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Science and data science

  1. Padhraic Smythd,e
  1. aDepartment of Computer Science, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027;
  2. bDepartment of Statistics, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027;
  3. cData Science Institute, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027;
  4. dDepartment of Computer Science, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697;
  5. eDepartment of Statistics, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697
  1. Edited by Peter J. Bickel, University of California, Berkeley, CA, and approved June 16, 2017 (received for review March 15, 2017)

Abstract

Data science has attracted a lot of attention, promising to turn vast amounts of data into useful predictions and insights. In this article, we ask why scientists should care about data science. To answer, we discuss data science from three perspectives: statistical, computational, and human. Although each of the three is a critical component of data science, we argue that the effective combination of all three components is the essence of what data science is about.

Footnotes

  • ?1To whom correspondence should be addressed. Email: david.blei{at}columbia.edu.
  • Author contributions: D.M.B. and P.S. wrote the paper.

  • The authors declare no conflict of interest.

  • This article is a PNAS Direct Submission.

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