In accordance with the approach of the Council for Higher Education the Technion has decided to invest in creating a central core for supporting and enhancing Data Science (DS) activities coined the Technion Data Science Initiative (TDSI). The TDSI aims to enhance and advance DS related research and education – coined campus data scientification and to enable external research collaborations and knowledge dissemination.
TDSI has commenced efforts and to date, 90 Technion researchers have joined the initiative from across campus.
The TDSI has three main facets: Internal research enhancement, External knowledge dissemination and research collaboration, enhancing Data Science education.
The Technion is home to many researchers in Data Science related fields as as a result multiple relevant laboratories and research centers have been formed on campus. The TDSI aims to enable and encourage collaborative research, improved knowledge dissemination and know how sharing amongst our researchers ensuring that the Technion continues to lead in cutting edge research in this field. TDSI will support data-intensive studies in both individual projects and multi-faceted multidisciplinary efforts. At the same time TSDI will aid in increasing the use of advanced approaches and tools of data science in additional areas of research and providing data science related services for research carried out at the Technion.
The TDSI also emphasizes knowledge transfer and research collaboration with Industry, IDF and additional security bodies, and the public sector to increase knowledge transfer. TDSI has dedicated roles (verticals) to ensure progress in all relevant fields.
The Technion as a Research University aims to bequeath data science knowledge to its many students. TDSI will promote activities such as aiding lecturers in incorporating Big Data in classical courses throughout campus, developing new Big Data oriented courses, supporting courses provided by external global experts, etc.
To achieve these goals, it is important to oversee all activities on campus to avoid unnecessary effort and resource duplication and redundancy; to create a collaborative environment and common research space that encourages meetings and creative discussions amongst all related participants, enabling the evolution of new breakthrough interdisciplinary research; to encourage desired activities by means of financial support.
The MLIS Center fo Machine Learning & Intelligent Systems, which was officially established in October 2018 and its exact functionality is still under development, will host TDSI and its various activities. Many functionalities of TDSI and the MLIS overlap, although the focus may be slightly different. While the MLIS is more focused on relationships between the Technion and external bodies (such as industry), TDSI is also set to create internal change in the way researchers from multiple disciplines conceive, research, and educate with data (what is dubbed in this proposal “campus data scientification”).
TDSI shall provide support to research labs in data gathering (via connections with industry, government, and military), data curation, setting up cloud and server farms, and support for system and data administration.
The TDSI organizational infrastructure aims to enable the achievement of many goals. Whilst each member of the TDSI management team has a specific task, they will also join together to achieve the overall aim – Advancing DS research, DS education and DS knowledge dissemination both in-campus and to the Israeli market.
The TDSI aims to support DS efforts across the campus, sharing resources and knowledge and enabling funding to advance the state-of-the-art research and education both in the core fields of Data Science and the many fields encompassing the core.