ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The University of Michigan will invest $100 million over the next five years to create opportunities for students and faculty researchers to tap into the potential of "big data" from a wide spectrum of fields.
The new Data Science Initiative will involve hiring 35 faculty members, supporting data-related research and providing opportunities to students pursuing careers in data science. The school also plans to expand its research computing capacity, as well as strengthen its data management, storage, analytics and training resources.
President Mark Schlissel says "big data" can provide "dramatic insights" into a range of sciences, from medicine to economics to social behavior. The university's chief academic officer, Provost Martha Pollack, calls it a critical approach to scientific discovery, along with experiments, modeling and computation.
"To spur innovation while providing focus, the DSI will launch challenge initiatives in four critical interdisciplinary areas that build on our existing strengths in transportation research, health sciences, learning analytics and social science research."
All academic units on the university's Ann Arbor campus are supporting the initiative. The University of Michigan also plans to establish the Michigan Institute for Data Science as a means for leading research and educational activities in big data.
"Big data is revolutionizing research in an extraordinary range of disciplines," said S. Jack Hu, interim vice president for research. "With this initiative, our goal is to spark innovation in research across campus while inspiring further advances in the techniques of data science itself."
An inaugural symposium will be held Oct. 6 to mark the launch of the Data Science Initiative.