specialized networks of the past (broadcasting, cable TV, telephone, data) are increasingly replaced by integrated all-IP networks. Applications and services such as Netflix, in addition to network operators, have become powerful drivers of innovation.
Our new name, Department of Media and Information (M&I), adopted in 2014, better reflects this new world of internet communication, social media and the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT). The fusion of media and information technology and industries has unleashed tremendous innovations and our department continues to contribute to them in teaching, creative production, research and by giving back to society at large.
We are a dynamic community of researchers, creators and teachers united by a passion for all aspects of media and information. We continuously innovate to explore and utilize the tremendous social and economic opportunities created by media convergence, the internet, social media, mobile communications, the Internet of Things (IoT) and virtual and immersive media.
A member of the iSchools Consortium, the Department of Media and Information offers an environment of engaged learning and scholarship in which we design, explore and study the next frontiers of media and information technology, content and applications. We believe in the need to combine specific skills with the ability to understand the transformational forces affecting media and information in the U.S. and worldwide.
With this goal in mind, our curriculum offers theoretical, practical and integrative elements. Many courses use experiential learning that immerses students in practical problem-solving, often with private and public sector clients.
We are committed to offering our undergraduate and graduate students the best education in the field of digital media. We care about the effects of new media and seek to harness their powers to create a better world by fully understanding the benefits of computer-mediated communications for individuals, organizations, communities and society.
We are continuously innovating as researchers and creators to advance digital media and computer-mediated communications. Our research and creative scholarship advance our knowledge of the modern media and information ecosystem and contribute to the development of the next generations of computer-mediated communications.
Several dedicated and shared labs, centers and research groups help organize our research and creative activities effectively:
- Faculty associated with the GEL (Games for Entertainment and Learning) Lab design and study innovative prototypes, techniques and digital games.
- The Quello Center strengthens the ability of the department to address issues of technology and policy through engagement with practitioners and policy-makers. In addition, research groups are dedicated to games and avatar research, innovative interface research, health research and the design and effects of socio-technical systems.
- The Rural Computing Research Consortium is a group of faculty and students who are interested in advancing research and outreach related to computing, broadly construed, in rural communities.
- The Social and Psychological Approaches to Research on Technology-Interaction Effects (SPARTIE) Lab conducts research and produces outreach media on meaningful effects of human-technology interaction.
We value publications in high-quality journals and archival proceedings and our creative faculty is expected to similarly place their output in juried venues and national competitions. In support of these activities, we have developed a culture of seeking external funding to support research and creative production.