UVA to start data science school with $120 million gift

January 18, 2019

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — The University of Virginia says it will create a School of Data Science after receiving the largest private gift in the institution’s 200-year history.

The school announced Friday that the $120 million gift is from a private charity associated with an investment manager and his wife.

Jaffray Woodriff and Merrill Woodriff are both graduates of the Charlottesville school. She is a director of the Quantitative Foundation and he is a trustee.

The Washington Post reports the definition of data science is a matter of debate. Proponents say it blends aspects of statistics and mathematics with computer science and engineering to solve problems.

Data science could focus on determining which road intersections are the most dangerous and why. It could also uncover the impact sodas can have on microbes in the digestive system.

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