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University of Iowa News Release


UI Provost Announces New Graduate Program In Informatics

Beginning this spring, University of Iowa students will be able to pursue a graduate degree in informatics, Executive Vice President and Provost Michael J. Hogan has announced. The Board of Regents, State of Iowa, approved the new interdisciplinary graduate degree program this fall.

The term "informatics" refers to an emerging discipline at the intersection of the computational disciplines with other fields including the humanities, the arts, and the natural, biological, health, and social sciences. The continuing rapid development of information technology and IT infrastructure changes the way scientists, health care practitioners, scholars, and artists do their work--even in fields that have not traditionally emphasized computational approaches.

Greater computing speed, increased storage capacity, and improved communications bandwidth enable countless new possibilities. By applying information management and processing techniques to various fields, informatics helps individuals attack problems from a new perspective, or even solve entirely new problems.

"This program is truly interdisciplinary. It responds to an emerging area of need, and it builds on existing strengths," Hogan said. "It's a good example of how we're focusing our resources and directing them to areas where there is demand and where we can achieve excellence."

The new Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Informatics will be administered by the Graduate College with support from the Colleges of Engineering, Nursing, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Public Health, and the Carver College of Medicine. It will offer master's of science and doctoral degrees with subtracks in health informatics and information science, as well as a certificate in one of those two subtracks or in bioinformatics and computational biology. New subtracks will be deployed as new informatics areas evolve.  

The program will build on existing informatics and computation-oriented curriculum offerings. Small, cross-disciplinary groups of faculty from multiple departments will work together to implement the program and to coordinate new University-wide informatics initiatives.

"With the structure we've established for this program, the university will be uniquely positioned to establish an informatics-oriented culture on campus," said John Keller, associate provost for graduate education and dean of the Graduate College. "That culture will benefit all of our graduate programs."

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011,; Program: John Keller, 319-335-2144,; Writer: Kris Yows