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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Data Science for the Masses

Paper by a colleague. Kirk Borne.  This is not just about Astronomy science data, but broadly applicable to science and industry.  Everyone needs to understand the implications of more and better data and analytics.

The Revolution in Astronomy Education: Data Science for the Masses
Kirk D. Borne (George Mason University), Suzanne Jacoby (LSST Corporation). Karen Carney (Adler Planetarium), Andy Connolly (University of Washington),Timothy Eastman (Wyle Information Systems),  M. Jordan Raddick (JHU/SDSS), J. A. Tyson (UC Davis), John Wallin (GMU)


As our capacity to study ever-expanding domains of our science has increased (including the time domain, non-electromagnetic phenomena, magnetized plasmas, and numerous sky surveys in multiple wavebands with broad spatial coverage and unprecedented depths), so have the horizons of our understanding of the Universe been similarly expanding. This expansion is coupled to the exponential data deluge from multiple sky surveys, which have grown from gigabytes into terabytes during the past decade, and will grow from terabytes into Petabytes (even hundreds of Petabytes) in the next decade. With this increased vastness of information, there is a growing gap between our awareness of that information and our understanding of it. Training the next generation in the fine art of deriving intelligent understanding from data is needed for the success of sciences, communities, projects, agencies, businesses, and economies.

This is true for both specialists (scientists) and non-specialists (everyone else: the public, educators and students, workforce). Specialists must learn and apply new data science research techniques in order to advance our understanding of the Universe. Non-specialists require information literacy skills as productive members of the 21st century workforce, integrating foundational skills for lifelong learning in a world increasingly dominated by data. We address the impact of the emerging discipline of data science on astronomy education within two contexts: formal education and lifelong learners. ...... "

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