• Meet Baylor’s nationally recognized expert in data sciences

    Dr. Henry Han portrait

    As part of a discipline that is “reshaping academia,” it stands to reason that a data scientist could impact nearly every significant area in higher education. That’s certainly the case for Dr. Henry Han, a nationally recognized data science leader who was recruited to join the Baylor faculty last year after a productive career at Fordham. His work touches on healthcare, business, cybersecurity, finance and more.

    Han comes to Baylor as the inaugural McCollum Family Chair in Data Sciences, providing leadership in a field that is one of the five signature initiatives of Illuminate, the strategic plan that helped guide Baylor to R1 recognition last year. A part of Baylor’s growth was the hiring of new endowed chairs — positions created to attract top faculty leaders to join Baylor’s efforts. Han was one of the early endowed chair hires last year, and a natural fit for the position.

    Prior to joining Baylor, Han built a reputation as a data science leader. At Fordham, he developed a novel approach to sort through tides of data related to human genetics to pinpoint three signals that could be signals of disease. Demonstrating his multidisciplinary skills, he also applied his research to the finance world and high frequency trading. His work has been supported by various prestigious funding agencies such as the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, and his leadership opened the doors to edit a significant research book (Recent Advances in Data Science).

    At Baylor, his role was designed to provide leadership throughout the university’s data sciences efforts and to facilitate more interdisciplinary research with faculty across campus. He was drawn away from Fordham and his home in New York City by the position’s potential, and by Baylor’s R1 vision that sparked it.

    “Data sciences is reshaping academia, so it is an important field for a university,” Han says. “A focus on the data sciences brings more opportunities for collaboration, new research directions, new courses and new research ideas that benefit the academy, the market, the industry and people.”

    Sic ’em, Dr. Han!