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WyGISC to Join UW School of Computing

February 9, 2023

The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees recently approved the move of the Wyoming Geographic Information Science Center (WyGISC) to UW’s new School of Computing.

The move was jointly initiated by WyGISC and the School of Computing, following months of strategic planning and feedback from both departments. The board unanimously approved the move, allowing both units to work together to position UW as a national leader in computational and digital research, education and engagement.

WyGISC was established at UW in 1996 as part of a National Science Foundation EPSCoR (Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) capacity-building grant. The center’s mission is to advance the development and application of geospatial methods and tools.

In 2020, after more than two decades focused on applied research and service, WyGISC’s function on campus expanded significantly with the launch of a suite of interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate curricula in geospatial information science and technology.

“We are very excited about this opportunity to contribute to the launch of the School of Computing and look forward to being a part of the diverse team making a positive impact at UW and across the state as the school continues to grow,” WyGISC Director Jeff Hamerlinck says.

The formal move of WyGISC into the School of Computing is expected to take place in July, when WyGISC will be a center in the school continuing its broad set of research and development projects with state and other entities. WyGISC academic programs will look the same for students but will now be supported through the School of Computing.

Established in 2022, the School of Computing will be the focal point of computing at the university, collaborating with many units across campus. The school will provide students in all disciplines with multiple, accessible pathways to use the power of computing and technology, and making sure students are digitally literate is an important part of the school’s overall mission.

The School of Computing has been growing quickly and has just recruited two research scientists to join the over 30 founding adjunct faculty members representing units across many of UW’s other schools and colleges. An ongoing search -- in partnership with 12 other departments spanning science, technology, engineering and mathematics; social and behavioral sciences; and the humanities -- is recruiting three new tenure-track faculty members in applications of artificial intelligence and big data to start in fall 2023.

“This partnership is clearly a win-win for both of our academic and research programs, and ambitions,” School of Computing Director Gabrielle Allen says. “This partnership will help elevate both WyGISC’s geospatial information science and technology academic program and the School of Computing’s emerging curricular offerings, including the school’s minor in computing, which is anticipated to be offered for enrollment for fall 2023 to students in any major.”

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