Hi! I'm Jane Im. I am a fourth year Ph.D. candidate at the University of Michigan School of Information and Computer Science & Engineering, where I am luckily co-advised by Dr. Florian Schaub (SI advisor) and Dr. Nikola Banovic (CSE advisor). I was told that I may be the first PhD student to be formally evaluated by SI and CSE PhD program committees and enrolled in the two programs via SIDP. I find great benefits to be in both programs, so please feel free to reach out if you want to do the same!
Before coming to Michigan, I finished my undergraduate studies in Korea University, double majoring Business and Computer Science. I also studied and engaged in research projects at MIT EECS from fall 2016 to spring 2017. More recently, I was a research intern at Facebook (during my PhD studies).
Perhaps due to my interdisciplinary background in studying Computer Science and Business together, I feel most passionate about research that use computation for social good.
In my free time, I daydream about learning how to write lyrics. I want to write a song someday. :)
Although I started off as a Business major, I always had the thirst for creation using technology. I looked at the programmers more in awe
instead of the project managers.
This led me to learn programming and engage in the Big Data Analytics Competition organized by SK Telecom, the largest telecommunications corporation in South Korea. The goal of the competition was to design a business plan from analyzing big data. This was the first time I studied data mining, and for three months we taught ourselves how to preprocess data, select the right algorithms, and analyze the results while sharing our insights with each other. It was an eye-opening experience, and I loved the freedom of being able to create using technology.
Simultaneously, however, the experience made it evident I preferred projects with a more novel and fundamental approach than the application of business strategies. The understanding that research involves finding novel approaches sparked my desire to immerse myself more deeply in research endeavors.
At the same time, I fully knew that I was interested in the interaction between the computer and the human, attributing to a user-centered mindset I gained from business classes. This led me to decide to involve in more human-centric research projects while at MIT, and through these research experiences I narrowed down my interests within the area of HCI.
Ever since I went to school, I've received a lot of questions about my name because it's not a common Korean name. When I came to the U.S., a lot of people have been asking if "Jane" is my "real name." Long story short, it's both my Korean and English name. :)
My Korean first name "제인" is the Korean translation of the English name "Jane." For example, "Jane Austin" is translated into "제인 오스틴" in Korean (Jane -> 제인, Austin -> 오스틴). The pronounciation of "제" roughly matches to "Ja" and "인" roughly matches to "ne" My parents wanted me to have a "global" name and thought 제인 (Jane) was a good name for both Korean and English names. At the same time, they didn't forget to match Chinese characters to the name (which is pretty common in Korea): 濟仁(제인). 濟仁 roughly means "generous." :)