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What is Data Science?

“Data science – the grand interdisciplinary challenge to extract new knowledge from big data through advanced analytics – presents a transformational opportunity for Purdue.”

Jay Akridge, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Diversity

Why Data Science?

The ubiquity of sensing devices and the low cost of data storage have caused a data explosion throughout society. Twenty billion devices are now connected to the Internet; by 2030, that number will rise to 1 trillion.

Data scientists are the critical link that transforms data into information. The field is growing so rapidly that there will be one million more computer science jobs than graduates by 2020 – equaling a $500 billion gap throughout the workforce.

Data science affects every citizen and is needed in every sector. It enables manufacturers to conduct preventative maintenance, reducing expensive production stoppages for repairs. It makes connected care possible, enabling community hospitals to better serve rural diabetic patients.

All 16 of our nation’s security agencies use data science to integrate massive, disparate information.

Even more broadly, the U.N. predicts global food demand is set to double by 2050, and data science will be an integral component of identifying solutions.

Why Purdue?

The Integrative Data Science Initiative will push the frontiers of scientific discovery well beyond current confines. We will be a national leader in applying Data Science to solve large and pressing problems ranging from food insecurity to disease. The “Embedding Data Science into Domain Curricula” program will also serve as a new model for other universities seeking to implement a comprehensive educational Data Science initiative. Data Science thrives when collaboration is fully engaged and, with this proposed Initiative, we are fully engaging the power of Purdue.

The Integration of Research & Education

The initiative focuses on advancing the frontiers of research and the application of data science to pressing, socially-relevant issues, as well as a new campus-wide, transformational data science education initiative.

The Integrative Data Science Initiative (IDSI) is designed to build on and advance Purdue’s existing strengths to position the university as a leader at the forefront of advancing data science-enabled research and education by tightly coupling theory, discovery and applications while providing students with an integrated, data science-fluent campus ecosystem. Research on student success ties into the educational mission of the University.

For the Good

Research opportunities in data science focus both on building underlying fundamental understanding and on immediate use for society. These opportunities underscore the notion that advances in data science are transforming the landscape of research in fundamental ways.

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