The Data Science Centre community
Launched in 2021, the Data Science Centre (DSC), part of the University Library, is a coordinating hub and facilitator for data-driven research within the University of Amsterdam. Our mission is to enhance the university’s research by developing, sharing, and promoting data science methods and technologies across faculties.
Since 2021, our community has steadily grown from 25 to 58 engaged members in 2022. By facilitating connection and collaboration, the DSC strengthens data science expertise and propels greater innovation, diffusion and cross pollination of data science across the university.
Scientific impact of DSC community
With support from the Data Science Centre, members co-authored a total of 15 scientific publications in 2022, on a wide range of topics:
- Understanding how rules shape individuals’ (non) compliant behaviour
DSC co-authors: Tessa Blanken, Gaby Lunansky.Published in: Journal of Business Ethics. DOI: 10.1007/s10551-022-05128-8
- Improving entity resolution in 17th and 18th Century Amsterdam Archival Records. DSC co-author: Leon van Wissen. Published in: Ebook series: Studies on the Semantic Web. DOI: 10.3233/SSW220012
- Scientific discovery through interactive music visualisation. DSC co-author: Fabian Moss. Published in: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Digital Libraries for Musicology. DOI: 10.1145/3543882.3543886
- Embryo and endosperm in rice seed germination. DSC co-author: Marc Galland. Published in: Frontiers in Plant Science. DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2022.867263
- Collision cross section prediction with molecular fingerprint using machine learning. DSC co-author: Saer Samanipour. Published in: Molecules. DOI: 10.3390/molecules27196424
Based on work done at the DSC and community contributions, members from the Faculty of Science, Faculty of Law, and Faculty of Social and Behavioural Science developed 3 research proposals. DSC members also contributed and shared their expertise and knowledge throughout the year at various workshops, conferences, and talks in the Netherlands and internationally.
Away Day 2022
In September, the Data Science Centre hosted its very first Away Day in Zaandam for the DSC community.
During 2 days DSC members from 6 faculties worked together to apply data science techniques to challenges such as automating the detection and counting of tiny eggs and worms in microscope images and building a dashboard using Twitter data on air travel and climate.
Data Science Day 2022
117 people attended our second Data Science Day event in October, organised in collaboration with the DSC’s Social and Behavioural Data Science Centre hub led by Prof. Denny Borsboom.
The morning kicked off with 2 interactive workshops for UvA researchers, followed by afternoon presentations. We heard pitches from DSC community members and other key players in the data science eco-system at UvA (ICAI, ELLIS, Amsterdam Data Science, Startup Village).
The day concluded with keynote addresses from Anne Beaulieu, Professor of Knowledge Infrastructures and Director of the Data Research Centre at the University of Groningen, and Steven Scholte, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology at the University of Amsterdam.
Data Science Day was definitely a highlight - so many inspiring people and projects! It was a great introduction to the Data Science Centre for me.Data Science Day attendee
LAB42 Building grand opening
The Data Science Centre participated at the grand opening of the new LAB42 building, a hub for Digital Innovation and AI at the Amsterdam Science Park. Dr. Joanna Strycharz, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences and DSC member, was selected by the LAB42 committee to give an interactive presentation: ‘How the digital world can make anyone vulnerable’.
Coffee and Data meetups
Through the University Library we organised workshops on data science skills and methodology for the Data Science community. Based on gathered requests and preferences we provided expert tutoring on the following topics: Data Visualization (11 attendees), Deep Learning (10 attendees), Shiny (5 attendees), Conventional Machine Learning (4 attendees), Dash (7 attendees), Cloud Computing (15 attendees), Advanced Data Visualization (16 attendees) and Advanced Deep Learning (16 attendees). We also offered 2 introductions to programming with Python and R through Software Carpentry Workshops (24 attendees). In Decemberthe DSC and the Library collaborated with the Science Park Study Group to pilot a Data Carpentry Workshop Metagenomics in its incubator phase.
Newly introduced Seminar sessions gave our DSC members the opportunity to present their work for other community members discuss and exchange ideas with like-minded colleagues from different research disciplines.
Being part of the Data Science Centre community keeps me up to date on the latest techniques and developments in AI and working with large datasets. It motivates me to start using these techniques and find other ways to approach the data.Leon van Wissen, Data Engineer at the Faculty of Humanities
Being part of the Data Science Centre Community helps me to meet new people using the same methods as I do and it helps me to gather research ideas. It also inspires me to promote digital methods within my own department. For example, I attended the JASP workshop on Data Science Day and this led to plans to host a similar workshop in my own department.Dr. Marthe Möller, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Institute for Advanced Study – Data Science Centre Joint Fellowship Call
We launched the first IAS-DSC joint fellowship. Our first fellow was Dr. Davide Ceolin, a tenured researcher in the Human-Centred Data Analytics Group at Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI).
The Accelerate programme stimulates the hiring of data scientists and data engineers bymatching funding.
In 2022, we awarded funding to 12 proposals and 6 UvA faculties. Since its launch in 2021, the Accelerate programme has co-financed the hiring of 19 FTE data scientists across allfaculties and supported the development of 15 research publications.
The Accelerate program provides great opportunities for scientists in any field to delve into more advanced computation methodology. It has helped me to focus on diversifying my skillset as a data scientist. Being a Data Science Centre member allows me to encounter interesting problems from different fields.Dr. Julian Evans, Data Scientist at the Faculty of Science
Looking to the future: the DSC in 2023
Societal Impact of AI & Data Science
In March 2023, 3 members of the International Advisory Board of the Data Science Centre came to Amsterdam and presented on the societal impact of AI and Data Science.
Interdisciplinary data science
The DSC launched a new Interdisciplinary Lighthouse Call in early 2023. The aim of the call is for faculties to come together to address a key research challenge.
Data Science Day 2023
The third annual Data Science Day will take place on 13 October and explore the implications of interdisciplinary data science for academia and society.
Ongoing collaboration with the University Library
As part of the University Library, Data Science Centre facilities are available to research groups across faculties. The Library provides access to data sets and infrastructure, training sessions for data scientists and workshops on digital skills. The DSC continues working closely with the Library to deliver workshops and training. Together with the Library, the DSC released a Research Software Engineering Support call. Under this call we will support researchers by offering software and data engineering expertise for various library platforms, as well as research project tools, websites and apps.
The DSC always welcomes new collaborations and partnerships. Please reach out to us if you want to learn more about us, or how data science could help your field of research or faculty.