Newsroom
News at the University of New Brunswick

UNB announces new Cisco Systems Chair for Big Data

Author: Communications

Posted on May 15, 2014

Category: UNB Saint John , myUNB , UNB Fredericton , Events , UNB Homepage , In the Media

Dr. Monica Wachowicz, the new Cisco Systems Chair for Big Data at the University of New Brunswick (UNB), is developing breakthrough algorithms and services for analyzing information to assist New Brunswick’s tourism, transportation, and municipal planning sectors to extract value from Big Data.

Big Data analytics helps organizations make informed decisions by enabling data scientists to comprehend enormous volumes of data that may be left unexamined by conventional algorithms. This data enables policy makers and service providers to utilize the information to better serve their communities.

Research findings are helping the transportation sector develop systems that steer drivers away from traffic jams, or map the most efficient snow-removal routes. In the tourism sector, data gathered from social media can provide clues about where people are travelling and what places they often visit.

“As we harness and analyze the massive volume of data that is produced in this age of the Internet of Everything and mobile communication, it is important to act on it to provide better user experiences, more efficient systems, and ultimately optimize effectiveness in a wide variety of sectors,” says Dr. Wachowicz.

As part of her responsibilities as chair, Dr. Wachowicz will help develop students’ understanding of Big Data and collaborate with academic and industry leaders to drive innovation, both in New Brunswick and around in the world. The chair will build on UNB’s national reputation for innovation which was recently recognized by Startup Canada when it named UNB the most entrepreneurial post-secondary institution in Atlantic Canada in 2014.

“Dr. Wachowicz is an exceptional addition to our world-class department of geodesy and geomatics engineering and to the network of innovators and change-makers at UNB,” said UNB President Eddy Campbell.  “Cisco’s exceptional generosity will help us remain the engine behind research and innovation in the province.”

The Cisco Systems Chair for Big Data at UNB is a result of a collaborative partnership between Cisco and the University of New Brunswick. Cisco is providing a $2 million endowment to establish the chair in the department of geodesy and geomatics engineering on UNB's Fredericton campus.

“Cisco continues to spearhead innovation in Canada through its strategic alliances with universities across the country, such as the University of New Brunswick,” said Nitin Kawale, President of Cisco Canada.

“By harnessing the opportunities offered by technologies through the Internet of Everything, universities can educate as well as stimulate the next generation of Canadian innovators. The work done by Dr. Wachowicz will help to open new avenues of valuable research in the area of Big Data analytics that will benefit students, the academic community, and ultimately the entire country.”

Dr. Wachowicz has 10 years of experience at the Centre for Geo-Information at Wageningen University and Research Centre in the Netherlands. Her research is closely associated with the prospect of global real-time acquisition of substantial amounts of data capable of identifying, locating, sensing, networking, and processing the mobility of things in the physical and virtual worlds. She works at the intersection of mobile location analytics and ambient cartography intelligence for making maps of the future, which will be culturally, linguistically, and nationally designed for providing a greater "sense of place" for people and things in motion.

To arrange a media interview, please contact Kelsey Seymour