With two MIT alumni on staff, LIRNEasia keeps an ear out for the good things happening at this premier engineering school. They have just announced the creation of a new Institute for Data, Systems and Society, intended to bring together researchers working in the mathematical, behavioral, and empirical sciences to capitalize on their shared interest in tackling complex societal problems.
Our colleagues at Yuan Ze University in Taiwan have already established a big data center. We’ve tried to get this process started in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh too. Hopefully, the MIT move will energize these conversations which are proceeding with due deliberation.
“Bringing social-science dimensions to our strengths in science and engineering will have an enormous impact,” says Michael Sipser, dean of the School of Science. “Statistics has become the fastest growing college major in the country, and the IDSS will give us an opportunity to meet this demand in a distinctively MIT way.”
Also charged with hiring new faculty, the IDSS leadership has successfully recruited a top theoretical statistician to join MIT; they will continue to identify candidates in networked systems and connection science who have broad interests in engineering, economics, and social networks. They have also organized a statistics workshop, to be held May 14 and 15, to bring together thought leaders in statistics around exciting challenges created by the new era of data-rich applications. The speakers will offer technical presentations in mathematical statistics, machine learning, econometrics, and biostatistics.