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Research Networking Luncheons

Starting Fall 2017, as part of the Data Science Initiative and spearheaded by Professor Luis Amaral, Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering in McCormick, Chair of the Data Science Initiative Steering Committee, and Co-Director of the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO), five groups of primarily tenured and tenure-track faculty began meeting monthly organized around three topics: Finite Earth, Computational Social Sciences, and Quantitative Biology. A total of 40 luncheons occurred throughout the 2017-2018 academic year, bringing together approximately 80 faculty members from eight of Northwestern’s schools and 31 academic departments for discussion and exploration of significant and upcoming research areas that have a strong big data science and analysis focus.

Plans are underway to continue to convene these data science luncheon groups in some format during 2018-2019 and possibly to add additional research areas. Concepts include developing skills and mechanisms to better analyze, visualize, and share data; delving deeper into specific scientific research areas from multiple perspectives; addressing big picture questions such as societal and “rules of life” problems; and targeting and pursuing specific funding opportunities such as those from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and other national and international agencies.