Bob Losee: Master's Papers and Doctoral Dissertation Advising:
At UNC-CH SILS, Master's papers require only one advisor and no oral defense.
Doctoral dissertation committees require several SILS faculty members and at least
from outside our School.
There is an oral defense of the doctoral dissertation.
I am willing to act as a master's paper advisor in almost any area.
I am probably a strong research leader in (in no particular order)
artificial intelligence (machine learning),
organization of information,
information and knowledge and their applications,
Much of my work involves quantiative modeling of systems.
Students considering working with any possible advisor at any school should begin by
searching databases of literature to determine which possible advisors have the most expertise producing
the kinds of outcomes that the student desires.
I am willing to act as a doctoral student's advisor or member of their dissertation committee in areas related to
research I've conducted and where I and others in the area frequently talk about research.
We have a very diverse faculty,
with many having doctorates in fields outside of ILS,
and research discussions are more difficult
and less common
in that sort of environment than in very homogeneous schools where all have similar backgrounds and values.
member has their own group of faculty who they talk with about research:
some faculty include me in discussions (and I would be glad to
work with doctoral students advised by these faculty),
and some faculty do not include me in discussions (and I cannot effectively work with students in those areas.)
Doctoral students need and deserve a high quality, communicative dissertation committee, and
students should settle for nothing less;
the SILS doctoral exams are developed and graded by the student's
committee for that specific student, and low collegiality
among the faculty on the committee can be problematic for the
While it is painful for me to turn
down a request to be an advisor or a member of a dissertation committee,
I must do so if research communication in that area is rare.
If you are a current SILS doctoral student, talk with your advisor about who
she or he routinely talks to about research. This should be all or most of
your dissertation committee, regardless of what area these people are
perceived to work in.
Students with a strong interest in information should
consider the research strengths in processes of the
UNC-CH Computer Science Department
or the strengths in epistemology and language in the
UNC-CH Philosophy Department.
I would be glad to serve on dissertation committees in those departments
as an outside member (usually at least one outsider is required),
and can serve as a more central member of a dissertation
committee if desired by that department.