Provost’s Strategic Funding Initiatives: High-Quality Ph.D. Students to Advance Big Data Research and Teaching


This article is the final in a series of seven about the Provost’s Strategic Funding Initiative. Seven proposals by UMKC faculty and staff have been approved for a total of $1 million in funding support in the first year of the initiative. Read more about the proposals and criteria for approved projects.

Responding to the placing of a high national priority on big data research, the initiative will recruit nine accomplished domestic Ph.D. students to advance research and teaching activities at UMKC.

Each student will receive an attractive fellowship and work on advanced interdisciplinary research projects developed by faculty in the Schools of Computing and Engineering, and Medicine.

“The timing is perfect for UMKC; the opportunities in big data research and training are endless,” said Praveen Rao, associate professor of computer science and engineering, who created the proposal. “The fellowship awardees will conduct cutting-edge research in areas of national importance such as smart cities, cybersecurity and healthcare delivery where the value of big data can be harnessed for effective and timely decision making. They will also provide training to other students to produce a skilled workforce in big data, which is of great demand both locally and nationally.”

The students will also teach and train undergraduate and graduate students in big data technologies. Two students have been recruited, Rao said, and the plan is to have the remaining seven by fall 2017. The funding amount was for $148,000.

In addition to Rao, the other faculty members on this initiative were Baek-Young Choi, Ahmed Hassan, Vijay Kumar, Yugyung Lee, Zhu Li, Deep Medhi and Sejun Song, all of the School of Computing and Engineering as well as Mark Hoffman from the School of Medicine.



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