New Data Science Initiative: Tapping into the Pipeline of Data Science

Under the direction of Azer Bestavros, Ph.D., newly appointed Associate Provost of Computing and Data Science and in strong collaboration with Eric Kolacyzk, Ph.D., newly appointed director of Hariri Institute for Computing and Founding Director, MS in Statistical Practice (MSSP) Program, there is now strong proactive assessment and development of BU’s data science approach that stretches across both the MED and CRC campuses.

Within this context, it behooves the ARCs, pre-ARCs and other groups to begin tapping into the pipeline of data science talent that exists on both campuses and build a data science component into their ARC analytic aims. Doing so will generate pilot data for analytic approaches that can populate the “Innovation” section of any planned NIH or other type of grant. Over the coming years, it is highly likely that data science driven data collection and analysis methods will be much more mainstream. NIH is certainly signaling this already given the recent spate of FOAs that have been released or are planned for release. Thus, ARCs finding ways to adapt data science into their programs will be strategically positioning themselves for a future whose timeline will be compressed because anything in which computing is a central theme happens on a much more accelerated timeline than might be traditionally expected.

Some of the immediate steps one can take include

1) Reaching out to Bill Adams who oversees data science projects within the CTSI;
2) reaching out to Eric Kolacyzk at Hariri to set up a meeting to discuss your ARC and getting ideas from him of the range of topics that fall under the concept of “data science” to identify those that align with the interests of your ARC;
3) have Eric describe how Hariri can help to catalyze your ARC’s data science objectives;
4) have him recommend faculty that you can connect with to collaborate on your ARC data science aim(s). Another immediate resource for data science related student help is the MSSP program that Eric founded – https://www.bu.edu/mssp/.

They use “real world projects” to train student teams and you could potentially work with faculty overseeing student team projects to have your ARC aim be one of the projects.