NSF News

NSF institutes advance US ability to harness data revolution

Data science is a rapidly growing field that requires the expertise of computer scientists, mathematicians and statisticians to handle the analysis of ever-larger data sets. Big data affects how industry, academia and government operate, and the U.S. National Science Foundation is committed to leading the nation in foundational data science research.

NSF is pleased to announce Transdisciplinary Research in Principles of Data Science, or TRIPODS, a collection of research projects tied to Harnessing the Data Revolution Big Idea. This big idea aims to accelerate discovery and innovation in data science algorithms, data cyberinfrastructure, and education and workforce development.

"With NSF's $25 million investment, these interdisciplinary teams will be able to tackle some of the most important theoretical and technical questions in data science," said Division Director for Mathematical Sciences Juan Meza.

Additionally, these TRIPODS institutes contribute to fostering a robust workforce in STEM, by engaging students and trainees from diverse disciplines, hosting summer school programs and other outreach events, and maintaining connections with industry to focus on real-world applications for data science.

Given the importance and scope of these fundamental challenges, NSF is supporting two teams over five years focused on these topics in related but distinct ways.

Both teams are dedicated to diversity and inclusion and will feature extensive activities for different educational levels and career pathways. For instance, the Foundations of Data Science Institute plans to recruit participants for its workshops from groups traditionally underrepresented in fields related to data science and arrange meetings that enable them to work with senior researchers. Likewise, the Institute for Foundations of Data Science will organize events targeting diverse groups of middle school, high school and undergraduate students through local partnerships.

"The TRIPODS program continues to lead the way in Harnessing the Data Revolution by addressing the most challenging and fundamental problems in data science," said Division Director for Computing and Communication Foundations Rance Cleaveland.