Dr. Elizabeth Pierce, chair of the department of information science, was inducted Friday, Oct. 27, 2017 into the Arkansas Academy of Computing. The Arkansas Academy of Computing recognizes significant contributions to the computing profession in Arkansas and supports computing and information technology education through scholarships.
“I feel tremendously honored to be inducted,” Pierce said. “I feel very gratified that my work to advance computing education opportunities for students in Arkansas has been recognized.
“In addition, I feel very inspired to continue advancing computing education opportunities to give our students quality, state-of-the-art training in the computing and information sciences and to make sure that Arkansas attracts employers from across the globe thanks to the presence of a diverse, competitive, and highly skilled computing workforce,” she said.
Since taking her first job out of college with IBM, Pierce has been fascinated with how information is collected and used for insights in making decisions.
“This field continues to excite me because every day new information technologies are coming forward that are making possible new sources of data and new ways to work with data,” she said. “We are coming into an information age that will transform everything – from the way we work, the way we learn, the way we govern, and the way we interact with others.”
Pierce started at UA Little Rock as associate professor of information science in 2006. She is most proud of the expansion of educational opportunities in her field. The Information Science department is now home to three bachelor’s degree programs as well as graduate programs in information quality and information/data sciences and a joint graduate program in bioinformatics with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
Through her leadership, the information quality graduate program has been webcast to remote students since the fall of 2007 making the program available to students across the United States and overseas as far as China and South Africa. Since its inception in 2006, the UA Little Rock IQ program has produced more than 250 graduates who now hold key positions in industry and academia.
“My accomplishments are really the result of team effort, and I want to acknowledge that a lot of what was accomplished is thanks to the talents, work, and cooperation I have received from others at UA Little Rock and our partner institutions.”
Pierce is most thankful to Dr. John Talburt, professor of information science, Dr. Mary Good, founding dean of the Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology, and Dr. Richard Wang, executive director of the Institute for Chief Data Officers, for their past efforts to convince Pierce to join UA Little Rock.