Photographer:Fotograaf: Marcos Gasparutti
MAASTRICHT. UM has appointed a fourth university professor in the field of Data Science. Canadian Michel Dumontier (1975) is senior lecturer at Stanford University and will also lead a new Maastricht institute for Data Sciences.
Preliminary investigations for the new institute are in full swing, considering the vacancy for a quartermaster posted in Observant last week. The provisional working title for the institute is IDS@UM. It will also provide education. “There is a growing need on the labour market for experts in the field of data science,” says president of the executive board Martin Paul in the press release. “The students will easily find suitable jobs.” The Harvard Business Review labelled the field as ‘most sexy job of the 21th century’.
The universities of Eindhoven and Amsterdam (VU and UvA), which have already set up institutes and education in the field of data science, are keeping a suspicious eye on the Maastricht plans, is was said.
Data science covers a broad field of data storage, processing and analysis. Storage is becoming an increasingly greater problem in institutes such as hospitals, which produce many terabytes of data. According to Paul, the end is a long way away with new developments such as the Internet of Things, smart sensors and social networks. An important question is how to smartly combine and transform these amounts of data into valuable knowledge?
At the Smart Services Campus in Heerlen, where the BISS Institute is located, data also play an important role, but the emphasis here is on professional applications. The School of Business and Economics is the driving force behind BISS. Several faculties will participate in the new institute.
Dumontier, who will start in January 2017, works at the Stanford Center for Biomedical Informatics Research. He is an expert in the development and application of (semantic) web technology in biomedical sciences and life sciences. This is the same area in which Peter Peters, Clemens van Blitterswijk, and Ron Heeren - the other three Maastricht university professors - operate.