New Merrill College Assistant Professor Nick Diakopoulos and Dean Lucy Dalglish

New Merrill College Assistant Professor Nick Diakopoulos and Dean Lucy Dalglish

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Computational journalist Nicholas A. Diakopoulos will be the newest assistant professor at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Dean Lucy Dalglish announced the appointment today.

Diakopoulos comes to the University of Maryland from Columbia University, where he is a Tow fellow in the Graduate School of Journalism. He is also a consultant in New York City working on research, design and development of computational media applications.

“Nick’s appointment will have an immediate impact on our efforts to engage in teaching and research on cutting-edge issues of computational journalism, big data analysis and algorithms, and data visualization,” Dalglish said. “I can’t begin to tell you how excited we are that Nick has agreed to join the faculty at Merrill College.”

With a background in computer science and human-computer interaction, Diakopoulos received his Ph.D. from the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech.  He was also a computing innovation fellow at the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University from 2009-2011.

“Data, algorithms and computing are enabling entirely new ways of finding and telling journalistic stories,”  Diakopoulos said. “I’m thrilled to be joining the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at a time when there is so much excitement and growth potential in this burgeoning interdisciplinary area. I’m eager to continue my scholarship on computational journalism, while also rethinking how it impacts the practice and education of the next generation of digital-native journalists at Maryland and beyond.”

As a computer scientist, Diakopoulos will be able to create opportunities for collaboration across the University of Maryland campus that could include such areas as political and civic engagement, public policy, mobile media management, data aggregation and mining or computational social science.

Diakopoulos begins his teaching duties this fall semester, and will also set up a computational journalism lab in Knight Hall.

“Special thanks go to the search committee, led by Professor Sarah Oates, for their hard work in recruiting Dr. Diakopoulos,” Dalglish said. “We’re especially grateful for the help of Professor Ben Bederson and Professor Ben Shneiderman of the university’s computer science department, who helped us craft a job description, develop a search strategy and recruit talented candidates who could bring sophisticated digital skills to Merrill College.”

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Twitter:   @ndiakopoulos