UB Bull

Supervision & Advisement

General Information

LIS Academic Regulations state that new students are assigned an initial faculty advisor, who serves as a counselor on all academic matters. The faculty member who signs the students's Plan of Study becomes his or her official advisor. Students are encouraged to seek advice from other faculty as well.

As your advisor, my main responsibility is to assist you in deciding the area of concentration of your study, selecting the appropriate courses offered by the department, by other academic units at UB, and by other universities, and working out your plan of study (basically when to take which courses). For other matters such as when to pay your tution, please consult with the appropriate offices. Usually either the LIS Office (phone: 716-645-2412), the UB Student Response Center (phone: 716-645-2450), or the UBIT Help Desk (phone: 716-645-3542) will be able to answer such questions.

Once you have an academics related question or issue that needs my advisement or help, you may want to contact me in a timely manner. Please understand that usually communications between a student and his/her advisor are initiated by the student.

Plan of Study

Advisees are encouraged to discuss with me about their plan of study (POS) at any point of their program. Once you have a draft POS, you can send me by email or bring to me in person for discussion. You're also encouraged to talk to me before drafting your POS form. The POS Form is available online as a MS Word document. You can fill out the form electronically and send to me by email for approval. If you need to make changes to your previously submitted POS, you can do so by revising it directly with "track changes" turned on (so that I can see easily what is added and/or what is removed). Please keep a copy of your POS. The revision of a POS also requires the advisor's approval before it can come into effect.

You do not need to print out your POS form and sign it. Your email to me (with your POS attached) serves the purpose of your signature. Likewise, my email to DLIS staff with your POS form attached serves my signature.


  • LIS526 - Practicum is a supervised field experience providing student an opportunity to practice and observe library and information services in action. Practicum Guidelines are available online for your reference. While I'd be happy to help advisees find the appropriate practicum opportunities, please understand that it is not my responsibility. Once you decide your practicum, you'll have to register for it through the DLIS department office. Complete the Practicum Registration Form and send to me by email or bring to me in person for approval. The following are things specifically required for LIS526:
    • In the first week of class, write me an email of a brief description of your practicum: where it will be, what you'll specifically do for it, what you expect to learn through it, and who will be your surpervisor (name, title, and email).
    • Somewhere in the middle of the semester, write me an email of your interim report: whether you're on schedule, what you have done and yet to be done, what problems/issues you have encountered if any, and how you manage to solve them.
    • In the final examination week, write me an email of your final report, basically summarizing whether you have achieved your goal, what you have learned, and how you learned that. Meanwhile, your practicum supervisor should write me an email of evaluating your work ethics and performance: whether you have done what you were expected to do and overall accessment of your work quality. Please remind him/her of this. With these things, I will be able to assign a grade to your practicum. Your practicum grade will be either S (satisfactory) or U (unsatisfactory).
  • LIS527 - Special Projects offers an opportunity for student to work on special information problems or projects. Students who wish to take LIS527 with me (i.e., under my surpervision) are encouraged to talk with me. This will basically be from my research projects such as cross-language information retrieval, legal information retrieval, digital libraries, web system design, etc. The emphasis will be on hands-on experience of buidling systems and/or conducting user studies. I will work out a plan of the course on an individual base. For students who take LIS527 with other people, the requirements are the same as for LIS526 (see above). The Special Projects Registration Form and Guidelines are both available online.
  • LIS598 Directed Studies is for the exploration of a special topic. It has a strong element of research. Students who take the course with me are expected to read lots of papers and have weekly discussion with me. In some cases, a conference paper or a draft grant proposal may be expected from the student (co-authored with me). Topics that I'm currently interested in directing students on through LIS598 are as follows. Students who are interested in any of these topics are encouraged to contact me. The Directed Studies Registration Form is also available online.
    • Relevance model and user study in legal e-discovery
    • Interface design for searching Enron emails
    • Information seeking and use by non-native English speakers
    • Question-answering with documents in foreign languages


I'm open to the methods of advising students. Advisees can communicate with me by email, by phone, or in person (536 Baldy). If you wish to talk to me, please feel free to either walk in or call me during my weekly office hours; you can make an appointment in advance if you wish to stop by or talk on the phone at a different time. My office hours for Fall 2012 are at 3:00AM-5:00PM Thursday.

Further Information

Students are strongly advised to get familiar with the DLIS Academic Regulations, which contains useful information of all the matters described above.


If you want to list me as a reference for seeking jobs, applying for scholarships, etc., please feel free to contact me. Usually I am happy to help students with such matters. Please contact me at your earliest convenience so that I have enough time to prepare letters for you.