(Aug. 5, 2019) – Today, UTSA Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Kimberly Andrews Espy announced the appointment of Jianwei Niu as interim academic director of the university’s new School of Data Science (SDS), effective immediately.
In this new role, Niu will be responsible for providing leadership to propel UTSA to become the leading institution to further advance the state of knowledge in data science. This will include developing innovative transdisciplinary curriculum in data science at the undergraduate and graduate level across all fields and sectors, and laying the groundwork for the operational and administrative functions of the new school.
“Jianwei is a savvy and collaborative administrator who fully understands the vision to centralize UTSA’s talent and resources in cybersecurity, data science, data management, cloud computing and artificial intelligence into one powerful new school,” said Espy. “We are grateful to have her on board to jumpstart the organizational infrastructure and pave the way in our mission to produce a new generation of technically advanced workers in these emerging, in-demand fields.”
Niu is a UTSA professor of computer science whose research expertise is in software engineering and security. For the past year, she has served as interim chair of the Department of Computer Science and earlier this summer was appointed associate dean of University College. This dual position will allow her to work with the colleges to establish new multidisciplinary SDS-related course activities and facilitate the adoption of cyber, digital, computational and analytic approaches across the core curriculum.
Niu earned her Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Waterloo and has been at UTSA since 2005. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, National Security Agency and Microsoft, among others.
Additionally, in a joint endeavor between the School of Data Science Initiative and the Division of Academic Innovation, UTSA has launched a new online Coding Boot Camp certificate program. Offered in partnership with Trilogy Education Services, the 24-week program is designed to train students to become proficient web developers and build the professional network needed to capitalize on this highly marketable career.
According to the latest projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, web developer is one of the fastest growing careers in today’s economy with a projected 15 percent growth rate by 2026. An early outcome of the San Antonio Workforce Initiative, the UTSA Coding Boot Camp program leverages the institution’s academic strengths and networks to meet an identified skilled workforce need.
UTSA has received formal approval from the University of Texas System Board of Regents to move forward with its plans to build the School of Data Science in downtown San Antonio. The school will co-locate the university’s 70-plus faculty members in cybersecurity, cloud computing, data and analytics, and artificial intelligence under one highly collaborative roof. With a new facility housing classrooms, laboratories and research space, the school will support bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees as well as certificate programs and other professional credential educational opportunities.
Last September, UTSA received a $15 million gift from San Antonio business leader Graham Weston and a $70 million commitment from the UT System Board of Regents to support President Taylor Eighmy’s vision to build a National Security Collaboration Center and proposed School of Data Science as part of the university’s expansion and integration in downtown San Antonio. Subsequently, the university received support from the City of San Antonio and Bexar County to transfer parcels of land to use as the site of the SDS and National Security Collaboration Center (NSCC).
The SDS and NSCC are major components in UTSA’s phased, 10-year approach to accelerate tdevelopment of its Downtown Campus as a destination for producing highly skilled professionals in big data and analytics, advancing economic development in the urban core and creating prosperity for San Antonio. As the first of its kind in the state of Texas, the SDS will further solidify San Antonio’s status as the largest information security hub outside of Washington, D.C.
Construction is anticipated to begin in late fall 2020 with projected completion in the 2022-2023 academic year. A national search for a permanent director will commence this academic year.
Learn more about the UTSA School of Data Science.
Celebrate UTSA’s 50th Anniversary and share social media posts about the 50th using the hashtag #UTSA50.
Emerging artists work in the full range of traditional methods and materials as well as in interdisciplinary and new media. Themes range from social and cultural critique to investigations that are challenging and exquisite explorations in creative form and image.UTSA Art Gallery, Arts Building, Main Campus
Juan Vallejo’s art conveys his experience as a childhood migrant worker. Opening reception: Thurs, Dec. 5, 6–9 p.m. Free and open to the public.UTSA Terminal 136, Blue Star Arts Complex, 136 Blue St., San Antonio
Portions of Cook Road will be closed for construction related to the new Student Success Center project and Americans with Disabilities Act sidewalk upgrades.Cook Road, Main Campus
Out of the violence comes a silence, then a song. Thus begins an extraordinary night of camaraderie, music and peace. A remarkable true experience, told in the words and songs of the men who lived it. UTSA partners with The Public Theater for this event. Contact the theater at (210) 458-3288 for scheduling requests.Buena Vista Theater, Downtown Campus
Forty-six modular units will be delivered to Main Campus as part of the new Student Success Center project. The units will enter campus at Brennan Avenue and will travel to their final destination, south of the North Paseo Building and Graduate School and Research Building via Tobin Avenue, Bauerle Road and Devine Avenue.Brennan Avenue, Tobin Avenue, Bauerle Road, Devine Avenue, Main Campus
Enjoy two classic holiday performances. Children’s Ballet of San Antonio will present two of The Nutcracker. Our Lady of Guadalupe Church will perform a traditional Pastorela play, a morality tale about shepherds going to Bethlehem and the snares the devil uses to dissuade them. Performances are included with regular ITC admission.UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. César E. Chavez Blvd., San Antonio
Celebrating graduating students from the College of Engineering and the College of Liberal and Fine Arts. Guest speaker: Susan Pape '86, chairman of the San Antonio Express-News.Alamodome, 100 Montana St., San Antonio
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