As part of PAW’s continuing coverage of the work of strategic-planning task forces created by President Eisgruber ’83, this issue describes the task force report on statistics and machine learning.

The “big data” movement has changed the way that researchers across disciplines analyze data, as advances have allowed researchers to work with larger data sets in different ways. The University created the Center for Statistics and Machine Learning in 2014. This task force called for expanding both faculty and course offerings. Among its recommendations:

  • Six faculty members work primarily in statistics and machine learning but are based in other departments. The task force proposed that these six be offered joint positions in the Center for Statistics and Machine Learning, along with the hiring of eight new faculty, mostly joint appointments, and two full-time lecturers. The report said the center should have its own space for classes and offices.
  • Establish a Ph.D. program in statistics and machine learning for 40 to 50 students (a number that would include some Princeton graduate students already doing research in the field), and offer a graduate certificate in data science.
  •  Develop new undergraduate courses in areas such as data science, nonparametric statistics, applied machine learning, and statistical computing.
  •  Provide more high-performance computers.