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Dr. Barrett Thomas

Barrett (Barry) W. Thomas is the Gary C. Fethke Research Professor in Business Analytics and Senior Associate Dean at Tippie College of Business at University of Iowa. He earned both a Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Industrial and Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan. His research focuses on vehicle routing and logistics problems with an emphasis on dynamic and on-time constrained routing. More recently, he has contributed to many journalistic pieces on the importance of education on the usage of artificial intelligence (AI).

In a recent article published by Iowa Dispatch, Dr. Barrett shares that it is important, in all cases, that faculty, staff, and students are educated on the use of AI technologies. He shares that it is important to educate on opportunities available as well as the challenges and concerns they present. He shares that some AI responses simply aren’t true when asked questions, which spreads misinformation and impacts individual users. He does, however, see the possible future for using AI in education and industry. He shares that Tippie College of Business will be using a new virtual space to prepare the college for the future of education and research.  Dr. Thomas shared with Tippie News,

“virtual college is another example of Tippie embracing new technologies like virtual reality and artificial intelligence for its teaching and research…the college has used those types of advanced tools for research to build an accident prediction model with the Iowa Department of Transportation, create an optimization model for food delivery businesses, and designed a machine learning algorithm to develop individualized dosing protocols for medication.”

Dr. Thomas shares that the next groundbreaking technology is not known. He sees this lab as an opportunity and place for Tippie College to experiment with virtual reality and develop new ways to use it most effectively