GW prides itself on its rich tradition of students and faculty conquering the world’s great challenges — putting knowledge into action. Now more than ever we have the opportunity to make real progress on some of our more intractable problems and understand the world in new ways using data. Large data sets and powerful tools for analysis are available to everyone, if you know how to use them.
In this issue, we highlight some of the most important ways that GW Libraries and Academic Innovation (GWLAI) is actively preparing students for this new world of complex data and supporting faculty efforts to collect, analyze, and visualize data to find meaningful patterns. I am especially proud of STEMworks, GW’s new one-stop shop for quantitative, data, and spatial reasoning skills, located in Gelman Library. STEMworks is having a real and immediate impact on the student learning experience at GW, offering 125 hours of drop-in tutoring each week, as well as individual and online tutoring, over 20 workshops, and private consultations.
In the long tradition of libraries as collectors and curators of information, GWLAI is deeply involved in the collection of data sets for researchers. Using an application developed by library programmers called the Social Feed Manager, GW’s Program on Extremism is building a collection of tweets of suspected extremists to study how they use social media. Faculty around GW and around the world are using this tool to explore and understand our changing social landscape.
My vision for GW Libraries and Academic Innovation is that we are “the bedrock of scholarship and learning at GW.” Our work is “the foundation of integrated teaching, learning, and research throughout the university.” But just as GWLAI underpins all aspects of the academic experience at GW, the philanthropic investment of our generous donors underpins all aspects of the Libraries and Academic Innovation. Your support is our bedrock, and for that, I offer my heartfelt thanks on behalf of the entire GW community.
Dean of Libraries and Academic Innovation