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2010.09.10> For Immediate Release
contact: Tim Kaldahl - University Relations
phone: 402.554.3502 - email: tkaldahl@unomaha.edu

UNO to Celebrate Creation of School of Interdisciplinary Informatics

Omaha - The University of Nebraska at Omaha will celebrate the creation of the School of Interdisciplinary Informatics in the College of Information Science and Technology (IS&T) with an event Thursday, Sept. 16, that features university officials and Nebraska Lt. Governor Rick Sheehy. Ann Fruhling, a UNO associate professor in IS&T, serves as the new school’s director.

“The School of Interdisciplinary Informatics represents a new model to support the expanding role of Information Technology in our society and take on the exciting challenge of empowering various disciplines through IT advancements,” said Hesham Ali, dean of IS&T “We also see the formation of this school as a pioneering step in higher education in which collaboration is fostered by intentional means rather than individual ad-hoc efforts. With the wonderful collaborative spirit at UNO, we are in an excellent position to lead the way in that regard and present a model for other academic institutions to follow.”

The event takes place at 4 p.m. in the atrium of the Peter Kiewit Institute on UNO’s Pacific Street location. Sheehy, Ali and Fruhling and UNO Chancellor John Christensen will all give brief remarks.

The school received its approval from the University of Nebraska Board of Regents and the state’s Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education last spring. It houses the undergraduate and graduate degrees in bioinformatics, information assurance and the new bachelor's degree in Information Technology (IT) Innovation. Ten faculty members associated with these programs form the core faculty of the school and numereous faculty from other disciplines may have affiliate or courtesy appointment. About 112 students are now enrolled in the schools various programs. Fruhling said that the School of Interdisciplinary Informatics and its research work will be useful to local and regional people in business, health care, the arts, government and other fields.

“I like to say we are about ‘solution-finding,’ through the use of technology, for others,” she said. “What we do is very applied and we intend to get our students out into the community.”

An example of the school’s work already is an upcoming project to test water quality along the Elkhorn River. While the project itself is looking at the environment, the school will design solutions to help better analyze and understand the information collected.

For more information, call (402) 554-3502.

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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