Project Details


We propose to develop the Institute for Data, Econometrics, Algorithms, and Learning (IDEAL) to consolidate and amplify research devoted to the foundations of data science across all the major research-focused educational institutions in the greater Chicago area – Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), Northwestern University (NU), Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago (TTIC), University of Chicago (UC) and University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). The transdisciplinary institute will involve faculty and researchers working on key aspects of the foundations of data science across computer science, electrical engineering, mathematics, statistics, and several related fields like economics, operations research, optimization, and law. This proposal fully combines the strengths of two phase I institutes: the UIC TRIPODS institute and the current IDEAL institute that involves NU, TTIC, and UC. The inclusion of IIT enables us to create a cohesive community in the Chicago area focused on data science foundations. The transformative impact of our institute will come in large part from both the intellectual depth and breadth of the team. We will leverage the strong ties we have built within the team between world-class research groups in the core- areas of data science (CS, EE, Probability, Statistics), and exceptional researchers outside the traditional core of data science, including those from Economics, Law, Mathematical Logic and Operations research. Additionally, the involvement of scientists from the Learning Theory team at Google Research adds to our technical strengths, and will allow us to have more real-world impact with a direct connection to industry. We plan to take a two-pronged approach that will leverage the existing strengths of the phase I institutes. The UIC phase I institute aimed, and succeeded, in finding novel ways to promote data science and transdisciplinary collaboration within one university. The IDEAL phase I institute brought multiple Chicago-area universities together and fostered interactions between them and institutions across the country. In the pro- posed phase II institute, we will incorporate both successful phase I approaches to create a cohesive community, develop data science programs, and have national reach and impact. Our proposed institute involves 64 researchers; this includes 55 faculty and 9 researchers from the Google Research Learning Theory team, providing expertise across all of the eight disciplines.
Effective start/end date9/1/228/31/27


  • National Science Foundation (ECCS-2216970-001)


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