Ohio State creates institute dedicated to data science and analytics

Focus: supporting research, education and industry/community partnerships

By: Benjamin Johnson

Published on May 16, 2017

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State University has established a Translational Data Analytics Institute that will advance Ohio toward becoming a global hub for the development, application and study of translational data analytics solutions. Its focus will be supporting faculty research, education, and industry and community partnerships in the essential field of data science and analytics.

The Translational Data Analytics program that spun off the institute has been and remains a foundational component of the university’s Discovery Themes initiative, which represents an investment over 10 years of $500 million in teaching, research and engagement to solve global issues related to energy and the environment, food security and production, health and wellness, and the humanities and arts.

“The Translational Data Analytics Institute represents a long-term commitment by Ohio State to data science and analytics to solve real-world challenges globally,” said Bruce McPheron, executive vice president and provost. “It will be a source of great value for our entire university and community, both the public and the private sectors, spurring science and scholarship and contributing to workforce development.”

TDAI is dedicated to fostering a diverse and inclusive community of innovators. Together, its 105 faculty affiliates from throughout the university, including 41 new hires, bring expertise and know-how unparalleled in scope across foundational data science disciplines and applied domains. Recent milestones include awarding seed grants to faculty; spearheading interdisciplinary research projects and grant proposals with private sector partners; and hosting and sponsoring events for students, faculty, and industry and community partners. This summer, TDAI will launch a faculty exchange program with Nagoya University in Japan, and co-host a National Science Foundation workshop on Translational Data Science with the University of Chicago.

In addition to research and scholarship, TDAI is advancing data science and analytics education to ensure Ohio State students are prepared to take on the countless opportunities in one of the job market’s fastest-growing fields — and one in which the need for talent far exceeds supply. TDAI is creating a new professional science master’s degree in translational data analytics that will complement the university’s undergraduate data analytics major. Just last month, Ohio State’s commitment to fill the workforce talent gap was recognized by the Business and Higher Education Forum and PricewaterhouseCoopers in their report Investing in America’s data science talent: The case for action. A key part of that commitment is accelerating the inclusion of underrepresented groups in data science and analytics education.

In April 2018, TDAI will move to its new home in the renovated Pomerene Hall, where it will offer 21,000 square feet of research, teaching and innovation space for faculty, industry partners and the community to collaborate. The new facility will include hardware, software and data visualization labs; multiple types of work areas; and event space. It will launch with a series of open-house events next spring.

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