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NYU, Berkeley, UW multi-million partnership to harness potential of data scientists and Big Data


NYU, UC Berkeley and U. of Washington launch a 5-year, $37.8M cross-institutional effort, which aims to improve interactions between researchers in specific subjects and computational experts, develop an ecosystem of analytical tools and research practices, and establish data-centric career paths.



Data Science and Big DataNov 12, 2013. Washington, D.C. - A new multi-million dollar collaboration will enable university researchers to harness the full potential of the data-rich world that characterizes all fields of science and discovery. This ambitious partnership, which includes New York University, the U. of California, Berkeley and the University of Washington, with support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

The new 5-year, $37.8 million initiative was announced at a meeting sponsored by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) focused on developing innovative partnerships to advance technologies that support advanced data management and data analytic techniques.

While data science is already contributing to scientific discovery, substantial systemic challenges need to be overcome to maximize its impact on academic research.

To overcome these challenges, this effort seeks to achieve three core goals:

  • Develop meaningful and sustained interactions and collaborations between researchers with backgrounds in specific subjects (such as astrophysics, genetics, economics), and in the methodology fields (such as computer science, statistics and applied mathematics), with the specific aim of recognizing what it takes to move each of the sciences forward;
  • Establish career paths that are long-term and sustainable, using alternative metrics and reward structures to retain a new generation of scientists whose research focuses on the multi-disciplinary analysis of massive, noisy, and complex scientific data and the development of the tools and techniques that enable this analysis; and
  • Build on current academic and industrial efforts to work towards an ecosystem of analytical tools and research practices that is sustainable, reusable, extensible, learnable, easy to translate across research areas and enables researchers to spend more time focusing on their science.

The initiative will tap leading researchers at their respective institutions - and some of the best minds in science and academia. Faculty leads include:

  • Yann LeCun, Silver Professor of Computer Science and Neural Science at New York University's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences and founding director of New York University's Center for Data Science;
  • Saul Perlmutter, professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley, astrophysicist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Nobel laureate; and
  • Ed Lazowska, Bill & Melinda Gates Chair in Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington and director of the University of Washington's eScience Institute.

Read more.

See also Program Seeks to Nurture 'Data Science Culture' at Universities, NYTimes, Nov 12, 2013.


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