DENTON — UNT joined forces with Digital Train Limited, a leader in internet and mobile internet educational content and delivery, to launch its NetDragon Digital Research Centre to give faculty and students additional opportunities for research and technology development.


Digital Train Limited, one of the many companies owned by NetDragon’s founder Dejian Liu, provided $500,000 as startup funding to launch the centre and provide seed money for initiatives. The centre is designed to provide unique opportunities for student internships and faculty training, sponsored research across multiple disciplines, technology development and deployment of online courses to further enrich student learning experiences.


“As a Tier One research university, we are constantly looking for ways to grow and improve our research. Through the NetDragon Digital Research Centre, our faculty and students will develop next generation technologies to improve our students’ success,” President Neal Smatresk said. “They also will receive support to conduct research related to other emerging and evolving technologies, industries and innovations. The centre will support digital-first researchers from all disciplines who may make discoveries with the capability of revolutionizing industry.”


The centre will be led by Thomas D. Parsons, a professor of learning technologies and founding director of UNT’s Computational Neuropsychology and Simulations Lab.


“I am excited by the possibilities that the NetDragon Digital Research Centre avails and look forward to working with faculty and student researchers at UNT, as well as with industry partners, who have ideas for groundbreaking technologies,” Parsons said.


Parsons’ appointment as director began May 10.


“Thomas is a leading scientist and has made incredible contributions at UNT. As the primary visionary leader for this important centre, Thomas will be charged with the day-to-day operations and strategic mission of the centre to ensure its success in providing opportunities for enriched learning experiences for students, as well as research and technology development for faculty,” Smatresk said. “Thomas has successfully led large-scale, funded research projects and I’m excited to see what he will achieve with this new centre.”