University of Arizona Studies Digital Revolution’s Impact
By Troy Wilde
February 25, 2016
Tucson, AZ – As all things digital continue to evolve rapidly, the University of Arizona is seizing the opportunity to study the impact of the huge amount of information being collected by people, businesses and organizations.
The School of Information recently launched the Center for Digital Society and Data Studies. It brings together the university’s leading digital information experts to address challenges and opportunities linked to the era of big data.
Catherine Brooks, an assistant professor and director of the new center, says the major point is learning how to best organize and use the data, “Almost every industry, from business to medicine to government, is faced with an onslaught of data, which they are trying to turn into usable information. Those interested parties are shifting day-to-day practice given emerging information and communication technologies, so they care less about academic disciplines than they care about addressing big problem areas.”
Meanwhile, John Paul Jones III, dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, says the race is on to better understand how to use the data produced by emerging technology, “The world is evolving so quickly and so are the data that we use to understand that world. That means we have to elevate our analytic capacity as both an institution and a country if we are to better ask and answer questions related to the impact the ‘big data’ revolution is having on our digital networks, online behaviors, and private and public lives. This is what the new center will focus on.”
The Center for Digital Society and Data Studies is expected to generate community projects, research grants and scholarships.