UvA to accelerate data-driven research with new Data Science Centre

The University of Amsterdam will launch a new Data Science Centre (DSC) to help increase the innovation, diffusion and cross pollination of data science across all faculties.

Research is increasingly being driven by digital technology. Whether it’s using text analysis to understand parliamentary debates, GPS tracking to measure biodiversity or simulations to predict the efficacy of health interventions, data science is changing how research is being done.  

To strengthen the use of this innovative technology, the UvA will launch its own Data Science Centre at the beginning of 2021. Its mission will be to enhance the university’s research across all faculties by developing, sharing and applying data science methods and technologies.   

Embedded in every faculty 

The centre will be distributed throughout the university with data scientists and engineers embedded in every UvA faculty. It will be led by Paul Groth, professor of Algorithmic Data Science at the UvA’s Informatics Institute. As a coordinating hub within the UvA Library, the centre is uniquely positioned to facilitate knowledge exchange as well as the training of skills related to digital and data-driven research. By 2025, the centre will be home to 35 data scientists working across every faculty.  

To further advance the state-of-the-art in data science, the centre will also fund and develop an interdisciplinary innovation programme focused on joint projects between domain researchers and researchers focused on data science techniques. This will include several fully funded PhD positions.  

Vibrant AI and data science ecosystem 

The DSC will support and draw upon the vibrant AI and data science ecosystem from across the university and in Amsterdam, working closely with Amsterdam Data Science. 

‘I am truly excited to see the Data Science Centre launch at the UvA, bringing a unique combination of data engineering and analytics to every faculty’, says Cees de Laat, professor of Systems and Network Engineering at the UvA. ‘The interdisciplinary innovation PhD programme will keep the methods that we use and teach to process scientific data at the forefront of technology for years to come. This is exactly what is needed to prepare our students for the challenges they will face in the next five years after graduating and entering industry or research.’ 

Groth: ‘As a comprehensive research university rooted in a cutting-edge data science ecosystem, the UvA is in a unique position to perform pioneering research that takes advantage of the wealth of data being created. This centre will provide a powerful platform to help my colleagues accelerate their data-driven research.’ 

‘I am immensely pleased that the UvA will soon have its own Data Science Centre’, says Jan Lintsen, member of the UvA Executive Board. ‘Over the past few years we have seen data-driven research take a massive flight across all disciplines as a result of the explosive growth in research data and the emergence of new ICT technologies and software. By embedding data scientists and engineers at every faculty, we will be able to empower our researchers to take full advantage of the exciting possibilities offered by these developments. This initiative forms part of a broader set of ambitions to more greatly incorporate data science and AI in our teaching and research, and which are outlined in our new Strategic Plan.’

The Data Science Centre will launch at the beginning of 2021. If you are interested in collaborating with the centre, please contact DSC@uva.nl. 

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