Campus News Society & Culture

UGA launches Presidential Informatics Hiring Initiative

University of Georgia President Jere W. Morehead and Provost Pamela Whitten have announced a new hiring initiative focused on recruiting faculty to enhance the university’s instruction and scholarship in the rapidly growing field of informatics.

The initiative will create up to nine new tenure-stream positions in informatics—a broad field that encompasses the collection, classification, storage, retrieval, analysis and dissemination of massive data sets—and the deans of all of UGA’s schools and colleges have been invited to submit proposals.

“The University of Georgia is committed to recruiting exceptional faculty members who are engaged in world-changing scholarship,” Morehead said. “The informatics faculty who join the institution through this initiative will profoundly impact instruction and research in multiple disciplines on campus and will increase opportunities for outreach across our state.”

Whitten noted that informatics is inherently interdisciplinary, both as an academic discipline as well as in its applications. Massive amounts of data are generated through clinical trials, for example, as well as through genome studies in medicine and agriculture. Social and political scientists are mining huge amounts of data from the Internet, social media and political polling, often with a geographic focus superimposed. Humanists are increasingly exploring digital archives, while business analysts seek access to large data sets for financial market analysis, supply chain management and risk assessment. She added that computer science and engineering are pivotal to the technological solutions that will advance informatics in all areas of study.

“Fields ranging from health care to the sciences, humanities and engineering see the tremendous potential of leveraging massive volumes of data to yield significant advances in research,” Whitten said. “Many of our faculty members are already on the cutting edge of informatics, and this hiring initiative signals our commitment to ensuring that UGA is a leader in using complex data sets to address some of the world’s most significant challenges.”