Yahoo! Labs A Founding Sponsor of NYU Initiative Data Science And Statistics and Center for Data Science

When graduate students of NYU’s Center for Data Science begin their courses this fall, they will be working on a 100-node computer cluster donated by Yahoo! Labs.

In fact, the computer cluster is already being used this semester in NYU’s CILVR Lab (Computational Intelligence, Learning, Vision and Robotics) course “Big Data, Large Scale Machine Learning,” co-taught by Yann LeCun, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences Silver Professor of Computer Science, Neural Science, and Electrical and Computer Engineering, and John Langford, Doctor of Learning at Microsoft Research. The CILVR Lab is part of the NYU Computer Science Department.

“Yahoo! has a long history of working with big data,” said Ken Schmidt, Head of Academic Relations at Yahoo! Labs. “With the torrent of information and data that’s coming to the Web or being accessed through the Web, people are being deluged with tons of data. What they want is information, personalized for their individual needs. That’s what data science means in part to Yahoo! and why the Initiative at NYU is important to us. These initiatives that are being started at great academic institutions like NYU are fostering more faculty and students to focus on problems that are of interest to Yahoo!,” he said.

In addition to contributing the computer cluster, Yahoo! Labs is sponsoring a seminar series to be held at NYU this spring, entitled the “NYU-Yahoo! Seminar Series in Data Science.” By doing so, Yahoo! Labs hopes to encourage “a greater dialogue in the area of data science as well as provide speakers to stimulate conversation about new research projects in data science,” Schmidt explained. “We also hope to get Ph.D. students interested in working on problems in areas where we see the web going. Maybe later, they will want to join Yahoo! and work on these,” he said. “Yahoo! Labs wants to share, as much as possible, data and problems and our scientists with people in academia, and this seminar series is one example of that.”

Schmidt added that Yahoo! Labs is also very interested in NYU’s university-wide Initiative in Data Science and Statistics. “It is a marvelous initiative that will bring together faculty and experts in the areas of statistics, computer science and applied math, and beyond that, artificial intelligence. Currently there is a groundswell around the major universities to foster this kind of interdisciplinary communication and collaboration to find tools and techniques to extract information and trends from huge data sets,” he said. “It’s important and it’s the kind of thing Yahoo! Labs wants to encourage.”

Written by M.L. Ball