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Data Science Class Investigating N.C. Shark Attacks

After weeks of research, graduate students in the UNC Charlotte course "Knowledge Discovery in Databases" have analyzed diverse data sets related to sharks and have discovered certain patterns emerge. There appears to be a correlation between the frequency of shark attacks and the phases of the moon, with attacks more prevalent around the time of the full moon. Other factors like tourism, crab population and sea temperature also appear in decision trees and rules that were part of the research process.

Adjunct faculty member Pamela Thompson is the instructor for the class, which is part of UNC Charlotte’s Data Science Initiative. She cautioned that the study was for a class project and not vetted, peer-reviewed research; she hopes that the project will lead to a formal and more thorough research study with collaboration among many.

"Student decisions on features to use, preprocessing and cleansing the data and even the choice of mining algorithms can affect the outcomes in either a positive and negative way," stated Thompson. She added swimmers should always be careful in the water, particularly with the increase in the number of attacks in North Carolina this year.

Godfrey Honored at CFO of the Year Awards

Accounting Professor L. Howard Godfrey is being honored by the Charlotte business community for his academic leadership and legacy. He received the first Academic Leadership Award during the Charlotte Business Journal’s CFO of the Year Awards July 22. The Charlotte Business Journal recognizes outstanding chief financial officers at its annual CFO of the Year Awards Luncheon, which honors finance professionals in the Charlotte area who exemplify excellence as corporate financial stewards.

Godfrey joined the Belk College of Business at UNC Charlotte in 1975. He was the first business faculty member to hold a Ph.D. in accounting, which he received from the University of Alabama, and the first CPA in Charlotte with a doctoral degree. Teaching primarily in the area of federal taxation, Godfrey is a certified public accountant in North Carolina and a member of the American Accounting Association, the American Taxation Association and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).