Opening the floodgates to the future

Innovative center symbolizes the University’s commitment to advancing data sciences

To casual onlookers, the distinctively stacked 19-story building hovering over the Charles River is an architectural marvel modernizing the city skyline. To environmentalists, Boston’s largest fossil fuel–free building is reason to cheer.

To Boston University, the new Center for Computing & Data Sciences is the physical manifestation of a commitment to advancing the field of data science and attracting world-class faculty.

It also realizes the ambition to establish a new academic unit housed at the center, the Faculty of Computing & Data Sciences (CDS), which offers undergraduate and advanced degrees in the discipline, equipping students with the foundational knowledge and practical training to succeed in a world increasingly defined by computation, big data, and artificial intelligence.

The Center for Computing & Data Sciences is powered by interdisciplinary study with core faculty who are renowned experts in multiple areas, such as biomedical engineering and data science or sociology and data science, and have joint appointments in schools and colleges across the University. In other words, faculty members at CDS comprise not just applied mathematicians, computer scientists, and software engineers but also lawyers, biologists, and antiracism researchers. Infusing our approach is the importance of harnessing the power of data ethically and in ways that improve people’s lives.

Azer Bestavros, William Fairfield Warren Distinguished Professor and associate provost for computing and data sciences, says if BU students are passionate about a particular discipline or cause, they’ll have plenty of opportunities to explore ways data-driven approaches can inform their understanding, and how that new comprehension can be harnessed to impact society. “CDS puts students in front of real data and big questions.”