The University of Sydney is making a major commitment to using its valuable data to improve lives and benefit society with the launch today of the Centre for Translational Data Science.
Crime prevention, reducing youth unemployment, advancing medical treatment and industry efficiency are among the centre’s goals.
The centre is one of only a few worldwide that is using data for ‘translation’ – interpreting the data to solve real world problems including the creation of tools and software that can address economic and social challenges.
”Data is the currency of the digital age and is changing how we live. It will be an age of wonder if we succeed in exploiting information to our best advantage including excelling at analysing relatively small data sets. The centre positions the University to provide leadership in this area including training a new generation in data-driven science,” said Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte, the director of the centre.
The University already uses data scientists, especially in the areas of engineering, physics and health research. The creation of the centre will enable data expertise to leverage research across a much wider range of disciplines from criminology to nursing, psychology to government, from veterinary science to geoscience.
“This is the latest in our whole-of-University multi-disciplinary initiatives, building on the success of the approach exemplified by the Charles Perkins Centre, Brain and Mind Centre, Australian Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, the China Studies Centre and the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre”, said Dr Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney.
“It supports the University of Sydney’s commitment to delivering the highest impact from our research whether social, scientific or economic and includes commercial developments for national benefit.”
The centre will have crucial support from the Sydney Informatics Hub to build skills, capacity, community and collaboration in data science across the University.
The hub, a new multi-million research facility, employs a team of 15 dedicated data science engineers, working with the University’s academics and clinicians to extract information from data, working under the guidance of skilled data researchers. It provides high-performance computing, data storage, data privacy and software engineering support.
The Hub and CTDS rely on the availability of high performance computing and to support both initiatives the University has this week tripled the size of its flagship high performance computer Artemis.
The launch of the Centre for Translational Data Science (CTDS) takes place during the University’s Innovation Week.
Responding to consumer demand for increased computer hard drive memory, the research also has the potential to reduce the environmental footprint of the more than 2.5 billion hard drives currently estimated to be in use worldwide.
The development of an integrated national ‘whole of system’ model for Australia’s electricity and gas systems, maximising the use of ‘excess’ renewable energy and an increasing focus on the consumer, will be among the key recommendations presented at the final FutureGrid Project roundtable at the University of Sydney.