Skip Navigation

Professor Elena Gortcheva’s students understand the significant—potentially transformative—ways in which data analytics affects our lives. Gortcheva, program chair for the Master of Science in Data Analytics program at University of Maryland University College (UMUC) mentored two UMUC student teams that recently presented winning projects at the IBM Watson Data Analytics Global Competition at Shanghai, China—taking first- and third-place awards for their efforts.

Read “UMUC Students Use Big Data to Tell a Personal Story in Winning IBM Watson Analytics Global Competition in Shanghai” to learn more about their accomplishments.

Gortcheva, who describes herself as “a strong proponent of the active use of emerging technology and innovation in education,” said she is inspired when students make that connection between technology and a problem to be solved.

“I embraced the data analytics field not only as data professional but as instructor and program chair in charge of curricula development. “

On Thursday July 19, in a live discussion moderated by UMUC Chief Academic Officer Alan Drimmer, Gortcheva will offer insights on current trends in the data analytics field, how data analytics is entrenched in countless areas of our lives, and how businesses are using the enormous amount of data they possess to formulate every decision they make—no matter how small or large.

Potential discussion topics may include the convergence of data-management technologies; the increasing importance of data governance, quality and integration; and the rise of the chief digital officer and the data curator.

Join the live discussion, “Current Trends in Data Analytics,” July 19 at 1 p.m. ET on UMUC’s Facebook page.

More About This Week’s Guest

Dr. Elena Gortcheva’s professional interests focus on data mining and intelligent systems, and she teaches courses in machine learning and big data analytics. She joined UMUC in 2003 after a 15-year computer engineering career in academia as a research professor and industry consultant. The results of her research are published in numerous articles, have been presented at scientific conferences and led to different commercialization projects.

Gortcheva’s professional experience has informed her curricula development for the Master of Science in Data Analytics and Database Systems Technology programs, and she has implemented a wide array of advanced technologies and innovative approaches to support and enrich students’ learning experiences, including through course development, industry-oriented research projects, Oracle Labs, Virtual Lab, and open-source software such as R, Python, Hadoop and Spark.

She is active in data professional organizations such as Data Management International (DAMA), Data Management Forum (DMF), Oracle Academy, Worldwide Analytics Knowledge Exchange (WAKE), and IBM Academic Initiative. In 2019, Gortcheva will chair the annual International Big Data and Analytics Educational Conference, which focuses on building, deploying and managing the curriculum in data-analytics education.

Gortcheva holds a Master of Science in electronic engineering and earned her Ph.D. in computer engineering from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

More About Thursday Thoughts Series Moderator

An award-winning teacher, entrepreneur, innovator and results-oriented academic leader, Alan Drimmer has more than two decades of experience in improving access, retention, and the quality of higher education for nontraditional students.

He spent more than seven years in key leadership roles with Apollo Education Group, successively as president of Western International University, provost and executive vice president of University of Phoenix, and chief academic officer of the entire Apollo Education Group from 2013 to 2016, where he led multiple initiatives that involved adaptive and competency-based learning, analytics to improve student success and operational efficiencies, as well as student motivation projects to improve retention.

Drimmer more recently served as chief executive of PromotED, an education startup that helps employers position personalized coaching, education and technology as employee benefits to reduce frontline turnover and absenteeism.

He holds B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in political science from the University of Chicago, as well as an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

He joied University of Maryland University College as senior vice president and chief academic officer in March 2018.