UW Today

May 16, 2012

iSchool Professor Batya Friedman named 2012-13 University Faculty Lecturer

Batya Friedman, a professor in the University of Washington Information School, has been named University Faculty Lecturer for 2012-13. Chosen by a faculty committee led by Provost Ana Mari Cauce, Friedman is known for technology design that supports important human values.

Batya Friedman

Batya Friedman

The award, which comes with $5,000, honors current or emeritus faculty whose achievements have had substantial impacts on their profession and perhaps society as a whole. In the fall, Friedman will deliver an all-university lecture about her work.

The range of Friedmans research is huge, iSchool Dean Harry Bruce said in his nominating letter: online privacy, technologically mediated relationships with nature, technology and homeless youth, and most recently, healing from genocide.

“In my many years in academia, I have known no one I find more deserving of such a stellar research, teaching, service award,”  iSchool Professor Eliza Dresang said in Bruces nominating letter.

Friedman could not be reached for comment, as she was on her way to Rwanda where she will conduct more research and outreach related to Voices from the Rwanda Tribunal, the collection of interviews with judges, interpreters, defense counsel and others who have served the tribunal.

The court has considered cases of Rwandans accused of participating in the 1994 genocide, which resulted in the deaths of 800,000 people in less than 100 days.

Conducted by a team that included legal experts and a videographer, the interviews are believed to be the first with people serving on a war crimes tribunal. In designing Voices research, Friedman used multi-lifespan information system design, the research she pioneered to address problems that cannot be resolved in a single lifespan.

As part of her work in Rwanda, Friedman culled about a dozen of the 49 interviews, showing them to groups in the country as a way to help with healing.

A UW faculty member since 1999, Friedman holds appointments in the iSchool as well as the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering. She also directs the Value Sensitive Design Research Lab.