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Informatics Hiring Initiative

Tuesday, August 16, 2016 - 11:11am

The big news about Big Data on campus includes the announcement of eight new faculty members in the rapidly growing field of informatics that we welcome to UGA this year:

The new hires, who will work in seven departments and five of the university's schools and colleges, build upon the university's longstanding leadership in informatics. UGA has more than 160 faculty members whose work involves the analysis of massive data sets, and plans are underway to create the campus-wide Georgia Informatics Institutes for Research and Education.

New faculty include three in the Franklin College whose expertise and research focus are an encapsulation of why this initiative is so important:

  • Alexander Bucksch, an assistant professor with a joint appointment in the department of plant biology in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, the UGA Institute of Bioinformatics and the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. Bucksch develops imaging methods and software to quantify how plants adapt to increasingly resource-limited environments, with implications for crop breeding.
  • Jaewoo Lee, assistant professor in the department of computer science in the Franklin College. Lee develops new computational and statistical techniques for data mining, with a focus on enhancing data privacy and security.
  • Steven E. Wheeler will join UGA's faculty in January as an associate professor of chemistry in the Franklin College. Wheeler and his team have developed computational tools to screen and design new catalysts. Their work has implications for the synthesis of pharmaceuticals and the creation of organic electronic materials.

Beyond this, the initiative has vast implications for researchers in every field, as informatics continues to re-shape the investigative landscape with much more effective capabilities to tackle questions and problems that were simply too unmanageable even just a few short years ago. Welcome to all of these faculty members, and congratulations to the UGA faculty and staff who have long been working to make the fruits of the Information Age more useful, secure and accessible. It is a wonderful moment in the history of research for laboratories and libraries of every kind.

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