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Data

University Initiative

William & Mary will lead the evolution of the liberal arts and sciences by integrating computational thinking and data fluency into a bold and dynamic learning experience that advances inquiry, discovery and innovation.

For centuries, William & Mary has trained critical thinkers to tackle complex challenges of broad social relevance. As the world becomes increasingly immersed in data, and to ensure our graduates will thrive in data-rich environments, the university is advancing its distinctive excellence — as befits a well-rounded education — by accelerating the integration of data and computational sciences across fields. William & Mary graduates will be distinguished by the ways they combine quantitative and qualitative expertise with human understanding, enabling them to design innovative solutions to the pressing complex challenges facing society.

Committee chair: Peggy Agouris, Provost

Data Update

In response to the campus planning prompt from 2021, two departments and one program have been working on a proposal to consider how we might establish a new academic unit in computing, data science and applied science. A design team representing W&M's five schools has been discussing how we might meet the rapidly growing demand for these majors among students and increasing workforce demands for computational modeling and statistical analysis as powerful tools for critical thinking — relevant to every industry and discipline.

Data Initiative News

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Pride Points

  • More Computer Science Degrees

    W&M graduates more students, per capita, with computer science degrees than most leading universities in Virginia.

  • Cross-Disciplinary

    Cross-disciplinary work is interfused through our curriculum and student pathways at W&M.

  • Data Collection, Synthesis & Application

    Data collection, synthesis and application to real-world issues are a hallmark of a W&M education (GRI, CGA, VIMS, IIC, GeoLab and many more).

Data Initiative Goals, Targets & Actions

Goals:
  • Prepare our students to lead in a data-rich world.
  • Become a thought leader at the intersection of computational and data sciences and the multitude of disciplines that study human societies, culture and experiences, including the humanities, social sciences, arts, education, law and business.
  • Develop a research portfolio that builds upon the emerging confluence among data analysis and a broad range of arts and sciences to advance discovery and innovative design.
  • Foster an entrepreneurial mindset, priming our campus and region for data science innovations through stronger connections with commonwealth, federal and corporate partners.
Targets:
  • By 2024, build a robust yet agile foundation for an educational portfolio at the undergraduate and graduate level that strengthens and expands current programs, establishes more visible connections between existing offerings, and develops new course and program offerings.
  • By 2025, increase participation of faculty and students in computational and data sciences and engineering activities across campus, with the goal of doubling these numbers.
  • By 2026, grow the number of women and other underrepresented populations in our data and computational sciences faculty and students by at least 50%.
Actions:
  • Expand our presence and influence in computational and data sciences, including the emerging field of computational engineering and related areas, consistent with student demand and Virginia workforce needs.
  • Create a W&M multipurpose data science innovation hub as part of Williamsburg’s new tech village, to support large-scale federal research funding and public-private partnerships.
  • Develop a new program with emphasis on computational and data engineering, building upon the university’s existing strengths in these scientific areas to provide foundation and context to educational and research pursuits.
  • Build connections with industry and other partners to better align our programs with society and workforce needs, and provide opportunities for tradecraft enrichment and bidirectional scientific innovations.

Support the Data Initiative

For further information about this initiative and ways to support the effort, please contact:

Suzie Armstrong '93, Assistant Vice President for Development, Campus Initiatives
757-221-7647
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