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$1 Million Gift From ConocoPhillips Will Enhance Data Science Offerings at University of Houston

Data science was an insider’s term a decade ago, describing an emerging discipline charged with making sense of the growing gigabytes of data generated in fields including healthcare, energy, and cybersecurity.

Fast forward to 2019, and everyone is talking about data science. Applications include facial recognition at ports of entry and lowering the risk of catastrophic failures during offshore oil operations, and, with the proliferation of connected devices, making sense of it all has become increasingly complex.

Demand is growing at the University of Houston (UH) and other schools, from students who want to study data science; from researchers who produce, interpret, or otherwise work with reams of data; and from industry, which needs a data science-savvy workforce to harness data for solutions to specific problems.

“Data science is important in many fields, from business to engineering to healthcare,” said Jaspal Subhlok, chairman of the UH Department of Computer Science, which offers a data science track in its master’s degree program. It also is launching a data science capstone course for undergraduate computer science students and data science minor open to students from across the university. “Everybody needs the expertise, a pathway to get enough skills to use in their own fields.”

$1 Million Gift From ConocoPhillips

A $1 million gift from ConocoPhillips to the UH College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NSM) will boost that expertise, funding new faculty positions in the departments of computer science and mathematics, along with fellowships for graduate students with strong data science skills.

“The oil and natural gas industry is evolving in ways that increasingly require ConocoPhillips employees to utilize leading-edge data analytic skills,” said Greg Leveille, chief technology officer of ConocoPhillips and a member of the advisory board for NSM Dean Dan Wells. “The University of Houston is an important source of talent for us, so we’re pleased to provide a gift that will enable the university to further strengthen its ability to teach these skills to students.”

Read the full story here.


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