Panos Pardalos - Paul and Heidi Brown Preeminent Professor in Industrial & Systems Engineering

Big data doesn’t just live in computers. It’s in our power grids and brain scans. It’s in our government records and Facebook timelines. Name just about any aspect of life, and Panos Pardalos can tell you about its data sets. His goal is to help us understand them — and how they change our lives.

As the Paul and Heidi Brown Preeminent Professor in Industrial and Systems Engineering, Pardalos’ work extends from cancer treatment to financial markets. He has used data sets on electrical activity in the brain to predict epileptic seizures, then turned that knowledge toward understanding Parkinson’s.

“We have data from the government, we have data about the weather. We have data about telecommunications,” he says. “The key issue here is how to extract knowledge out of this huge amount of information.”

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Every MRI, every weather report, creates data. Extracting knowledge from that data to improve our lives is the job of experts like Panos Pardalos.

Gators making it happen

Paul and Heidi Brown

Whenever they come back to the University of Florida, engineering alumni Paul and Heidi Brown are struck all over again by the vitality and promise of its students. More than 30 years ago, they were those wide-eyed freshmen starting their adult lives. And because UF provided the foundation for their careers — even their marriage — they wanted to give back.

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