Data Science Initiative FAQ

  • What is Data Science?
    There are many definitions. But the broad, common answer is all of the activities involved in working with data: identifying, acquiring and accessing, transforming and manipulating, exploring, visualizing, modeling, sumarizing data and making inferences from the data and making decisions based on these. It also involves data engineering, reproducability, provenance. The entire process typically involves computing, statistics, visualization and domain knowledge.
  • What is the DSI?
    The Data Science Initiative (DSI) is a campus-wide activity that aims to foster, promote and facilitate "data science" and "big data" across all disciplines in both research and education. The goal is to help make qualitatively new research possible, accelerate data-driven exploration, and help train a new type of researchers that is skilled in working with data at all stages of the analysis pipeline. The long-term aim is to possibly develop into a campus-wide institute.
  • Does the DSI offer courses?
    We offer workshops and are developing regular academic courses. We want your suggestions for topics. Add yours at
  • Does the DSI help graduate students with their research?
    Certainly. We have a core service of advisors/consultants that can help with accessing, managing, analyzing and visualizing data. We want to make new things possible in different fields, and facilitate people getting started working with data and technologies.
  • Do we have to pay for consulting?
    The current model means it is free!
  • Is the DSI interested in collaborations?
    Absolutely! A major part of our mission is work with researchers and help to provide important skills that enable their work to advance and to foster authentic collaboration, more than just consulting.
  • Where is the DSI located?
    We are currently renovating space on the third floor of Shields Library. This is a large space that will house DSI members, visitors, PostDocs, graduate students and also many activities such as workshops and seminars.
  • When will the DSI space be open?
    We hope the renovation will be completed by March 2015 and then we will house people who are keenly interested in collaboration on data-related topics.
  • How do we find out about upcoming events?
    This Web site is currently the best place. You can also sign up for emails

  • Data Science @ UC Davis <>
    Last modified: Thu Nov 20 16:21:06 PST 2014