August 26, 2019

Purdue’s data science initiative featured in video

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — In the next 10 years, it is projected, 1 trillion devices will be connected to the internet. With the growing number of electronics comes a colossal amount of data available from every click on the devices.

Data science is critical to finding relevant information that will help advance and improve society. At Purdue University, the importance of instilling data literacy in students has become a key goal. Purdue has started an interdisciplinary collaboration to become a national leader in applying data science to solve large and pressing problems from food insecurity to disease. Purdue’s data science program will cover big data from understanding the fundamentals of data to applying findings for immediate use in society.

The story of the data initiative is featured in a four-minute video as part of Purdue’s Boiler Bytes series. The episode, titled "Integrative Data Science Initiative," will be featured on the Big Ten Network in the fall.

Purdue’s campuswide data science initiative was created to enhance students’ skills in the growing field of data analysis. The new initiative provides students the opportunity to learn about data science and data science research within their discipline. The data science initiative aligns with Purdue’s 150th anniversary celebration of “Giant Leaps in Artificial Intelligence, Algorithms and Automation — Balancing Humanity and Technology.”

The Integrative Data Science Initiative is a part of Purdue Moves, the university’s agenda to be among the great academic institutions of the world. Launched in early 2018, the initiative has the goal to build a data science-fluent campus and be a data-driven research university in health and life sciences, agriculture, manufacturing, transportation and civil infrastructure.

The Integrative Data Science Initiative also has a residential component for data science students who live in Purdue’s Hillenbrand Residence Hall. This learning community is called “The Data Mine.”

The Data Mine is an initiative that includes 20 living learning communities, with more than 600 students who all reside in Hillenbrand Hall. These students learn how to apply the data sciences in whichever one of the 20 discipline-specific learning communities that they live in. These 20 communities are coordinated by almost every college on campus, and topics range from analyzing digital gaming and culture to critical data studies to human development and family studies, to name just a few. Geared toward education, research, and student training, The Data Mine is one aspect of the larger Integrative Data Science Initiative.

“At Hillenbrand, you see students interacting not only working on homework but engaging on projects with some kind of challenge or something they need to accomplish with the data analysis,” said Mark Daniel Ward, professor of statistics and director of The Data Mine learning community. “About 200 of the students at a time will have seminar at lunchtime or dinnertime on a typical day in Hillenbrand. The professors come out to Hillenbrand Hall and have their office hours there.” 

Writer: Madison Sanneman, 

Media Contact: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723,

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