In January, the University of Virginia in Charlottesville announced
plans to establish a School of Data Science. UVA joins schools such
as MIT and the University of California that also recently announced
intentions to open new divisions devoted to data science.
The Charlottesville-based Quantitative Foundation has donated
US$120 million—the largest private gift in UVA’s history—to fund the
school’s formation. The donation will support doctoral and postdoctoral
fellowships, an endowed fund for visiting scholars, and a new
building for the school.
The School of Data Science will deliver doctoral, undergraduate,
and certificate programs to meet market demand for data science
professionals. Rather than house separate departments, the school
will be organized around centers focused on the themes of data
acquisition; engineering; analytics; visualization and dissemination;
and ethics, policy, and law.
The organizational structure is meant to reflect a “school without
walls,” where each center will have satellites embedded in other
schools on campus. This structure is meant to encourage multidisciplinary
collaboration across the university and with the private sector.
Phil Bourne, director of UVA’s Data Science Institute since 2017,
will serve as the school’s acting dean.