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Transition to Data Science Studio

Physics-Astronomy Reading Room to become new Data Science Studio next Fall

The UW eScience Institute, Departments of Physics and Astronomy, the College of Arts and Sciences and the Libraries are partnering in the development of a new Data Science Studio to be housed in the space currently occupied by the Physics-Astronomy Reading Room. The facility is envisioned to be a flexible and shared work space to be used in service to the campus by students and faculty from all departments, but especially faculty, staff, and students in Physics and Astronomy, and by researchers funded by a new 5-year grant (described below). The Data Science Studio is expected to open in Fall 2014.

Physics-Astronomy Reading Room closes June 13

The Physics-Astronomy Reading Room will close at the end of Spring Quarter 2014 so that construction can begin on the Data Science Studio. The last day of reading room operation will be June 13. Every effort will be made to minimize disruption to users of the Physics-Astronomy Reading Room throughout Winter and Spring Quarters of 2014.

Library and data consultation services

Space will be available for librarians to provide data management consultation services in the new Studio. Additionally, Anya Bartelmann, Physics, Astronomy and Mathematics Librarian, will continue to provide consultation services to students and faculty in the Departments of Physics and Astronomy.

Data Science Environment Grant

UW, through the eScience Institute, is part of a $37.8 million, 5-year partnership with UC Berkeley and New York University, funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, to build a “Data Science Environment” to advance data-driven and data-intensive research and practice across all disciplines. A key element of this effort is to provide a physical collaboration and workspace to foster interactions among “data scientists” from all disciplines. As the proposal states:

We foresee that data, and data science, will be “the great unifier” in the coming decades: seemingly disparate disciplines will share common problems and common solutions. Physical collaboration spaces (in addition to virtual spaces) are an essential ingredient - we must “re-create the “water cooler” where researchers from different fields interact and discover common problems and common solutions.

The Data Science Studio will be managed by the eScience Institute and will be overseen by a Governing Board comprised of representatives from all of the parties named above. At the end of the five year grant, the Libraries will work with the Departments of Physics and Astronomy to determine the best use of the space. This is an exciting next step in the Libraries’ continual evolution in support of emerging scholarly practices and we look forward to learning from and contributing to this important venture.

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