University of Rochester Goergen Institute for Data Science


The Goergen Institute for Data Science will build on the University’s strengths, many of which are currently dispersed across many departments and divisions. While there are collaborations among research groups, there has not been an umbrella organization to bring them together—until now.

Three domains of initial data science research focus have been identified:

Health Analytics

Using data to predict individual health outcomes (also known as health analytics) based on the basis of treatments, genomics, and lifestyle and behavioral factors may lead to some of the biggest advances in health care. The University is already a leader in tracking and developing methods to control the spread of infectious diseases and is home to a world center for the collection and analysis of cardiac data.

Le Wang

“Right now, I’m helping to develop novel video technology that records a person’s respiratory and heart rates. I am applying my engineering knowledge to a biological problem in order to address real human health issues like cardiovascular disease.”

Le Wang ’14
biomedical engineering major

Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence

Home of internationally recognized research in cognitive science and artificial intelligence, Rochester is uniquely positioned to advance our understanding of how the brain makes sense of the world. Modeling and replicating human perception is one of the most ambitious and exciting domains in data science and Big Data.

Junhuon Zho

“I’m interested in computer vision work and how it can be useful to society. We are using this technology to record and automatically grade cataract surgeries. In the future, we see this being used to train residents across a variety of surgeries and specialties.”

Junhuan Zhu, first-year doctoral student in computer science

Methods, Tools, and Infrastructure

Analyzing large-scale data requires the appropriate tools—a challenge that some of the institute’s faculty members will address. The ultimate goal is to relieve the end user from the need to understand details of a platform in order to have the computer system determine the optimal use of resources.

Emily Eisenberg

“With technology changing so rapidly, success will hinge on being able to adapt and learn new things quickly. Rochester has taught me how to do this. It has given me fundamental skills that I can draw on for years to come.”

Emily Eisenberg '14
computer science and mathematics major

Data Scientists Needed

The McKinsey Global Institute, the business and economics research arm of McKinsey & Co., has predicted that by 2018 the United States could face a shortage of between 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills, as well as a shortage of 1.5 million managers and analysts who know how to use the analysis of big data to make effective decisions. —