The Promise and Challenges of Data Science

What use is a library without a librarian, or an encyclopedia without an index? Scale that prospect up to the realms of Web analytics, astronomy, high-speed finance, or even basketball statistics, and the problem becomes clear.

As research scientist Fernando Pérez put it, “Regardless of the amount of data we have … we still only have two eyeballs and one brain.”

Pérez, of the University of California, Berkeley, spoke at a symposium last Friday titled “Weathering the Data Storm: The Promise and Challenges of Data Science,” hosted by the Institute for Applied Computational Science (IACS) at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). The annual symposium marks the culmination of two weeks of events at IACS called ComputeFest.

Leaders from academia and a range of industries spoke about the power of computational science and engineering to solve real-world problems.

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