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Department of Sociology dedicates new analytics lab in East Hall

Albert Anderson and Leana Bouffard
Donor and alum Albert Anderson and Leana Bouffard, chair of sociology, stand outside the new Albert and Charlotte Anderson Sociology Analytics Lab in East Hall.

A new, state-of-the art sociology analytics lab is up and running in 311 East Hall, thanks to a generous $200,000 pledge by Albert Anderson (’56 engineering, M.S. ’60 sociology, Ph.D. ’62 rural sociology) and his late wife, Charlotte (’59 home economics education). The lab will give Department of Sociology undergraduate and graduate students opportunities to analyze data, participate in problem-based learning and develop methods-specific solutions to help solve some of society’s most pressing issues.

The Albert and Charlotte Anderson Sociology Analytics Lab, officially dedicated on Oct. 29, currently houses new screens and projectors for students to easily access and interpret data. Additional equipment will be added in the coming months and years.

“The Department of Sociology is so grateful for the Andersons’ gift,” said Leana Bouffard, sociology department chair. “Their generosity helps to ensure that Iowa State’s sociology students, both now and in the future, will have the tools necessary to conduct cutting-edge research with far-reaching impacts.”

Albert Anderson was first introduced to computer analysis at Drake University, where he was a member of the sociology faculty. He joined the Population Studies Center (PSC) at the University of Michigan in 1972, where he co-led the data processing unit until he retired in 1996. Since then, Anderson has been instrumental in developing and funding high-tech distance learning centers across the United States and in Nepal.

Anderson hopes that students who work in the lab will learn the importance of data analytics in sociology.

“What I hope will spring from this is that somebody sitting here today, or in the future, will have a bright idea that comes to fruition because of the possibilities here,” Anderson said at the Oct. 29 dedication.