Educating the Few - a New PhD Program in Computational and Data-Enabled Sciences

Abani Patra

Director, Computational and Data-Enabled Science and Engineering Program, University at Buffalo

In this talk we will report on efforts at UB to create a new PhD program to cater to the unmet demand for high-level expertise in the computing and data sciences. While, there exist several new efforts at the Master of Science level targeting short term industrial needs, there are almost no programs that address the deep training in computing and data sciences integrated with a deep grounding in a domain science to provide context and focus. The core of our approach at the CDeS program at UB (supported by the Decanal units of Engineering, Arts and Sciences, Management, Public Health and Pharmacy) is to admit candidates with an MS in a discipline to provide this context. We follow up with a required package of 30 credit hours of instruction in Applied Mathematics, Data and Computational Sciences. An integrated dissertation with a committee drawn from across the breadth of the participating disciplines completes the training. While the program is admittedly "long" in the requirements for formal training it will produce students with the mix of skills needed to be "thought leaders" in this emerging new domain that is transforming every aspect of our lives.