Fall 2015 Data Science Executive Advisory Board

DEPARTMENT(S): 
October 8, 2015

Fall Meeting October 8th, 2015

The expertise and professionalism of the Data Science Executive Advisory Board has been invaluable to the DS program during this time of huge growth. This meeting was especially exciting as Program Director Elke Rundensteiner shared a list of great news items and recent accomplishments with the group:

  • Several  new faculty hires related to Data Science: Fatemeh Emdad, Ph.D., Lane Harrison, Ph.D.,and Yanhua Li, Ph.D., with Randy Paffenroth, Ph.D., now converted from a visiting into a tenure-track position in Data Science - establishing a critical mass of  data science expertise at WPI.

  • First DS Ph.D. in the nation launched in 2015 with an inaugural cohort already deep in research

  • GAANN Grant Award of $950K for 6 U.S. Ph.D. students for 3 years in data-driven computing

  • Lab, social and office space for Data Science to call "home"  in Atwater Kent building.

  • Great internships for DS students in their first summer including at Monster Worldwide, EMC2, Objectedge, Zakipoint Health, CMRPC, and Mavrx, and many other companies 

  • Soaring applications for the WPI Data Science program - with 33 top students among them accepted to 2015 MS cohort brings countries of origin to Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Iran, Nepal and U.S.A. (including 2 new Fulbright Scholars in 2015 cohort)

  • Two new courses offered helping DS student succeed: Graduate Algorithms and Data Structures, and Special Topics in Data Science

  • Strategic Research Directions of the DS Program at WPI were also presented. They center around the vision of 'A Better World Through Data Analytics' while particular themes explored by faculty and students include Fundamental Sciences of Big Data Analytics; such as statistics, scalable machine learning, data infrastructures, as well as their application to tackle impactful real-world problems in Healthcare Delivery, Cyber Security & Safety,  and Smart & Sustainable Communities.

Another highlight of the Board meeting was the presentation by a Graduate Qualifying Project student team sponsored by  IOMICS  titled, "Semantic Based Querying of Unstructured Bioassay Data."  Great discussion surrounding this research topic carried on well into the lunch hour.

The Data Science Program in its entirety is incredibly appreciative of the time and energy each member of the Executive Advisory Board invests in helping us make our fledgling program "fly" to great heights. Thank you!