UB School of Management PhD student wins poster contest at CIST conference

The poster of “Collaborative Information Processing Behavior in Crisis Situations: A Study of 2010 Haiti Earthquake” that earned first place at CIST in November.

Release Date: December 9, 2014 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Rohit Valecha, a doctoral student in the University at Buffalo School of Management, took first place in the Poster Slam contest at the Conference on Information Systems and Technology (CIST) in November.

Titled “Collaborative Information Processing Behavior in Crisis Situations: A Study of 2010 Haiti Earthquake,” Valecha’s poster documented research into how first responders were aided by the microblogging and mapping system Ushahidi during the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. The study was co-authored by Onook Oh from the University of Colorado Denver.

During the crisis, volunteers posted messages to Ushahidi to alert emergency personnel to where victims needed help and grouped the messages into categories by tagging them with common keywords.

Valecha found that while this process helped rescue workers geographically locate victims, more than two-thirds of the messages had tagging errors. It also offered recommendations to improve tagging accuracy in similar situations in the future.

“Rohit’s work is an excellent example of how academic research can have a positive influence on society,” says H. Raghav Rao, SUNY Distinguished Service Professor, Management Science and Systems Department. “I anticipate that his work will have far reaching impact.”

The project also earned third place in the conference’s video competition. The video is available online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hBkVhvXGPg.

The UB School of Management is recognized for its emphasis on real-world learning, community and economic impact, and the global perspective of its faculty, students and alumni. The school also has been ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek, the Financial Times, Forbes and U.S. News & World Report for the quality of its programs and the return on investment it provides its graduates. For more information about the UB School of Management, visit mgt.buffalo.edu.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, the largest and most comprehensive campus in the State University of New York. UB’s nearly 30,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.


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