Fiscal Year 2021
Brown University Financial Report

Making an Impact: Data and Computational Sciences at Brown

Faculty and students at Brown are using data to inform scholarship in fields ranging from theoretical physics to theater arts, while working to make sure that data technologies are deployed for the benefit of communities and society.

The University has a goal of establishing Brown as a leader in extracting knowledge from data through research and scholarship in the computational and data sciences. Core strengths in mathematics, computer science, biostatistics and other areas have placed the University’s world-class faculty in a position to play a central role in generating breakthrough science and scholarship that will contribute to confronting the great challenges facing the world today.

While data science informs research and teaching across the University, this report highlights the groundbreaking contributions of five key contributors to data and computational science at Brown: The Data Science Initiative, the Department of Computer Science, the School of Public Health, the Center for Computational Molecular Biology and the Carney Institute’s Center for Computational Brain Science.

Brown’s Data Science Initiative has a mission to expand data science research at Brown while preparing students to thrive in a data-enabled society.
Brown’s expanding computer science department is fortifying its research and teaching excellence in data science, artificial intelligence and socially responsible computing.
Brown researchers are using computational approaches to better understand the workings of the brain and to enable new treatments for conditions from ADHD to paralysis.

The World Is in the Midst of a Data Revolution

From analyzing financial markets to diagnosing disease to predicting the course of a changing climate, Brown researchers and scholars are using the power of big data to answer profound questions and solve critical problems.

Physicists are sifting through huge datasets from particle colliders and radio telescopes to discover elementary particles and detect the emergence of the first stars in the universe. Biologists use data science to understand how genetic instructions are translated into physical traits, and to unravel the mysteries of the human brain. Computer scientists are developing new techniques to explore datasets more efficiently and rigorously, while working to make sure data systems are used equitably and serve the greater good.

Faculty and students across campus are using advanced data science techniques to create new knowledge in a wide range of academic fields, while preparing students to be leaders in a data-driven society.