North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s visit to UNC Charlotte on Wednesday, April 19, provided a hands-on opportunity for the state’s chief executive to experience the power of Big Data.
University leaders discussed how UNC Charlotte’s Data Science Initiative is a collaborative, multidisciplinary effort with transformational implications for the economic growth of the greater Charlotte region and the entire state. With data sets increasing in size, scope and number, there is almost unlimited potential, especially when it comes to industry applications.
UNC Charlotte is at the forefront in developing the education, training and research programs in data science and analytics, integrated with business and industry expertise, to prepare new generations of data scientists, business analysts and managers with the technical and business skills needed to transform data into innovative business solutions.
Cooper visited UNC Charlotte’s Visualization Center, where he participated in live demonstrations that utilized large data sets – one was a geospatial immersive demo focused on emergency management and the other analyzed social media trends and patterns to better understand the past and present. These data sets can then be applied to help the retail, banking, energy and health care industries, to name a few.
The governor also met with students, faculty and some of the University’s key industry partners, including representatives from Bank of America, Carolinas Healthcare System, Peak 10 and the Business Innovation Growth Council.
While on campus, Cooper promoted his proposed NC Invents program, a $10 million effort to help universities identify technologies with commercial potential and to move them forward by creating development plans to attract investors. The program, introduced in the governor’s recommended state budget for 2017-19, also highlights the importance of state investments in higher education.
Cooper also participated in the University’s Day of Service. He helped UNC Charlotte students from the Student Philanthropy Council, along with faculty and staff, make sandwiches that were donated to Urban Ministry, Men’s Shelter of Charlotte, McCrorey YMCA and United Way of Cabarrus County. Food Lion donated the items to prepare the sandwiches.