University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Our Story, Our Vision

The Center for Data Science was among the first initiatives embarked upon by the College of Information and Computer Sciences when it was established in 2015. Momentum for creating a center had begun long before the creation of the new college brought about by the depth of faculty expertise in data science foundations and the longstanding commitment to offering the highest quality education.

 

The timing to launch a center dedicated to data science became ideal when key factors came into alignment: rapidly accelerated interest across virtually every industry domain, steadily increasing demand by students, vigorous support from the new college and university administration, and the boundless intellectual curiosity within the university computer science community by a cohesive team of highly regarded faculty researchers who have enduring successful ventures to their credit.

 

Center leadership is the responsibility of Director Andrew McCallum. Andrew has forged ahead to inaugurate the Center mission and vision and to create a high-energy, collaborative infrastructure and atmosphere to explore challenges at the forefront of data science.

 

Today, the Center is ambitiously and energetically moving forward to:

  • leverage current research expertise and facilitate new faculty hiring in key areas
  • conduct new and ongoing cutting edge research across a spectrum of research projects
  • execute continuous industry outreach efforts to engage companies across various sectors to participate in collaborative research
  • manage effectively the rapid increase in computer science student enrollment
  • provide bachelor, masters and doctorate degree candidates with the training and experience to enter the workforce ready and able to make immediate contributions.

Looking to the future, Center affiliated faculty are increasingly enthusiastic about the growing appreciation of and applications for data science and are dedicated to innovating methodologies to drive increasingly sophisticated applications to address big data challenges.

 

Mission and Vision

The mission of the Center is to facilitate the highest quality data science education, research and industrial collaboration.

 

The vision is to greatly expand the capacity to implement data science research, industry collaborations, educational programming, and the availability of cutting-edge computational tools. This is being accomplished by championing education and training opportunities, catalyzing faculty growth, and building relationships with industry, government, philanthropic, and community connections. The challenge is to communicate the value data science brings to organizational decision making; demonstrate how methodologies can be applied within and across virtually any sector to better understand and optimize opportunities; and innovate new and better tools to continuously improve how organizations gather, curate, interpret, and utilize data.

 

Beneficiaries of the Center efforts are: College of Information and Computer Sciences faculty and students, researchers and students in various domains across this and other campuses worldwide, the citizens of Massachusetts, and the global community.