2021-12-16: From Researcher to ISTI Postdoctoral Fellow

This summer, I was excited to be chosen as a new Postdoctoral researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory's Information Sciences Division (CCS-3). Being accepted for the position helped me focus my attention on quickly finishing and defending my dissertation. I appreciate the support of my committee -- Michael Nelson, Michele Weigle, Sampath Jayarathna, Jian Wu, Jose Padilla, and Martin Klein -- without whom this would not have been possible. By finishing my dissertation this summer, I could accept the Postdoc position this fall and begin working with my new mentor, Dr. Diane Oyen. Over the past few months, I have been working on new computer vision and image information retrieval research. Dr. Oyen strongly suggested submitting an application to the Information Science & Technology Institute (ISTI) Postdoctoral Fellow program. Each year, out of the hundreds of postdocs at LANL, only two are awarded this prestigious position. Last week, I discovered that the committee selected me to be a new ISTI Postdoctoral Fellow.

The ISTI Postdoctoral Fellow position provides me with the freedom to spend 50% of my time researching new methods of automatic summarization. Many readers may be familiar with my work on the Dark and Stormy Archives (DSA) Project. The community goal of the DSA is to provide storytelling solutions that help users understand web archive collections. The technical computer science research work for the DSA breaks down into several areas:

  • intelligent sampling from corpora - Which documents from the collection best educate users about it? How do we select them? How do we evaluate our selections?
  • automatic summarization - How do we build sentences for summaries? How long should the summaries be? What images best represent a document?
  • user evaluation of visualizations - Which surrogates best help readers understand a collection when grouped into a story?

My dissertation provides details on how to accomplish this with web archive collections, but there is so much more to do, and I am looking forward to pursuing it.

I wholeheartedly thank Dr. Oyen for her nomination and assistance in crafting the application that made this possible.

-- Dr. Shawn M. Jones, ISTI Postdoctoral Fellow