Dr. Blake is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor in the School of Information Sciences, and holds a join appointment as a Health Innovation Professor in the Carle Illinois College of Medicine at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). She holds a courtesy appointment in Computer Science and is affiliated with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), the Illinois Informatics Institute (I3) and the Personalized Nutrition Initiative (PNI). As principal investigator of the NSF’s Midwest Big Data Innovation Hub (MBDH,NSF abstract) she drives efforts to use AI for social impact in the region, and a study to assess the use of Artificial Intelligence in targeted search (CSL/Behring). Other projects include a program focused on middle schoolers to develop a cadre of health data literacy ambassadors (a collaborative effort with UIUC extension to reach teens data literacy project); using text mining methods to identify critical facets of privacy statements (CISCO) and estimate risk as part of a big data-theoretic approach to quantify organizational failure mechanisms in probabilistic risk assessment (NSF abstract). She formally served as Program Director for the Information School’s Master’s degree in Information Management (MSIM) and the campus wide MS in Bioinformatics (Bio) programs (2019-2022) and as Associate Director for the Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship (2011-2021).

Dr. Blake’s research explores both human and automated methods to synthesize evidence from text. She brings industrial experience as a software developer, formal training in information and computer science and almost two decades of research experience in text mining and natural language processing, primarily in biomedicine. Much of her work centers around the Claim Framework that provides both a conceptual framework along with a set of automated methods that extract key findings from empirical studies in medicine, toxicology, and epidemiology that was developed as part of a grant on evidence-based discovery (NSF abstract). She has also explored text mining in humanities to detect authorship from movie reviews, and in news stories to recognize textual entailment in news stories and create multiple document summaries. The research page lists current and former projects and the publications page captures links to most published articles that are also listed in her curriculum vitae (last updated December, 2021).

Dr. Blake regularly teaches an introductory course on databases (IS455) and a project based course on text mining (IS567). In the past she has developed new courses on evidence-based discovery, and the foundations of socio-technical data analytics and a specialization in Socio-technical Data Analytics (SODA) as part of an IMLS grant (IMLS abstract). The SODA specialization directly informed 2 of the 3 required courses in the iSchool’s MS in Information Management program. More information on her teaching and mentoring activities can be found on the teaching page.

Before joining UIUC, Blake was an assistant professor in the School of Information and Library Science (SILS) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), a graduate student in the School of Information and Computer Science (ICS) at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). Going further back she was a student in the Faculty of (Informatics) at the University of Wollongong (UoW) in Australia (translation note: Aussies call a School a Faculty). She also worked as a research scientist for BHP Melbourne Research Labs (MRL) and as a programmer analyst for BHP Information Technology, entities that have been bought, merged, and sold many times since Blake moved to academe.

Contact Details

School Information Sciences
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Room 5090, 614 E. Daniel St.
Champaign, IL 61820-6212
Telephone:(217) 333 0115
Facsimile: (217) 244 3302
Email: cl followed by my last name