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Friday, August 28, 2020

NKU's Informatics+ Announces Support for Regional and Global Projects

Northern Kentucky University's Informatics+ center has announced the first recipients of its project grant funding– Science Around Cincy, a project sparking the region's curiosity in scientific research, and The Know Rivalry Project, that dissects global sports fandom.

Informatics+ was launched in November 2019 to connect NKU's rich informatics talent with the region's needs— solving business problems and providing students with real-world learning experiences. The center supports community collaborations across the region, including the new Kroger Technology & Digital Innovation Lab on campus and coordinating NKU's efforts as part of a five-county regional tourism initiative centered on the Commonwealth's first bourbon journey.

Through its Project Grant program, Informatics+ supports research and creative projects that connect students to regional and global initiatives and leverage information's power. This spring, the center invited faculty members to submit funding proposals, encouraging cross-college collaborations. The selection committee received seven applications across four colleges on campus, requesting over $70,000. Two projects were selected.

John Gibson, Senior Lecturer in Electronic & Media Broadcasting, leads an NKU team on the video production side of the Science Around Cincy project. A series produced for public television by OutSCIder Productions, in collaboration with the Hamilton County Educational Service Center, spotlights local scientists and their work. The series aims to raise awareness around STEM careers while showcasing local initiatives, institutions and attractions around Greater Cincinnati.

The Know Rivalry Project measures and analyzes the global phenomenon of sports rivalry. Students in the Haile/US Bank College of Business have spent the last six years collecting and analyzing survey data from sports fans in the United States and Canada. The grant allows them to collect surveys from fans in Australia, England and India and analyze the data. Dr. Joe Cobbs, Professor of Sports Business and Event Management, partnered with Dr. Marius Truta, Professor of Computer Science, to create the project.

"These are exciting projects," said Kendall Fisher, Executive Director of Informatics+. "Students will be able to apply their informatics knowledge and creativity outside the classroom in new and meaningful ways."

Updates on the projects will be shared on the Informatics+ website. A call for a second round of proposals will be announced in the fall. 

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