CSC News

April 23, 2007

NC State Launches Institute for Advanced Analytics; Rappa Named Director

Media Contact:
Mick Kulikowski, News Services, 919/515-3470

April 23, 2007


A new institute at North Carolina State University will spearhead graduate education in the emerging field of analytics.

The Institute for Advanced Analytics will oversee the Master of Science in Analytics (MSA), a graduate program approved in February that is set to admit its first class of 40 students in July. The MSA is an intensive 10-month professional degree that focuses exclusively on the tools, methods and applications of data analytics. The degree consists of an interdisciplinary curriculum that involves the expertise of 30 faculty members from seven colleges across the university. The entirely new curriculum is being developed with the help of a major gift from SAS Inc.

Dr. Michael Rappa, who proposed the institute in April 2006, has been named its founding director. With more than two decades in higher education, Rappa began his career as a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before joining NC State as the Alan T. Dickson Distinguished University Professor of Technology Management in 1998. He holds faculty appointments in the colleges of Management, Engineering, Textiles, and Humanities and Social Sciences.

“NC State is fortunate to have Dr. Rappa at the helm of the institute,” said NC State Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Larry Nielsen. “His proven leadership in interdisciplinary programs – and his successful track record of working closely with industry – has put NC State at the forefront in the emerging field of advanced analytics. The Master of Science in Analytics is on the path to become one of the largest graduate degree programs we have, and one that leverages our unique strengths.”

“The institute is a wonderful example of NC State’s ability to be an innovator in the development of educational opportunities that address the needs of the 21st century,” said Rappa. “I am delighted to serve as its director.”

A study published last year in the British journal R&D Management identified Rappa as a leading scholar in the field of technology management, ranking him in the 99th percentile among 9,335 authors in terms of research productivity in top journals over the past 50 years. Rappa’s research has been selected on three occasions as an outstanding contribution to the field, and his pioneering work on Internet business models is one of the most highly cited publications on the subject.

Rappa is perhaps best known as the creator of Managing the Digital Enterprise, an innovative and award-winning educational Web site devoted to the study of management in the digital world. Launched in 1999, originally as the foundation for a course he teaches, the site is now used by more than 250,000 learners and hundreds of instructors from around the world each year.

NC State has recognized Rappa on numerous occasions for his contributions to teaching and service. He is the recipient of the Outstanding Extension Service Award, the Award for Graduate Teaching Excellence, and the Gertrude Cox Award for Innovative Excellence in Teaching and Learning with Technology.

Prior to establishing the Institute for Advanced Analytics, Rappa led the development of the university’s interdisciplinary program in e-commerce, and co-founded the computer networking graduate degree program. An early advocate of open courseware, he established the Open Courseware Laboratory in 1998 to promote the creation of openly accessible educational resources on the Internet. Rappa and a team of his students are credited with creating OpenSeminar, an award-winning open source software platform for hosting collaborative courseware. In 2005, Rappa became among the first members of the NC State faculty to create a podcast of his entire course on the Internet.

Kathy Green was named associate director of administration for the institute. Green joined NC State in 1993 as head of research and information services in the NCSU Libraries, and began her work with Rappa in 2000.

To learn more about the institute, visit the Web at

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