What is Data Science?

Data Science is a term that is used to describe a broad range of theories, algorithms, methodologies, and tools that allow us to used data to better understand and make predictions about the world around us. Among the topics included under the umbrella of Data Science are:

  • Theories and algorithms from statistics and machine learning for making predictions from data;
  • Data management techniques for efficiently organizing and accessing large and complex data sets;
  • The human aspect of data, including human-computer-interaction, privacy, social policy, and more;
  • Data-driven projects across the sciences, humanities, medicine, engineering, business, and education, that utilize theories and methods from data science to make domain-specific advances, as well as opening up broad new research questions and challenges for data scientists.

What is the Data Science Initiative?

The Data Science Initiative at the University of California, Irvine is coordinating the activities of researchers and students across campus involved in various aspects of data science. The Initiative, started in July 2014, is focused on a number of specific activities in its first year, including:

  • Graduate education in data science, including 1-day short courses on topics such as data analysis software (R, Python), data management, and predictive modeling, as well as a certificate in Data Science from the UCI Graduate Division.
  • Pursuing new undergraduate opportunities related to data science, including the new Data Science major at UCI, which started in Fall 2015.
  • Organizing mini-symposia on emerging interdisciplinary research topics that have signicant data-driven components; and
  • Additional activities such as supporting faculty in writing large multi-investigator grants on topics related to data science.

This initiative was started on July 1, 2014 and is sponsored by the Provost through the Office of Academic Initiatives.

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