Co-directors of newly launched Harvard Data Science Initiative discuss new era

June 19, 2017

fellowships, grants, space
“DOMINICI: Because of the new advances in technology, almost every field right now has data, and more data than ever. Clearly, there’s the explosion of genetics and genomics data in the life sciences, in molecular data, as well as astronomy and economics. Even in the humanities, you can scan documents and turn it into data that you can analyze.

PARKES: To add some numbers to this, IBM has estimated that we’re generating more than one quintillion bytes of data a day. (A quintillion is a 10 to the 18th.)

DOMINICI: One of the reasons we are so excited that Harvard is launching the Data Science Initiative is because of all the advances our faculty have made in recent years. We can now describe the entire genome, define the exposome (the environmental analogue to the genome), characterize social interactions and mood via cellphone data, and can digitize historical data relevant for the humanities. ….

DOMINICI: We have launched the Harvard Data Science Postdoctoral Fellowship, which is among the largest programs of its kind, and we want to recruit talented individuals in a highly interdisciplinary ways.

We have also launched a competitive research fund that will catalyze small research projects around the University. Through our friends in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the Medical School, we’ve identified some spaces in the near term where people can get together. …

PARKES: We are launching the initiative because we want to get to a point where we have a Harvard Data Science Institute. The aspiration is that the Data Science Institute will have some physical space associated with it,

Then the third one I wanted to mention is privacy.