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Informatics Institute takes shape

On the heels of news from over the summer on the UGA informatics initiative, proposals and new positions have been approved at the university level that moves UGA a few more steps in that direction:

[UGA] is building upon its established strengths in the interdisciplinary field of informatics by creating the Georgia Informatics Institute for Research and Education.

Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Pamela Whitten has charged a committee composed of several of the university's informatics faculty members with developing content for a new undergraduate core curriculum in informatics that will be the basis of an Engineering Informatics program and a model that other schools and colleges can adapt for their students.

Planning for a new graduate certificate and professional development programs also is underway, and up to nine new faculty members will be hired this year through a Presidential Informatics Hiring Initiative announced in July.


Larry Hornak, co-chair of the Georgia Informatics Institute committee and associate dean for research in the College of Engineering, noted that the breadth of informatics research on campus is reflected in the committee's membership.

In addition to Hornak and co-chair Thiab Taha, professor and head of the department of computer sciences in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, committee members include Kyle Johnsen, associate professor of engineering; Jessica Kissinger, director of UGA's Institute of Bioinformatics and a professor of genetics in the Franklin College; William Kretzschmar, the Harry and Jane Willson Professor in Humanities in the English department; Dawn Robinson, a professor in the sociology department; and Rick Watson, the J. Rex Fuqua Distinguished Chair for Internet Strategy in the Terry College of Business.

The participation of and leadership from so many Franklin College faculty members ensures this new institute will be integrated throughout our departments, creating great new collaborations and joint-hiring possibilities that will produce important research leverage. Franklin's partnership with Engineering goes back a long way and continues apace. Our thanks to the fine work by faculty and units to generate thoughtful proposals to move this important initiative forward.

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