New data science institute to help scholars harness ‘big data’

In a world awash in data, UC Berkeley is meeting the flood head-on by establishing a new institute to support faculty, researchers and students in their efforts to mine this information in areas as diverse as astronomy and economics, genetics and demography, the university reports.

The Berkeley Institute for Data Science, to be housed in the campus’s central library building, is made possible by grants from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Sloan Foundation, which together pledged $37.8 million over five years to three universities – UC Berkeley, the University of Washington and New York University – to foster collaboration in the area of “data science.”

… The partnership was announced Nov. 12 at a Washington, D.C., event, “Data to Knowledge to Action,” sponsored by the White House and hosted by John Holdren, assistant to the President for Science and Technology and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

“Big data is now a super-big deal,” Holdren said as he unveiled several high-impact collaborations – the Moore and Sloan foundations’ among them – involving federal agencies, private industry, academia, state and local governments, non-profits and foundations.

Read more