SMART Lab Inauguration

The 2016-2017 academic year is set to commence at Ohio University. I am excited and humbled to have reached another milestone. The SMART Lab is finally ready to launch and we are set to hold an inauguration ceremony on August 31st, 2016 at 1:00 pm in Scripps Hall.

As its director, I was tasked with setting up the Social Media Analytics Research Team (SMART Lab) in the Scripps College of Communication. This was no easy feat. Besides gathering a team of scholars and choosing the right technological resources, the lab’s vision and its future direction needed to be charted out. Based on my previous experience of setting up a social media lab at the American University in the UAE, I wholeheartedly embraced this challenge.

Any such endeavor is only possible through the help of a dedicated team. I highly appreciate the help, encouragement, and timely advice from my colleagues and peers at Scripps College of Communication, especially researchers in my home department. Faculty at the School of Media Arts and Studies played a crucial role besides others across the College in making the SMART Lab a reality. I would also like to recognize the positive contribution of our dedicated students and staff in the entire process. A special thanks to our Dean, Scott Titsworth whose vision, support and encouragement played a pivotal role in the establishment of the SMART Lab. I also want to recognize the enormous technical support and valuable advice from Ricky Chilcott in setting up the technology in the SMART Lab.

For readers who are new to my website, the Social Media Analytics Research Team (SMART) is based in the Scripps College of Communication and has been established as an interdisciplinary facility to foster and promote cutting-edge research. The mission of SMART Lab is to promote advance research and analyses on the emerging big data challenges, through academic collaboration, industry-academia linkages, and innovation.

The Lab is equipped with the latest technology to gather, analyze, and visualize social media data. Our facility provides excellent space for media and communication scholars to engage in impactful research. At this juncture, we are reminded of the reality that a thorough understanding of social media analytics is vital for individuals, organizations and businesses in a globally competitive world. We are honored to have the support of various stakeholders in the industry and other institutions with an interest in social media analytics.

I see the establishment of the SMART Lab as another step in implementing Ohio University’s vision to “be the nation’s best transformative learning community where students realize their promise, faculty advance knowledge, staff achieve excellence, and alumni become global leaders”. Let us celebrate the bringing together of passionate researchers from across Scripps College of Communication and beyond!

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