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Tianjin University Establishes Institute of Data Science

 

On May 4, 2016, Tianjin University established Institute of Data Science. At the same time a round table on the cross-disciplinary development of data science was held. Over one hundred representatives attended this event, including the former Minister of the Ministry of Education and director of Management Science Department of National Natural Science Foundation of China Wu Qidi, Tianjin University President Li Jiajun and Vice President Yuan Yingjin, director of Tianjin Municipal Commission of Industry and Information Technology Li Zhaoxing, director of Tianjin Municipal Education Commission Wang Jing, and vice director of Tianjin Municipal Science and Technology Commission Jia Di. The inauguration was hosted by Yuan Yingjin.

Data science or sometimes known as big data, is a relatively new science that derives from statistics and data analysis that made possible developments in astrophysics and the human genome project. With machine learning it is now possible to extract knowledge from very large, diverse and complex data sets thus forming the fourth research paradigm. Data science brings not only opportunities and challenges to all walks of life we face in the new era, but also new ways of thinking and new methodologies for scientific research and applications in various fields including engineering, In recent years, Tianjin University has, for some time, accumulated data and made many advances in technology, and in the application and management of big data. The establishment of the Institute of Data Science aims to serve national strategies, promote industrial development, and develop first-class scientific research.

Li Jiajun welcomed and gave thanks to all guests. He said, "The Institute of Data Science was an important cross- disciplinary platform." He looked forward to "the active participation of related institutes and researchers within this platform. The establishment of the Institute of Data Science was of great significance for discipline development, improvement of scientific research, and national and regional economic development".

Li Jiajun said: "In the future, the institute will endeavor to fulfill the task of building a data and computing platform, a research center, a network for global cooperation and communication, and a place to cultivate scientific talent”.“The Institute of Data Science of TJU aims to open up talent, subjects, resources and new experimental platforms to society and enterprises in all respects domestically and internationally. It will take it as its own duty to ‘make data benefit society’, and to become a leader of global research on and development of data science.”

Li Zhaoxing extended his congratulations on the establishment of the Institute of Data Science. He mentioned that the “Outline of the Action for Promoting the Development of Big Data” issued by the State Council aimed to comprehensively promote the development and application of big data in China, and to hasten the building of data power. In this context, the establishment of the Institute of Data Science of Tianjin University was initiated at exactly the right time. He hoped that the institute will cultivate high-level talent, high-level scientific and technological innovation, and high-quality social services together, and make significant contributions to regional economic development.

The Institute of Data Science of TJU brought together experts from home and abroad in computer and software, management and finance, mathematics, library and information, engineering, and other technological fields and application fields of big data, to promote a wide range of cross-disciplinary research and innovation. The Director of the Institute of Data Science and Dean of the College of Management and Economics Zhang Wei said, “Our institute will make efforts to implement innovation in and to reform of systems and mechanisms, build academic committee and council for academic guidance, counseling and decision, and provide support of external resources and environment for development of the institute.”

The institute will adopt multiple methods, including international cooperation to cultivate talent. To do so it will select and send excellent young teachers to world-class universities or scientific research institutions for advanced study and cooperative research. And it will encourage and support young talents to freely explore and research cooperatively on important issues at the frontiers of science and key technology in industry, and carry out creative and forward-looking scientific research. In the meantime, it will build scientific research subsidy mechanisms for young people.

At the meeting, Li Jiajun and Wu Qidi jointly unveiled the plaque for the Institute of Date Science. An academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences Chen Yongchuan, vice president of Tianjin Medical University Zhu Yi, and vice president of PICC Jiang Caishi, vice president of ZTE Corporation were appointed members of academic committee and members of council of the Institute of Data Science. Wu Qidi and Professor Francoise Soulie, a member of “the Recruitment Program of Global Experts” (known as “the Thousand Talents Plan”) in Tianjin, gave keynote reports respectively.

After the inauguration, Wu Qidi and Francoise Soulie respectively presented reports titled as “Science of Management and Decision in the Context of Big Data” and “Data Science, abroad and at TJU”. Members of academic committee and council of the Institute of Data Science and leaders of every institute in TJU attended the round table on discipline development of data science in TJU. Through communication, discussion, consultation, and inspiration, present representatives made suggestions on discipline development of data science and the development of this institute.

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