22
May
2015

When DJ Patil called data scientist “the sexiest job of the 21st century” in 2012, it caused quite a stir…in part because very few people at the time knew what “data science” actually meant. Despite detractors who claimed “all science is data science!” or joked that data science was just “statistics on a MacBook,” the term has picked up steam, from universities to corporations to government (where Patil was recently named Chief Data Scientist of the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy).

20
May
2015

“Big data,” as vague and buzzwordy as the term is, has arguably led to major changes in finance, advertising, and elections. But it has yet to make a big splash in one of the largest and rapidly-growing sectors of the U.S. economy, health care. While there is no shortage of data in medicine, complexity and politics inhibit the transformation of this information into action: lower costs, personalized care, predictive diagnosis, and beyond.

18
May
2015

Academic research, for all its aspirations of collaboration and openness, remains a very closed community. Data and software are rarely shared, findings are published in static, paywalled journal articles, and collaborations are typically "invite-only." But as more researchers turn to computational methods to power their work, many are looking to the culture of software programming as a potential model for a more open world of science.