UTSA Recruits Berkeley Leader to Head New Data School

Last week marked one other step within the improvement of latest public-private knowledge science analysis efforts on the University of Texas at San Antonio, months after college officers first broke ground on a brand new $90 million facility to deal with its School of Data Science and National Security Collaboration Center collectively underneath one roof.

The college has introduced that David Mongeau, govt director of the Berkeley Institute for Data Science on the University of California, Berkeley, will lead the School of Data Science. As its founding director, he’ll assist formulate a imaginative and prescient for the brand new faculty forward of its deliberate opening in summer season 2022.

According to the college’s news release, the brand new faculty goals to be a nationwide focus for public-private partnerships between academia and the tech trade. Officials say it is going to be the primary faculty of its variety in Texas, reworking UTSA right into a nationally acknowledged research-intensive establishment and hub for future workforce improvement within the discipline of knowledge science.

David Mongeau, founding director of UTSA’s School of Data Science.


In addition to Mongeau, the varsity will embrace school from departments of laptop science, laptop engineering, statistics and knowledge sciences, and knowledge methods and cybersecurity. It may even convey collectively UTSA’s interdisciplinary analysis facilities, such because the Cyber Center for Security and Analytics, Institute for Cyber Security, Open Cloud Institute, Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute and National Security Collaboration Center.

Mongeau informed Government Technology that one of many faculty’s key objectives shall be to construct relationships between the college and trade companions, drawing off his expertise with analysis outreach efforts at UC Berkeley, the place he expanded the institute’s engagement with trade.

“My vision for the center certainly mirrors the vision the university has already set for SDS,” he stated following final week’s announcement. “In that regard, I’m excited about the opportunity to build out more of the research focus areas, as well as its academic programs.”

According to Mongeau, the varsity and new facility will create an area for transdisciplinary knowledge science applications. This strategy, he stated, shall be essential to UTSA’s IT workforce improvement efforts amid a scarcity of certified professionals in cybersecurity and knowledge science fields.

“The digital revolution has influenced every field and endeavor — every business and market sector,” he stated, noting that each postsecondary self-discipline would require some degree of digital literacy within the years forward.

Over the years, UTSA has developed shut partnerships with federal businesses such because the Department of Defense and National Security Agency (NSA), specializing in cyber defense education and research efforts. The college’s cybersecurity program, among the many high applications within the nation, has been designated as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations by the NSA and the Department of Homeland Security.

Mongeau stated the brand new knowledge faculty plans to work with tech trade companions comparable to The MITRE Corporation, a nonprofit that manages federally funded analysis, to construct upon UTSA’s schooling and analysis applications within the years to return. Further particulars about future partnerships remained pending as of this week, though UTSA confirmed in an e-mail that Frost Bank dedicated $1 million final week to the brand new knowledge faculty.

In addition to pursuing trade partnerships, Mongeau stated the varsity will hopefully turn out to be a pipeline for historically underrepresented teams on the lookout for careers in IT, additionally one among his objectives in his time at Berkeley.

“We also want some solid graduate fellowship programs and post-doctoral scholar programs where people are able to go deeper into data science,” he stated, noting that UTSA’s designation as a Hispanic-serving establishment will doubtless assist to diversify tech fields.

Besides his work at UC Berkeley, Mongeau co-led the Translational Data Analytics Institute at Ohio State University, the place he secured grants from the National Science Foundation, the state of Ohio and others to review methods through which knowledge may assist cut back air pollution and fight the continued opioid epidemic.

As a part of the varsity’s trans-disciplinary strategy to IT, he hopes to encourage UTSA knowledge science college students to think about the position of ethics in creating tech options for real-world issues comparable to these.

“One of the things that are important to keep in mind is that the School of Data Science is not just about the foundational areas of data science — computing, statistics and math. It’s also about all the areas that those elements contribute to, such as biological science, life science, environmental science, humanities,” he stated, including that an moral strategy to knowledge science is “paramount.”

“The worst thing to do would be to simply arm people with the technical know-how without thinking through the ramifications of the technology they’re introducing or the data they’re using,” he continued. “Just because you can do something with data and technology does not mean you should, and if you do, what are the impacts? That’s critical.”

Mongeau will be part of UTSA on July 1.


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