Katy Börner

Distinguished Professor of Information Science

Katy Börner holds many job titles, but she is able to simply describe what she does. “I create maps and visualizations that make data, information and knowledge easier to understand for experts and the general public alike,” she said. As a Distinguished Professor of Information Science at IU, the Director of CI for Network Science Center (CNS) and the Curator for the Mapping Science exhibit, Börner is busy.

“I love being able to empower others to embrace the power of data and computation,” she said. “In the information age, people do not only need to read and write text, they also need to be able to read and make data visualizations.” Börner loves seeing the faces of scholars, museum visitors and others light up in delight when they manage to turn jumbles of numbers and letters into visualizations that tell insightful stories.

In Germany, Börner received an M.S. in electrical engineering and a Ph.D. in computer science. She joined Indiana University in 1999 and says she has continued learning ever since. “Caring about others and solving problems is extremely rewarding for me and it is wonderful to see the resulting domino effect,” she said.

Börner and her team taught a hands-on data visualization workshop at CEWiT’s annual Techie Women Have More… conference, and she also presented her work on Humanexus: Envisioning Communication and Collaboration at a CEWiT Salon in 2014. “CEWiT empowers not only women but IU in general,” said Börner. “It is wonderful to see professional collaborations and friendship networks grow larger and stronger every day.”

Börner believes knowing how to navigate and utilize data in modern information science, computer science, engineering and technologies is the ultimate empowerment. She encourages those entering STEM fields today to choose a field they are passionate about, and then find a job and mentors that guide positive solutions that will make a difference.