Data Science Professor Is Newest U of A Arkansas Research Alliance Scholar

From left, Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Chancellor Joe Steinmetz, professor Justin Zhan and Jerry Adams, president and CEO of the Arkansas Research Alliance, at the Capitol Building in Little Rock.
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From left, Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Chancellor Joe Steinmetz, professor Justin Zhan and Jerry Adams, president and CEO of the Arkansas Research Alliance, at the Capitol Building in Little Rock.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Justin Zhan, professor of data science in the Department of Computer Science and Computer Engineering, was formally inducted today into the Arkansas Research Alliance Academy during a ceremony with Gov. Asa Hutchinson at the Capitol in Little Rock.

Zhan’s research focuses on big data, blockchain technologies, information assurance, social computing and biomedical informatics. He has published more than 230 articles in peer-reviewed journals and conferences and delivered more than 30 keynote speeches and invited talks.

As a principal investigator or co-principal investigator, Zhan has been involved in more than 45 projects funded by the National Science Foundation, Department of Defense and the National Institutes of Health. Zhan has also served as editor-in-chief of two leading academic journals of data science, International Journal of Privacy, Security and Integrity and International Journal of Social Computing and Cyber-Physical Systems.

In September, Zhan received a $200,000 grant from the Army Research Office to build a graphics processing unit, a computer cluster to be used for big data research and education at the U of A. A GPU cluster is a network of computers equipped with graphics processing units that can perform calculations at least 100 times faster than a central processing unit, or CPU.

Before joining the U of A faculty in August, Zhan was director of the Big Data Hub and a professor in the Department of Computer Science, College of Engineering, at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. At the U of A, he will anchor the interdisciplinary program in data science.  

“Justin Zhan achieved important accomplishments while director of Big Data Hub at UNLV,” Chancellor Joe Steinmetz said. “We are fortunate to have him here. His presence will help us implement and achieve our goals as a national leader in data science.”

The Arkansas Research Alliance Scholars program began in 2010 to help Arkansas research universities recruit superior research talent to the state. The ARA Fellows program is a companion to the Scholars program, and was created to recognize distinguished university research leaders who are currently working in the state – and already making a difference on our research campuses.

“Research is paramount to Arkansas' future in the knowledge-driven economy of the 21st century,” Hutchinson said. “As we strive to create opportunities for high-paying, technology-based jobs, partners like the Arkansas Research Alliance are critical and help our state concentrate our energy and resources on the most effective paths to further success and prosperity.”

Zhan is the eighth and most recent U of A faculty member to be inducted into the ARA Academy of Scholars and Fellows. Other faculty are:

  • Jingyi Chen, associate professor, chemistry and biochemistry, Fellow, 2018

  • Laurent Bellaiche, Distinguished Professor, physics, Fellow, 2017

  • Min Zou, professor, mechanical engineering, Fellow, 2015

  • Jie Xiao, associate professor, chemistry and biochemistry, Scholar, 2015

  • Morten Jensen, associate professor, biomedical engineering, Scholar, 2015

  • Alan Mantooth, Distinguished Professor, electrical engineering, Fellow, 2014

  • Ranil Wickramasinghe, professor, chemical engineering, Scholar, 2010

 About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 3 percent of colleges and universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.

About the Arkansas Research Alliance: Founded in 2008, the Arkansas Research Alliance is a 501(c)3 organization governed by a board of trustees comprised of chancellors from Arkansas research universities and chief executives from companies across the state. The ARA is dedicated to elevating the fundamental belief that research matters. Operating as a public-private partnership, ARA invests in research that stimulates innovation, encourages collaboration, and strengthens economic opportunity in areas in which Arkansas possesses core competency. The ARA Scholars program was begun in 2010 to help Arkansas research universities recruit superior research talent to the state. The ARA Fellows program is a companion to the Scholars program, and was created to recognize distinguished university research leaders who are currently working in the state – and already making a difference on our research campuses.

 

Contacts

Justin Zhan, professor, computer science and computer engineering
College of Engineering
479-575-7455, jzhan@uark.edu

Matt McGowan, science and research communications officer
University Relations
479-575-4246, dmcgowa@uark.edu

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