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David Gotz named RTIUx Scholar

David Gotz, UNC School of Information and Library Science Associate Professor and Carolina Health Informatics Program Assistant Director, has been selected as a 2019-20 RTIUx Scholar.

Photo of David Gotz smiling in the SILS library.
David Gotz, an associate professor in the UNC School of Information and Library Science, stands in the library of Manning Hall on July 14, 2017, in Chapel Hill. Gotz is also the assistant director of the Carolina Health Informatics Program (CHIP). (Johnny Andrews/UNC-Chapel Hill)

The RTIUx scholars program provides support for distinguished academic researchers to spend scholarly leave time at RTI International, actively partnering with its experts. Gotz will be working with an interdisciplinary team at RTI’s Center for Data Science, which is led by Gayle Bieler, senior statistician and founding director of the center.

Gotz said he will be initially working on extensions to his ongoing visual analytics research within the context of problems at RTI. This includes visual analytics techniques and tools for analyzing temporal event datasets, as well as techniques for more effective structuring free text data for subsequent analysis. A key goal of the scholars program, however, is to develop collaborative partnerships that lead to new externally funded projects in the future, so Gotz anticipates new project ideas and opportunities for innovation will be identified as the year unfolds.

RTI’s standing as a global leader in non-profit research and its mission to use science to advance the human condition are what drew Gotz to the RTIUx program.

“The Center for Data Science in particular is dedicated to ‘practicing data science for social good,’” Gotz said. “This is the same mission that motivates much of my own research, and I’m looking forward to collaborating with a group that has the same priorities. In addition, RTI’s global footprint means that there is a chance to amplify the impact of our work on a larger scale. “

Gotz said he also appreciates that the center works closely with a variety of experts in other fields, including environmental science, biology, and law, which helps foster interdisciplinary collaboration. In addition, RTI’s location in nearby Research Triangle Park will make projects that extend beyond the one-year term more easily sustainable.