Microsoft data leader launches Swinburne Data Science Institute

Friday 24 February 2017

Raghu Ramakrishnan in the foyer of Swinburne SPS bulding

Dr Raghu Ramakrishnan, Microsoft CTO for Data was the keynote speaker at the launch of the Data Science Research Institute (DSI).

In summary

  • New research institute will forge data-driven scientific discovery
  • The DSI will be a single point of contact for collaborative research with industry
  • Professor Timos Sellis is the inaugural Director of the DSI

Swinburne today launched the Data Science Research Institute (DSI) with Dr Raghu Ramakrishnan, Chief Technology Officer for Data at Microsoft, delivering the keynote address.

The DSI aims to develop novel data technologies to support Swinburne researchers from increasingly data-rich scientific domains, such as biology, physics, astronomy, economics, and social sciences.

“Data science will have a transformative impact on society, meaning we can solve problems we couldn’t contemplate before, resulting in data-driven science outcomes in commerce, government and social programs, manufacturing, and health,” says Dr Ramakrishnan.

“Swinburne’s Data Science Institute is strategically positioned to make important contributions in these fields.”

Data science for scientific discovery

“The data revolution now underway has the potential to transform society and the economy in profoundly positive ways,” Swinburne Deputy Vice-Chancellor - Research and Development, Professor Aleksandar Subic says.

“The DSI will harness the power of data by drawing together Swinburne’s expertise in big data and data analytics to forge data-driven scientific discovery.”

“We are honoured to have Dr Ramakrishnan from Microsoft in the USA to help us launch the DSI.”

World-renowned data scientist Professor Timos Sellis is the inaugural Director of the Data Science Institute.

“The DSI will provide a home for data science-focussed research and a single point of contact for engaging with industry in collaborative research programs. In working with our industry partners we will develop new technologies for handling and analysing large and complex data sets,” Professor Sellis says.

Catalyst for new collaborations

As data science supports many areas of research, the DSI will facilitate new collaborations and projects between different scientific disciplines, and between Swinburne and its external collaborators.

“We are especially interested in the sharing and transfer of methodologies, where solutions from one field can be translated to solutions for industry and government,” Professor Sellis said.

“But perhaps most exciting is that the DSI will be training the data scientists of tomorrow.”

Dr Ami Shi Nash, Head of Data Science at Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Kate McCornick, CEO of LaunchVic also delivered speeches at the launch, where they both emphasised that "there is no better time for the Data Science Institute to launch". 

The DSI will also support Swinburne’s vision to become a global leader through its international partnerships, such as with Tel Aviv University and the Beijing Institute of Technology.