Appointment Advances East Tennessee's "Technology Triangle"

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Dr. Blair Christian, a statistician and data scientist, has accepted a position with PYA Analytics and UT’s Department of Statistics, Operations and Management Science.

Blair Christian joins PYA Analytics & University of Tennessee

We have a new colleague who is engaged in applying analytics to solve some of the most pressing problems in healthcare.

A joint staff appointment by PYA Analytics and the University of Tennessee is an important step in advancing East Tennessee’s “technology triangle,” PYA President Ed Pershing said.

Dr. Blair Christian, a statistician and data scientist, has accepted a position with PYA Analytics and UT’s Department of Statistics, Operations and Management Science. PYA Analytics is an affiliate company of PYA, a national consulting and accounting firm.

PYA and its affiliates are supporting the strengthening of relationships between UT, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and area businesses.

“The combined resources of UT, the national laboratory and the private sector in East Tennessee are matched only by very few places in the nation – Silicon Valley and Research Triangle Park – to name a couple,” Pershing said. “We are eager to do what we can to elevate our ‘triangle’ of science, academics and business to that elite group of technology-based centers.”

Two of the top officials of ORNL’s Computational Sciences Division, who developed the national laboratory system’s data analytics program, joined PYA in launching the analytics company in May. Brian Worley is president and CEO of PYA Analytics and Edmon Begoli is Chief Technology Officer.

Dr. Kenneth Gilbert, UT SOMS department head, said joint appointments have benefits that extend beyond the two organizations.

“We have in Blair a new colleague who is engaged in applying analytics to solve some of the most pressing problems in healthcare. This collaboration is designed to provide students relevance in the classroom, to ensure that our research program is firmly grounded in addressing relevant problems, and to maintain our role as thought leaders in the new discipline of Business Analytics.”

PYA Analytics established an intern program with UT and currently has six graduate and undergraduate student appointments.

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Ed Pershing

Ed Pershing
PYA
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