UMKC Professor Nets IBM Faculty Award

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Praveen Rao, assistant professor in the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s School of Computing and Engineering, is one of 14 professors from around the world to land one of IBM’s 2013 Big Data and Analytics Faculty Awards.

Rao will receive $10,000 to develop a new course in Big Data management for graduate and undergraduate students pursuing degrees in computer science and information technology.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 24 percent increase in demand for professionals with data analytics skills over the next eight years.  The need for this specialized talent is fueled by the explosion of Big Data — or the 2.5 quintillion bytes of information generated daily from such sources as sensors, RFID networks, mobile devices and social media.

As a result, employers in every industry are seeking job candidates who can uncover insights from data to solve problems, act on findings, enter new markets, and gain a competitive advantage.

That’s where Rao’s new course comes in.

“The proposed coursework will be an immediate resource to other universities and faculty to jumpstart their curriculum in Big Data management. It will prepare a skilled workforce capable of tackling challenges in Big Data management,” Rao said.

The course will be offered in 2014, and will consist of lectures, exams, guest speakers and programming projects, with a core emphasis on developing software using Big Data management tools.

The course will cover topics related to the storage, retrieval, analysis, and visualization of large volumes of structured and unstructured data using IBM software and IBM SmartCloud. The course materials, including lectures and programming projects, will be made available on the IBM Academic Initiative website.

About IBM Big Data and Analytics

Each day we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data generated by a variety of sources — from climate information, to posts on social media sites, and from purchase transaction records to healthcare medical images. At IBM we believe that Big Data and analytics are a catalyst to help clients become more competitive and drive growth. IBM is helping clients harness this Big Data to uncover valuable insights, and transform their business. IBM has established the world’s deepest and broadest portfolio of Big Data technologies and solutions, spanning services, software, research and hardware. For more information about IBM and Big Data and analytics, visit  Follow IBM and Big Data on Twitter @IBMbigdata and #ibmbigdata.  To learn more about the IBM Faculty Awards, visit

About the University of Missouri-Kansas City
The University of Missouri-Kansas City, one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 15,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students, and celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2013. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience. For more information about UMKC, visit You can also find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch us on YouTube.

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