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Virginia Tech launches data science academy

Virginia Tech launches data science academy

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Virginia Tech announced Wednesday the creation of an Academy of Data Science that will collaborate with government agencies and industries.

The hub will give graduates expertise in data analysis to help meet the demand for such jobs in the state, particularly in Northern Virginia, the university said.

Tech has committed to produce thousands of computer science graduates as part of the state’s deal to bring an Amazon headquarters to Virginia. Tech’s Innovation Campus under construction in Northern Virginia was also a key part of that effort.

The new academy, housed under the university’s College of Science, emerged from faculty’s desire to put greater emphasis on data science as a part of scientists’ education and as an interdisciplinary field.

“This is not merely about processing data, it’s about how we can use data analysis and computational modeling, melded with fundamental science, to better understand how our world works and find solutions to vexing societal issues,” Sally C. Morton, dean of the College of Science said in a news release. “This understanding allows people to make well-informed decisions that can improve the human condition.”

Tom Woteki, director of data analysis and applied statistics at a Tech research center in Arlington, was named founding director of the academy.

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