University of Virginia Board Approves Establishment of School of Data Science

The University of Virginia recently approved a School of Data Science, an up-and-coming field of study. This school will work to connect students with people both on and off the grounds of the University.

This course will include a range of fields, from the humanities to engineering, from medicine to social sciences, from policy to education, to assemble an innovative academic atmosphere. The program plans to use cutting-edge interdisciplinary research in an emerging field.

Final Approval

The next step to establish the new school is approval from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. The school will be led by UVA Data Science Institute Director Phil Bourne who has a vision to make an impact on society through the application of data science to real-world issues.

The goal is to train a diverse workforce in a rapidly increasing data-driven world. Bourne’s hope is to train a group of developing leaders, build programs to shape society, and cultivate ground-breaking research. The Data Science Institute has a five-year history to draw on, with a commitment to ethical science, inclusive teams and collaborative environments.

Data Science Institute

Founded in 2013, the Data Science Institute will serve as a foundation for the new school. The Institute offers a Master of Science in Data Science, and online M.S.D.S., and a dual-degree program that awards an M.S.D.S. and an MBA from the Darden School of Business.

A core part of the masters’ programs is the collaborative cohort experience which teaches students to apply data science to real-world data working with industry partners. Students gain knowledge of how to work as a team with varying priorities and how to communicate with clients and colleagues about the work they are doing.

Future Plans

Bourne would like to add undergraduate, certificate, and Ph.D. programs so that the school can offer a full set of educational opportunities for undergraduates to business leaders already in their professional careers.

The school was made possible by a $120 million gift from the Quantitative Foundation, founded by UVA alumni Jaffray Woodriff and his wife, Merrill Woodriff. The Institute was also started with a grant from the Quantitative Foundation. These gifts will help students in Virginia gain a foothold in the rapidly expanding field of data science.

Melissa Thompson
Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn't know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.