DSI Welcomes New Directors

Date Published: 
February 6, 2017

The Data Science Initiative (DSI) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Yaorong Ge and Dr. Michael Thompson as Faculty Directors for the Data Science Initiatives’ academic programs. In their roles, they will oversee the ongoing revision and implementation of the Data Science and Business Analytics and the Health Informatics curricula. In addition, they will manage the growing interdisciplinary partnerships between the Belk College of Business, the College of Computing and Informatics, College of Health and Human Services, and the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. These colleagues bring the knowledge and experience to the program that will ensure the continued success of the Data Science Initiative.  

Yaorong Ge will take on the position of Faculty Director for the Data Science and Business Analytics graduate programs.  Dr. Ge is an Associate Professor in the Department of Software and Information Systems and a core member of the Health Informatics program. He has extensive experience applying data science to healthcare both in academic research and in industry. He obtained his PhD in Computer Science from Vanderbilt University.

Michael Thompson will take on the position of Faculty Director for the Health Informatics graduate programs.  Dr. Thompson is an Associate Professor of Public Health Sciences and Director of UNC Charlotte’s CAHME-accredited and nationally ranked MHA Program.   Previously, Dr. Thompson was Director of the Department's CEPH-accredited MPH program.  He has over 20 years’ experience in actively developing and leading accredited public health and health administration programs domestically and internationally.

Drs. Ge and Thompson will be replacing Dr. David Wilson (SIS) and Dr. Bill Saunders (PHS) respectively.  Dr. Wilson and Dr. Saunders have been tireless servants for their respective programs and students.  Their work on behalf of the Data Science Initiative has been instrumental in the ongoing success of both the DSBA and HI academic programs.  The change in program leadership comes as Wilson and Saunders take on new projects within the Data Science Initiative.

Dr. Wilson recently received a Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) award from the National Science Foundation. The STTR program is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. The award will enable Dr. Wilson and his colleagues to explore the technological potential of their recent research.

Dr. Saunders will be leading a new collaboration with IBM Watson Health’s Explorys Team.  He will be a Technical Consultant for the IBM Team and developing a relationship between IBM and UNC Charlotte’s College of Health and Human Services that will focus on access to IBM Watson Health’s Explorys and Truven data sources.

Please join us in congratulating Drs. Ge, Thompson, Wilson, and Saunders on their new roles. Their continued willingness to support and promote DSI activities is highly appreciated.