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Mar 07, 2017 09:19 AM EST

Yale University has recently announced that it will be adding a new department called Department of Statistics and Data Science or DS2. This is the university's initial step regarding their plan to expand its research and teaching in data science. This move also made the university as the first to have a department of this kind.

The DS2 or DS squared department was originally Yale's Department of Statistics. On January 1, however, the department officially changed their name to DS2 signaling its move to introduce a new undergraduate major that focuses on both data science and statistics.

The new program was approved last March 2 and will include the life cycle of data, specifications, gathering, analysis, and management in terms of policy and decision making. Aside from the DS2 department, the departments of anthropology and astronomy will also introduce courses in the major.

The decision was based on the faculty's analysis that data science is becoming a major part of various disciplines. Daniel Spielman, Henry Ford II Professor of Computer Science and Statistics and Data Science, said that you can see it all over social sciences, humanities, and all other sciences.

Harrison Zhou, the chair of the Department of Statistics, said that data science is more than just big data but it serves as a bridge across all disciplines and departments. It also bridges the traditional and the modern, such as statistics and machine learning. Its influence and application can even be seen in the arts.

Alan Gerber, dean of social sciences for Yale’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, added that data science and statistics have become one of the must-have competencies in order to thrive in this modern age.

With the new department, Yale will add nine more faculty and scholars as part of the team. The institution will give specific emphasis on scholars whose works have made an impact in the field of data science.

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