Myeong Lee

Information Science

Research Interests

Myeong is an Assistant Professor of information science. His research interests are in understanding the dynamics of cities, local groups, and local information inequality. He also designs and implements systems that demonstrate geographically-embedded structures of information and associated issues. Through research, he aims to contribute to civic engagement, policy-making, socio-technical systems theories, and information access. 

Featured Projects

A part of my dissertation presents a theory of local information landscapes (LIL theory). A theoretical implication of LIL theory is that the material pre-condition of information inequality in a local community can be conceptualized as information deserts. I am currently working to operationalize the material aspects of community-level information landscapes. Based on this, our recent proposal was accepted to the NSF CHS program (#1816763), which aims to analyze Boston's 311 data, i.e., citizens' inquiry records about non-emergency civic issues, using the information deserts framework to better understand the impact of civic technology/data on the dynamics of local communities and information inequality. Our team of three universities will keep working on both the theoretical and practical sides of information deserts...Read More


Looking For Students (In Any Majors/Levels)

If you are interested in research projects that are about (1) data science for social good (broadly defined), (2) local community informatics, (3) civic technology analysis/design, and/or (4) information inequality, send me an email, please. I will be happy to discuss research topics and collaboration/mentorship opportunities.

Academic Experiences

At UMD, I was a Junior Fellow at the Center for the Advanced Study of Communities and Information (CASCI), a semi-formal group in the iSchool; also, I was affiliated with the Digital Curation Innovation Center (DCIC) and Platial Analysis Lab. In the professional world, I was a Data Science & Technology Fellow at The Center for Open Data Enterprise, a non-profit based in Washington D.C. that advocates for open data movements, where I led the development of the Open Data Impact Map and advised the SDG National Reporting Initiative on data management and technological strategy. Before that, I was a co-founder and Director of Software Development at Torooc Inc., a VC-funded emotional robot start-up, based in South Korea.

Professional Background

Before start studying information science, my focus was mainly on computing systems and software engineering including signal processing (e.g., image and sound data processing) and embedded software (i.e., system-level customized software for computing devices). For my Master's thesis, I designed a MapReduce-inspired software framework for swarm robot systems to reduce the complexity of application development while allowing energy-efficient transmissions of robots' sensory data. At that time, I read Swarm Intelligence (Kennedy et al., 2001), and was intrigued by the underlying philosophy of swarm robot systems, which assumed that intelligence was possible only when multiple agents exchanged their different perceptions of information. This raised my intellectual curiosity for people's use and exchange of information that resulted in high intelligence of humans and eventually led me to pursue studies in the field of Information Science.