Allan to Join Computing Research Association’s Board of Directors

James Allan
James Allan

James Allan, professor and chair of the faculty in the College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS), was recently elected as a member of the Computing Research Association (CRA) Board of Directors.

With a mission to unite industry, academia, and government to strengthen computing research, CRA has led the computing research community since 1972. By promoting the development of computing research and bringing awareness to policymakers and the public, CRA paves the way for computing researchers looking for opportunities.

The CRA Board works to address issues that impact the realm of computer research and handles the community's reaction to the various affairs. The Board also provides the membership for the Government Affairs, Snowbird Conference, Taulbee Survey, Finance, Elections, and other standing committees. Allan's term will start on July 1, 2018 and will run until June 30, 2021.

With a Ph.D. in computer science from Cornell University, Allan joined the University of Massachusetts Amherst's Computer Science Department in 1994 as a research professor. He was promoted to a full professor in 2008, and currently serves as the chair of the CICS faculty and co-director of the Center for Intelligent Information Retrieval (CIIR).

Allan's research centers around information retrieval, event-based information organization, as well as minimally interactive retrieval and organization. He also looks at how novelty can be integrated into retrieval algorithms, methods for representing and retrieving video segments, and how to identify controversial subjects on the internet.

Allan has served on the organizing and program committees for major conferences, including the ACM Special Interest Group on Information Retrieval (SIGIR), Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM), and Web Search and Data Mining (WSDM). He currently serves on the editorial board of Foundation and Trends in Information Retrieval, and is a past associate editor for ACM's Transactions on Information Systems (TOIS) and Elsevier's Information Processing and Management (IPM) journals. With his students, he received Best Paper awards from SIGIR in 2001 and 2006 as well as a Best Student Paper at the Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval (CHIIR) in 2017. He also received a SIGIR Test of Time Award for a 1998 paper on event detection and tracking.

Written by Jill Webb (Journalism, '18)