Asarta, Eigenmann Appointed Co-Directors of UD’S Fintech Enterprise

Left to right: Carlos Asarta, Rudolf Eigenmann

Written by Beth Miller. Originally published on UDaily. Reprinted with permission.

Two experts in financial literacy and technology will co-direct the University of Delaware’s collaborative endeavors at the new FinTech Innovation Hub on UD’s Science Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus.

Carlos Asarta, professor of economics in the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, and Rudolf Eigenmann, distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering in the College of Engineering, will share director duties. Asarta will oversee education and outreach while Eigenmann will focus on research.

“We are thrilled to have co-directors of the caliber of Carlos Asarta and Rudi Eigenmann,” said Provost Laura Carlson, whose office announced the appointments. “They bring expertise in both areas of the fintech world — financial literacy expertise and technology expertise — and even more, they bring the collegial, collaborative and innovative spirit that the FinTech Innovation Hub is meant to foster and celebrate.

“With their leadership and guidance, we are well-positioned to make the most of the opportunities this great new facility brings to our students, our faculty and our community,” she said.

Asarta, who joined the UD faculty in 2013, is the James B. O’Neill Director of the Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship (CEEE), now headquartered on the fourth floor of the FinTech Innovation Hub. The CEEE has promoted economic and financial education for students from kindergarten through high school for more than 50 years by working with teachers — more than 3,000 of them each year — in high-quality professional development and peer networking opportunities.

He earned his doctorate in economics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His work focuses on economic education, technology in the classroom and financial literacy.

The author of Principles of Economics, Asarta was also a member of the National Standards for Personal Financial Education writing committee. He is president of the Delaware Council on Economic Education and editor-in-chief of The American Economist journal.

“The FinTech Innovation Hub’s commitment to fostering collaboration and partnerships within the financial technology ecosystem is highly appealing to me,” Asarta said. “As a co-director of the hub, I can leverage my network and research to connect with other scholars, industry experts and policymakers to promote innovative solutions for financial well-being. Ultimately, I have no doubt that Delaware will soon be known as the national center of excellence around financial health and wellness.”

Eigenmann joined the UD faculty in 2017. He is the director of Data-Intensive and Computational Science (DiCoS) and led the implementation of the major computational and data resource known as DARWIN — the Delaware Advanced Research Workforce and Innovation Network.

Before coming to UD, he was a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University and also served as director of the National Science Foundation’s Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure program from 2013-2017.

A Fellow of the IEEE (formerly known as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), Eigenmann’s research focuses on optimizing compilers, programming methodologies, tools and performance evaluation for high-performance computing and the design of cyberinfrastructure. He earned his doctorate in electrical engineering/computer science at ETH Zurich, Switzerland.

“Cyberinfrastructure, programming methods, compilers and high-performance computers are all part of the enabling technology that allows domain scientists to develop computational, data-driven and artificial-intelligence applications,” Eigenmann said. “Such applications are of key relevance for fintech topics, just as they are for classical areas in physics, chemistry, biology and engineering. Some of the most enjoyable work I have done in the past was with domain scientists, helping them to solve their problems with computational and data-driven methods. I believe fintech will benefit from such enabling technology as well.”

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