Minutes of Meeting

Support Services Committee Thursday, March 24, 2016 at 11:00 AM

Location: Building 12, 2nd Floor, Room 2405A

Call to Order:

The meeting was called to order by Chair Luke Cornelius, at 11:07 a.m.

Members Present:

Luke Cornelius, Donni Welch-Rawls, Patrick Kreidl, Maria Atilano, Pieter de Jong, and James Hall

Members Absent:

Yongan Wu and Brian Kopp

Others Attending:

Sherif Elfayoumy, Director of School of Computing
  • Approval of the Minutes
    The minutes of the February 25, 2016 meeting were unanimously approved.
  • Introductory Remarks/Old Business
    We should know by June 20 who has been elected to this committee for next year. Josh Merchant will be our guest for April’s meeting.
  • New Business
    Sherif Elfayoumy from the School of Computing gave a presentation to the committee on Big Data: what it is, and why it is important. Big Data is the “elephant in the room” and its scale, diversity, and complexity require new architecture, techniques, and algorithms to understand and utilize it. Introduction of Big Data has changed the ecosystem of many businesses. Our ability to store data has grown exponentially; so new systems to manage Big Data have had to grow in response. Introduction of the web and social media, as well as evolving technologies, have created the need to deal with Big Data. How do people deal with Big Data? It’s always a team effort, with many people who have various skill sets and access to the data itself. Big Data is really about analytics, and businesses traditionally analyze Big Data to help solve sophisticated business problems by searching for trends.

    Data is only helpful when it is relevant; it must try to answer the business question or problem. For example, Sherif is currently working with several other faculty members to analyze UNF’s Big Data to help discover trends as it relates to student retention. Data about students, their performance, and financial aid have been analyzed with the hopes that student enrollment can increase. “Data is the new oil” – it’s not always about prediction, but sometimes it can be used to develop and provide new services. There is a Big Data Group on campus, and partnerships have been founded with other universities in sixteen dates plus Washington D.C.
  • Other Discussions/Announcement
    None
  • Adjournment & Next Meeting
    The meeting adjourned at 11:51 a.m. Next meeting was scheduled for Thursday, April 28, 2016 at 11:00 AM in the Library, Building 12, Room 2405. Josh Merchant will be the speaker.