INFRASTRUCTURE

Purdue goes for gold with new $40m data science facility

SOURCE: Purdue University
Purdue is on a mission to become a global leader in data science research & education.

Purdue University is building a new US$40 million data science facility as part of plans to carve its name as a national and global leader in data science research and education.

The flagship four-storey facility will occupy 86,000 square feet and feature classroom and teaching spaces alongside collaborative workspaces for College of Science graduate researchers and faculty.

“By bringing together Purdue’s research strengths in mathematics, statistics, and computer science within an innovative building design, we will further cement our leadership in a critical STEM area and fulfill our commitment to make Purdue the first school for which data science is a part of every student’s education, no matter their field of study,” said College of Science Dean Patrick Wolfe.

“Data science is the new language of life, cutting across all disciplines and fields of research, and so it’s crucial that our students are prepared for this future.”

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Data has today replaced oil as the world’s most valuable resource.

Where once the volumes of data produced were measured in mere kilobytes, megabytes, gigabytes and perhaps even terabytes, these common units will become increasingly quaint as they are replaced by even larger-sized volume units such as petabytes (1,000 terabytes), exabytes (1,000 petabytes) and zettabytes (1,000 exabytes).

By as early as next year, the entire digital universe is expected to reach 44 zettabytes – that’s 40 times more bytes than there are stars in the universe.

In addition to that, in the next 10 years, it is expected that over 1 trillion sensing devices worldwide will be connected to the internet, generating more data than can be imagined.

But do we really know what to do with all that data? How and who will manage and maintain the massive networks, clouds and connections that help govern and transmit this data?

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Recognising the need to fill growing gaps in the field of data science, Purdue in 2018 rolled out its Integrative Data Science Initiative to advance research and foster data literacy in its students, providing them the opportunity to learn about and participate in data science research across disciplines. 

A strategic institutional priority, Purdue’s degree programmes across the data and computational sciences are flourishing, illustrating the university’s commitment to preparing its students for this emerging segment of the economy, both in research and industry.

The new Purdue data science facility will help advance this mission.

“Data science and related fields will transform every sector of our economies and societies in the coming years and decades,” said Purdue President Mitch Daniels. 

“This facility will ensure that Purdue’s students and faculty alike remain at the forefront of this acutely important new field.”

Construction is scheduled to begin in November 2020 with completion in June 2022.