UF to begin construction on Malachowsky Hall for Data Science & Information Technology

The University of Florida began construction on the Malachowsky Hall for Data Science & Information Technology, a 263,000-square-foot academic building located in the heart of UF's main campus that will connect students and researchers from across disciplines and create a hub for advances in computing, communication and cyber-technologies with the potential for profound societal impact.

The building, anchored by a gift from UF alumnus Chris Malachowsky as well as funding from the state, will provide collaboration space and will focus on the application of computing, communication, and cyber technologies to a broad spectrum of areas including health care, pharmacology, security, technology development, and fundamental science. Malachowsky, alongside Silicon Valley computer company NVIDIA, which he co-founded, is a key partner for UF in the artificial intelligence space, including the university’s initiative to integrate AI across curriculum. The building is slated for completion around April 2023.   

“The fields of artificial intelligence and data science are of central importance in building a better world,” Malachowsky said. “I’m honored to further UF’s world-class capabilities in these areas, which it can share with current and future students, equipping them with the skills to do important, even life-changing work.” 

UF Board of Trustees Chair Mori Hosseini said, “The Malachowsky Hall for Data Science & Information Technology will create a transformative experience at UF that will set the standard for future engineering and data science buildings across national and international campuses. Four groups will occupy this building: the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering, the College of Medicine, the College of Pharmacy and the Informatics Institute, which is part of UF Research. As a result of that collaboration and this building’s thoughtful design, the students will benefit from better training, faster acquisition of key research skills and opportunities to work side by side with some of the best scientists in the world. That will make them even more prepared for their careers after they graduate from UF.”

The building will also house the coordinating center for the OneFlorida Clinical Research Consortium, a statewide research network and data trust established through the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute in 2010 to help facilitate and accelerate health research in Florida. OneFlorida’s partners include four academic centers and eight health systems, which collectively have 22 hospitals, 1,240 practices/clinics and 4,100 providers. The OneFlorida partners provide care for about 74% of Floridians in all 67 counties. A hallmark of OneFlorida is its data trust, an integrated data repository that houses linked electronic health record, health care claims, death, environmental and other geospatial data for approximately 15 million Floridians.  The clinical research network and data trust offer scientists data resources and improved tools for using real-world data to 1) identify and address health disparities, 2) develop and test innovative health care delivery strategies for underserved communities, and 3) ensure that people who historically have been excluded from health research are represented in clinical trials.

The engineering spaces will serve as the headquarters for IT students in the National Society of Black Engineers, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Women in Science and Engineering, and Women in Computer & Information Science & Engineering. Faculty and students will be able to expand on fields like human centered computing, intelligent healthcare, and informatics and data science.

For health programs in the building, UF will meet the growing demand for experts on the use of health care data and distinct practices in pharmaceuticals through pharmacoepidemiology and pharmacoeconomics. It will also serve as the home for the State of Florida’s Consortium for Medical Marijuana Clinical Outcomes Research. Students will be leaders in understanding, developing and utilizing integrative health data models like in the OneFlorida Data Trust, a statewide repository of linked electronic health record, claims, death and geospatial data from more than 15 million patients in Florida, one the nation’s largest and most diverse states. Limited data sets incorporating diagnoses, procedures, vital signs, pharmacy data and lab results can be used by researchers to analyze and improve health outcomes for Floridians without compromising patient privacy.   

Undergraduate and graduate students from any college and discipline will have access to data analytic courses through the Informatics Institute's data science certificate programs. These programs build on data and software courses that facilitate cross-college interactions allowing students to be nimble in their approaches to multi-faceted problems. 

“UF research initiatives consistently strive to push the bounds of our existing body of knowledge, and the space in the Malachowsky Hall for Data Science & Information Technology will play a key role in supporting a diverse range of opportunities for our students and researchers,” said David Norton, UF Vice President for Research. “This space will facilitate the very multidisciplinary collaboration that fuels breakthroughs and makes innovation possible."

Emily Cardinali December 7, 2020