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School of Computing

1000 E. University Ave.

Bureau of Mines Building, Room 231

Dept. 3395

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-5299

Email: uwyo-soc@uwyo.edu

Wyoming Innovation Partnership

Wyoming Innovation Partnership


Digital Infrastructure and Technology

The Wyoming Innovation Partnership (WIP) was created at the request of Governor Gordon in 2021 to modernize and focus Wyoming’s efforts to develop a resilient workforce and economy. The effort aims to better align Wyoming’s economic development agenda by increasing collaborations between state entities and ultimately local partners. The partnership involves the University of Wyoming, the state’s community colleges, Wyoming Business Council, and Department of Workforce Services with an emphasis on developing innovative solutions that support and enhance Wyoming’s economy, workforce, and sources of revenue.

The School of Computing is a key University of Wyoming initiative that is contributing to the Wyoming Innovation Partnership, and which has received funds from WIP to accelerate the start up phase of the School and support its initiatives contributing to economic development. The School of Computing also partners with other University of Wyoming WIP projects, including the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, and the Wyoming Outdoor Recreation Tourism and Hospitality initiative

The School of Computing is part of the Digital Infrastructure and Technology area of the Wyoming Innovation Partnership, which has four current components. 

Digital Infrastructure and Technology

UW lead: Bryan Shader, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Needs and Opportunities: This area is targeted at meeting pressing needs and seizing opportunities related to computing and technology to help advance Wyoming’s economy and better equip Wyoming’s students for their 21st century careers.

Digital infrastructure and technology are critical to Wyoming’s economic development, our existing workforce, and Wyoming’s students who will be entering a job market that increasingly requires and rewards digital and technology skills. Economic development requires access to information, computing and data resources, cybersecurity and the skills and training necessary to create new and expand existing industries.  Economic advancement across all sectors (Energy, Technology, Agriculture, Tourism, Education, Health Care, Advanced Manufacturing, Workforce etc.) will be reliant upon increased computing expertise and digital resources.

Overview: This component will jump-start the School of Computing (SoC) to immediately impact Wyoming students, corporate partnerships, and economic development. The School of Computing, approved by the UW Board of Trustees in January 2022, will serve as an engine to build training and education programs for college students in big data, artificial intelligence (AI), and their real-world applications. A corporate partners program will develop close research connections to Wyoming industries and work with the university’s new Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation to build a talent pipeline from K-12 to the workforce. The SoC, by design, creates the foundation and infrastructure of support for programmatic expansion across all 8 IHE’s through increased data computing and capabilities, creating opportunities for increased computational power in support of economic growth. The DIT SoC component will jump-start the SoC to immediately impact Wyoming students at UW and community colleges, corporate partnerships, and economic development.

Phase 1 Digitial Infrastucture and Technology Components:       

1) School of Computing           

UW lead: Gabrielle Allen, School of Computing

The School of Computing (SoC), approved by the UW Board of Trustees in January 2022, will serve as an engine to build training and education programs for college students in big data, artificial intelligence (AI), and their real-world applications. A corporate partners program will develop close research connections to Wyoming industries and work with the university’s new Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation to build a talent pipeline from K-12 to the workforce. The SoC, by design, creates the foundation and infrastructure of support for programmatic expansion across all 8 IHE’s through increased data computing and capabilities, creating opportunities for increased computational power in support of economic growth.

Objectives/Deliverables

  • Jump-start and accelerate the formation of the School of Computing by:
    • Spring 2022 hiring of initial staff in advance of UW block grant funding in July 2022.
    • Establishment of a SoC Engagement Office to aggressively pursue and develop critical strategic corporate, community college, K-12 and state agency partnerships.
  • Provide immediate computing expertise to enhance research of importance to Wyoming.
    • Support for UW’s Advanced Research Computing Center (ARCC), under the guidance of a new director, to engage with SoC and strengthen ARCC’s outreach.
    • Hire a Research Scientist to significantly move strategically selected faculty research forward using novel computing technologies and algorithms, targeting development of joint grant proposals to outside agencies.
    • Establish a Visiting Scholars program supporting UW departments in bringing scholars to Wyoming to identify tangible, actionable ways to enhance research or curricula with computing.
  • Cybersecurity outreach and training program with a sequence of workshops led by Manufacturing Works during spring and summer of 2022 at locations across Wyoming.
  • Enhanced computing opportunities for students through support of 6 graduate research assistants to learn and apply emerging areas of computing across their disciplines.

Metrics

  • Number of meaningful external partnerships with tangible impacts 
  • Number of proposals submitted through research scientist funding
  • Number of departments involved in visiting scholars’ programs
  • Number of participants in cybersecurity training
  • Number of graduate students provided enhanced computing opportunities

2) Software Development

UW lead: Mike Borowzwak, College of Engineering and Physical Sciences

The multi-phase Software Development initiative develops new pathways for Wyoming residents to earn credentials (certificates, Associates & Bachelor’s degrees) in multiple modalities (e.g., online, in-person, hybrid) from a consortium of institutions of higher education and industry partners. These new pathways, providing traditional, experiential, and collaborative learning opportunities, enable sustainable, controlled growth of a high-tech workforce in lock step with future high-tech job opportunities.

Impact Metrics/Deliverables:

  • A new model for taking courses from multiple CC’s/UW to earn an AA/AS in SDEV which could then be articulated to multiple UWYO degrees/certificate offerings (BA/BS SDEV, COSC).  
  • Increased enrollment and retention within Computing-related degrees. 
  • Increased corporate engagement / support and relevant job placement within computing domains. 

Metrics:

  • Number of courses offered online and breakdown of ‘home institution’ affiliation of students and faculty.
  • Number of course pathways and possible academic credentials. 
  • Initial enrollment within the set of computing degrees
  • Year-to-year retention within the set of computing degrees. 
  • Number of corporate partners, number of unique corporate projects, number of internships, number of direct-hires from the program, number of ‘computing’ students staying in-state during internships and long-term post-graduation.
  • Total job postings related to computing. 

Objectives/Deliverables:

  • Design, articulation, and adoption of Software Design Programs (aligned associate degrees at community colleges, and a 4-year degree at UW)
  • Training Bootcamps
  • Development of corporate partnerships to provide students with real-life problems for experiential learning in their capstone experience and facilitate a pipeline of students into Wyoming companies.

3) DataHub

UW Leads: Jeff Hammerlinck, WyGISC and Ivan Gaetz, Dean of Libraries

The Wyoming DataHub will improve the discoverability, usability, and interpretability of research datasets, and thereby enhance Wyoming’s abilities to make policy decision, address issues of importance, and thereby enhance the research activities of faculty and students at the University of Wyoming and Wyoming Community Colleges and researchers at Wyoming state agencies and businesses.   

Objectives/Deliverables:

  • Make research datasets discoverable, usable, and interpretable 
  • Create a destination for UW and community college data sharing and integration  
  • Connect Wyoming stakeholders with research data and tools to foster statewide education, innovation, and entrepreneurship 
  • Facilitate a culture of digital collaboration and open data 

4) Fintech

UW Leads: Steve Lupien, College of Business

Overall Objective: This project develops a comprehensive curriculum offering an intriguing look into how blockchain innovation will affect industries, businesses, personal finance, and civilization at large. Students will gain a deep understanding of not only the broader societal and economic implications of blockchain technology, but how they, personally, will be impacted by this global paradigm shift towards digitalization and decentralization. This curriculum is designed for high schools, community colleges and continuing education students and is ideal for blockchain beginners who seek to understand the “big picture” implications and opportunities of blockchain and how it can impact their futures and Wyoming’s economic development - without all the technological complexities.

Objectives/Deliverables:

  • Develop with Wyoming Department of Education, UW College of Education, and UW Block Chain Center educational curricula for Wyoming high-school and community college students around the emerging topics of FinTech and Blockchain.
  • Provide workshops to familiarize high school teachers with the curricula and build a statewide community of educators interested in supporting Wyoming’s emerging
Contact Us

School of Computing

1000 E. University Ave.

Bureau of Mines Building, Room 231

Dept. 3395

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-5299

Email: uwyo-soc@uwyo.edu

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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