Developers of the COVID-19 Florida Tracker

Rebel ColeRebel A. Cole, Ph.D.

Eugene M. and Christine E. Lynn Eminent Scholar Chair in Business | Florida Atlantic University, College of Business

Dr. Cole is a data scientist with 35 years of experience and the Lynn Eminent Scholar Chaired Professor of Finance in the College of Business at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. Previously, he has taught at DePaul University in Chicago, UNSW in Sydney and the University of Auckland in New Zealand. He received his Ph.D. in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina in 1988, after which he spent ten years working as a financial economist in the Federal Reserve System.

Dr. Cole is a special advisor to the Asian Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other non-governmental organizations, providing training and technical assistance to central banks around the world in more than 60 countries.

Dr. Cole has published peer-reviewed articles in top academic journals that include the Journal of Finance, the Journal of Financial Economics, the Journal of Financial & Quantitative Analysis, the Journal of Corporate Finance, the Journal of Banking & Finance, the Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics and Real Estate Economics. His primary areas of research are commercial banking, commercial real estate, corporate governance, entrepreneurship, and financial institutions. Many of his papers use sophisticated survival models to analyze the factors explaining the failures of banks and small businesses.

According to Google Scholar, his works have been cited by other scholars more than 10,000 times. According to Scopus, his works have been cited more than 2,000 times. Most of his research papers are available for download from his webpages at

Dr. Cole is a frequent commentator in the financial press. He has been quoted in, or appeared on: Accounting Today, the American Banker, the Bloomberg Businessweek, CNN Money, Fox Business News, the Huffington Post, the New York Times, National Public Radio, the PBS Nightly Business Report, the, the Voice of America, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, WTTW’s Chicago Tonight, and Yahoo Finance.

Jon Taylor, Ph.D. Student at FAU BusinessJon Taylor

Ph.D. Candidate | Florida Atlantic University, College of Business

Jon Taylor is a Ph.D. Candidate studying Business Administration with a concentration in Finance at Florida Atlantic University’s College of Business in Boca Raton. He also earned his Master of Science in Finance (MSF) from the FAU College of Business.

Mr. Taylor focuses his research on FinTech, Entrepreneurial Finance, Bank Distress, and applications of Machine Learning at the intersection of those areas. He began his foray in Data Science during the MSF program by learning the Python coding language and by participating in the Numerai Machine Learning tournament. Mr. Taylor has consistently ranked among the top 50 users in the world, and currently is ranked in the top 20, in what is regarded as one of the most difficult machine learning tournaments in the world.

He has presented his working papers at six conferences, including the Young Scholars in Finance conference in Brighton, England, in the Summer of 2019, where he earned a Special Commendation Award in the FinTech category. Mr. Taylor is an invited referee for several journals and has served as a discussant at seven conferences and as a panel speaker at the Southern Finance Association Annual Meeting 2019 in the FinTech Special Session.

Mr. Taylor integrated Python and Machine Learning in the two courses he has taught so far and one of his students currently is ranked in the top 50 of the leaderboard in the Numerai Machine Learning tournament.