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Sep 10, 201901:15 PMInside Wisconsin

with Tom Still

With new director Erickson, UW computing efforts take step forward

(page 2 of 2)

Erickson spoke in 2018 to the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Madison on the theme of “Wisconsin Hacker to Global Hustler,” describing his own path but also outlining some common traits of successful entrepreneurs and young companies.

Among them: the importance of teamwork and the right cultural fit, hiring for aptitude versus specific skills, acquiring customers, persistence, and the concept of “ready, fire, aim,” meaning the need to launch products quickly and then adjust as needed.

As part of the larger College of Letters and Sciences, the School of Computer, Data and Information Sciences will operate within the UW–Madison’s largest and most diverse college. Disciplines range from arts and humanities to social sciences to natural sciences. It will provide fertile ground for interdisciplinary work.

Collectively, the new school will enroll about 2,700 students, more than 1,500 of whom are working toward an undergraduate degree in computer sciences. The Comp Sci department at UW–Madison was one of the nation’s first and continues to rank among the top 15. It is positioned to grow with Erickson’s private-sector experience and connections.

Along with emerging computer science and data programs at Marquette, the Milwaukee School of Engineering, UW–Milwaukee, and other schools, the more cohesive UW–Madison effort stands to establish ties with businesses from a mix of sectors as they look for talent and advice.

More than anything, Erickson’s hire signals that UW–Madison is embracing its larger statewide role and understands how computer science, data, and information can help to transform the Wisconsin economy. From Mondovi to Silicon Valley and back, Erickson will help.

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About This Blog

Tom Still is president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. He is the former associate editor of the Wisconsin State Journal.



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