The analysis and understanding of large, complex datasets have become a fundamental modality of research for a wide variety of disciplines spanning the UCLA campus; they have become an important resource for creative activities as well. This naturally has profound social, ethical, cultural, and policy ramifications, as does the widespread use of data in governance and the economy.
The desire for an entity linking together the various research groups at UCLA was apparent in the formative work leading up to the creation of DataX. This was especially apparent when it came to applications for large, complex grants, which call for interdisciplinary teams, often with representation from all three of the cohorts just mentioned; indeed, many grants in this space explicitly require involvement from all three areas. This desire for coordination applied as much to high-level research contacts as to the nitty-gritty details of access to datasets and computing resources.
As a result, DataX strives to support the research enterprise through three primary activities:
- Build and facilitate a network of researchers and creators who may have common or overlapping interests in data science broadly.
- Provide resources and support to scale up small research centers and nascent projects.
- Collaborate with service providers on campus to support building and enhancing the data science infrastructure activities of the campus.
The Collaborathon is comprised of a series of funding opportunities intended to generate exciting new knowledge and help cultivate research teams poised for extramural funding.
The Research Network is a collection of projects, groups, labs and centers that can serve as collaborators, teachers and allies to one another in their scholarly pursuits.