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Notre Dame announces the Center for Network and Data Science

Leslie Lestinsky • DATE: February 5, 2020

At the University of Notre Dame, the Center for Network and Data Science (CNDS) – formerly known as the Interdisciplinary Center for Network Science and Applications (iCeNSA) – brings together faculty and other researchers to generate fundamental transformative advances in artificial intelligence (AI), data science, and network science with interdisciplinary applications in biological sciences, neuroscience, molecular synthesis, health and wellbeing, network science, foundations of computing, physical and transportation systems, and social systems. 

“The CNDS has developed a grassroots-driven research program – scientific and technical at the core – with an interdisciplinary mindset for driving transformative societal impact,” said Nitesh Chawla, Frank Freimann Professor of Computer Science and Engineering and director of the CNDS. 

The more than 40 researchers affiliated with the CNDS use network and data science to tackle challenges ranging from social to biological systems and organizational to environmental networks. Oftentimes, affiliated CNDS faculty and research teams work where machine learning, AI, and networks intersect with fundamental science like biology and chemistry.

“Connectivity is crucial to all systems, and therefore for understanding how so many complex systems work in the world,” said Zoltán Toroczkai, professor in the Department of Physics and co-director of the CNDS. “At the center, we are committed to supporting a breadth of research in this field as well as training the next generation of data scientists and foster data- and theory-driven discoveries.”

With faculty from the College of Arts and Letters, College of Engineering, College of Science, Keough School of Global Affairs, Law School, and the Mendoza College of Business, the CNDS supports interdisciplinary education and experiential learning opportunities. These opportunities include the new Interdisciplinary Traineeship for Socially Responsible and Engaged Data Scientists (iTREDS) program for undergraduate students. 

“We are well-positioned to educate the next generation of data scientists in a way that ensures ethics and social responsibility are intertwined with delivering data-driven solutions in the real world,” said Chawla. “The iTREDS program is intended to help meet that need, by shaping scholars that can produce impactful and equitable solutions while appreciating the ethical implications of data science innovation and results.”

The goal of the 15-credit program is to develop scholars from Notre Dame and St. Mary’s College to have an in-depth data science background as well as communication, critical thinking, teamwork, and other skills necessary for professional development. 

The iCeNSA was originally established in 2007 under the directorship of Zoltan Toroczkai, with Chawla and David Hachen professor in the Department of Sociology as co-directors. To learn more about the CNDS, please visit cnds.nd.edu.

 

– Brandi Wampler, Notre Dame Research