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Data Science Symposium: "Is Data Science a Thing?"

Presenter: Raf Alvarado

Is data science a thing? Does it have a coherent meaning beyond a laundry list of employable skills in the era of big data?  Does it have a distinct disciplinary identity when compared to fields such as statistics and computer science? In this talk, I will draw from my research on the history of data science to make the case that data science is indeed a thing. It refers to a kind of knowledge work that dates back to the 1960s when the term was used by the Air Force in a manner surprisingly consistent with current usage. It is a distinct and multifaceted field that emerged with the need to process vast amounts of signal and other instrument data to produce actionable representations of non-point realities such as nuclear threats, the global climate, and, more recently, collective political and economic behavior. In the current era, the definition has been broadened, but its core remains consist with this history.


Zoom link for virtual attendees:

September 29, 2022 11:00 am to 12:30 pm

Holloway Hall Conference Room

Event type: Lecture