The past year has marked significant growth and change for the College of Science's efforts in data science and data analytics. The Academy of Data Science, formed in summer 2020, saw the start of construction on the Data and Decision Sciences Building at the planned Global Business and Analytics Complex at Virginia Tech, located at West Campus Drive and Perry Street.
The Computational Modeling and Data Analytics program also moved from under the umbrella of the Academy of Integrated Science, where it has resided since its inception in 2014, to the Academy of Data Science.
The approximately 115,000-gross-square-feet Data and Decision Sciences Building will house faculty and classes from the College of Science, as well as the College of Engineering, and the Pamplin College of Business. Its mission: bring data science together under one roof to provide opportunities for students, faculty, alumni, and even industry leaders to work side-by-side to address some of the world’s significant data challenges.
Construction began in early spring with an open target date of 2023. At a groundbreaking event in March, Ron Fricker, interim dean of the College of Science, said the academy is “a major development and a recognition that data science has become a field of its own — even as it is rapidly being integrated into so many other disciplines. This [new] building will help us realize those opportunities and make those discoveries at Virginia Tech by serving as a primary location to bring today’s experts together and educate tomorrow’s leaders to collaborate on new methodologies and applications.”
The Academy is headed by Tom Woteki, a three-time Virginia Tech alum (mathematics B.S. 1968, M.S. 1972, statistics Ph.D. 1974) who also heads the college’s data analysis and applied statistics master’s degree program in the greater Washington, D.C., metro area. Part of his new role will be to assure that the Washington, D.C., area master’s program and the work at the Blacksburg-based academy work in unity.