The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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Pamela Smith, managing editor.
Column | In the blink of an eye, in the click of a shutter
By Pamela Smith, Managing Editor • April 20, 2024
Fresh Perspective | Final Farewell
By Julia Smeltzer, Digital Manager • April 19, 2024

Join our newsletter

Get Pitt and Oakland news in your inbox, three times a week.

Pamela Smith, managing editor.
Column | In the blink of an eye, in the click of a shutter
By Pamela Smith, Managing Editor • April 20, 2024
Fresh Perspective | Final Farewell
By Julia Smeltzer, Digital Manager • April 19, 2024

Pitt receives $235,000 to fund Responsible Data Science@Pitt

The+Cathedral+of+Learning.
TPN File Photo
The Cathedral of Learning.

Pitt received $235,000 from the Richard King Mellon Foundation to fund Responsible Data Science@Pitt (RDS@Pitt), an initiative that aims to “empower responsible, use-driven data science across the breadth of the university to solve societal challenges​,” according to its website. 

“We are so grateful to the Richard King Mellon Foundation for sharing and so generously supporting Pitt’s vision for this project,” Interim Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Joseph McCarthy said to Pittwire. “In the time ahead, I feel certain that Responsible Data Science@Pitt will have transformative short-, intermediate- and long-term benefits for individuals, industries and the region as a whole.”

The initiative will build an “innovative” and coordinated set of professional training programs in responsible data science, using insights from both data and people to “improve lives and communities at every scale,” according to Pittwire. They said one of the project’s main objectives is addressing the “critical need” for pathways that ensure workers in Southwestern Pennsylvania are job-ready for future science and technology opportunities.

“A recent Rand study found that Southwestern Pennsylvania currently does not have a sufficiently accessible, relevant, agile and impactful training infrastructure to produce the needed skilled workers,” Stephen Wisniewski, vice provost for budget analytics, said to Pittwire. “We need to close gaps between workers’ needs for relevant data science training in the region and the academic resources that are often abstract and less accessible.”

Former Pitt provost Ann Cudd formed the Data Science Task Force in fall 2019 to examine how the University could further propel its educational and research mission through data in all its forms, according to the RDS@Pitt website. Cudd charged the task force with producing a set of recommendations to coordinate and amplify data and data methods at Pitt, which inspired the creation of RDS@Pitt.

RDS@Pitt is led by Michael Colaresi, associate vice provost for data science, and Wisniewski. Andrew Hannah, a “vital” partner in the initiative’s development, will serve as the board’s chair, according to Pittwire. The initiative is also developing an external advisory board featuring representatives from major industries across Southwestern Pennsylvania. 

About the Contributor
Donata Massimiani, Assistant News Editor