In recent years, the field of data science is experiencing rapid growth due to a confluence of several trends in science and technology: the advent of new sensors, measurement technologies, and social network infrastructure together with the availability of low-cost computing devices, has ignited an explosion in research and development activities in both academia and industry, e.g., visualization of high-dimensional large volume data or complicated interconnected network structures; analyzing such data; making inferences and diagnostics, to name just a few. Unlike many other disciplines, however, advances in data science research are adopted by industry at an alarming rate, which has caused serious problems like shortage of properly trained data scientists who understand what they are really doing in their assigned data scientific tasks. We do not want data scientists to simply use the latest data scientific theory and tools as "blackboxes" or cut corners to get the job done without deeply understanding the phenomena underlying the data they deal with.
What we really need to do is to advance the fundamentals of data science research, i.e., theories and algorithms that make each step of data analysis explicit and interpretable, and properly educate and train our graduate students and postdoctoral scientists for the next generation of the US workforce. The mission of the UC Davis TETRAPODS Institute of Data Science (UCD4IDS) is exactly that, by integrating our collective expertise and experience in research and education of thirty-five participants over four disciplines: Computer Science; Electrical Engineering; Mathematics; and Statistics. We will also closely collaborate with the Center for Data science and Artificial intelligence Research (CeDAR) headed by Prof. Thomas Strohmer.
Naoki Saito, Director, UCD4IDS