Jan 31, 2013
Tim McKay isn't intimidated by big data. The professor of physics at the University of Michigan, along with his colleagues, analyzes data sets on 200 million galaxies at one time. McKay also spends a lot of time working on an analytics problem back here on Earth: How can a university use data to assess how students are doing in class, and then use digital platforms to provide tailored feedback to keep them on track?
Colleges and universities nationwide are wrestling with how to best use analytics to gauge and improve student performance and retention. McKay characterizes the problem with the status quo this way: "I am now teaching an introductory class with 480 students enrolled. I interact closely with 12 of them."