Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering

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The Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering (IDSE) is a multi-disciplinary institute founded in 2012 that focuses on the concept of "big data" and its ramifications in several fields. The Institute was the culmination of Columbia's submission to New York City's request for proposals for a new engineering campus in 2011. The inaugural director is Computer Science professor Kathleen McKeown.

For now, the Institute will be housed in existing and to-be-renovated space in Mudd, as well as two floors of the Northwest Corner Building. Space will also be renovated uptown at CUMC. Later, it will take up residence on the Manhattanville campus.

The Institute is divided into five centers (or research focuses): Smart Cities, New Media, Health Analytics, Financial Analytics, and Cybersecurity.

History

In 2011, the NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) put out a Request for Expression of Interest (RFEI) for their idea of creating a new engineering and applied science campus in the city (see 2011 Applied Sciences NYC competition). Several universities, including Columbia, submitted briefs with their intention to participate, leading NYCEDC to formally request proposals for such a campus. SEAS led the way in crafting a proposal for the creation of the Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering, using existing space on the Morningside Heights campus as well as three sites in Manhattanville.

The perceived strength of Columbia's proposal was that Manhattanville land rights (and the political process behind obtaining them) were already secured and construction could begin much sooner than other outside universities, which would have to go through lengthy processes with local community boards. However, it seemed clear from the City that they were interested in bringing a new player into the fold, as well as using "under-developed" public-owned land like Roosevelt Island or the Brooklyn Naval Yards, neither of which were used in Columbia's proposal.

In 2012, it was announced that Cornell would win the RFP with their proposal for a new engineering campus on the southern portion of Roosevelt Island. However, the City made it clear that it intended to name additional "winners" that would also receive support for this endeavor. On July 30, 2012, Mayor Bloomberg and the University held a press conference in the Northwest Corner Building announcing the creation--and City's support of--the Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering at Columbia. While the timeline and physical size of the proposed institute had been scaled back, the core of the institute's mission remained the same. Dean Goldfarb announced that Kathleen McKeown would direct the Institute, as she had been one of the driving forces behind its creation.

Participating Schools

While SEAS serves as the home of the Institute on campus, seven of the university's other schools are active participants:

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