Harvard Data Science Initiative Launch Event

Professor of Biostatistics and co-director of the Harvard Data Science Initiative Francesca Dominici helped launch the initiative last week with the first of a planned series of seminars focusing on the best ways to handle and analyze data.

In her opening remarks, Dominici outlined the initiative’s “bold vision” to help faculty members working in this area advance their research and become a unifying force across the University. “We really hope we can work across departmental boundaries and School boundaries,” Dominici said. “This is really an opportunity to empower the faculty, whatever research they are doing, to make your department better and your School better.”

The event, held at Harvard Law School’s Austin Hall, was the first of the initiative’s “45 + 45 seminars” that will feature a pair of 45-minute talks. Keynote speakers at the kickoff event were Cynthia Dwork, the Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science, who spoke about privacy and safeguarding information from large data sets, and Isaac Kohane, the Marion V. Nelson Professor of Biomedical Informatics, who discussed case studies in which big data provided insight to conditions such as autism, adverse drug reactions, and antibiotics resistance.