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Center for Data Science

Supporting research in the production, analysis, and storage of 21st Century data types.

Center for Data Science

We are living in a data-driven world. Every sector in our global economy is using data to make better management and policy decisions. The mission of the AU School of Public Affairs' Center for Data Science is to provide technical, managerial, and institutional resources to aid research and grant development focused on the production, analysis, and storage of 21st century data.

Across public, private, and nonprofit sectors, big data is making a big difference. Those with the right skills will lead this change. In fact, Data Scientist has ranked in the top three best jobs in America for the last seven consecutive years. For 2022, Data Scientist is ranked number 3 of the 50 best jobs in America that pay over $100,000 by Glassdoor. There were about 30 million job ads for data scientists in the U.S. alone in 2020. The Harvard Business Review named Data Scientist “the sexiest job of the 21st century” in 2012.

In 2018, SPA established its Center for Data Science to focus on the theoretical and practical research aspects of computer technology, software engineering, computer architecture, artificial intelligence, simulation, modeling, and much more.

MS in Data Science

Across public, private, and nonprofit sectors, big data is making a big difference. Those with the right skills will lead this change. Jointly administered by the School of Public Affairs and College of Arts and Sciences, American University's MS in Data Science offers students these skills through a diverse set of courses in a flexible, innovative learning space that takes full advantage of the Washington, DC, location. Students will master both the theoretical knowledge and practical skills used by data scientists in academia, industry, and government.


The Center for Data Science is partnering with NASA to train DC public school high school teachers to teach data science. We currently have a pilot grant to support training 6 teachers through DSC 612/613. We have 3 additional federal and foundation grants under review to scale this project up. Watch this space for updates.

We joined the Data Science for Everyone Commitments Campaign and made our commitment to expanding access to quality data science education. It’s your turn to join #DS4Everyone to speak out about how you will take action. Learn more:

Forthcoming Events

Institute for Data Science and Big Data

January 4 - 12, 2023

View the syllabus

For detailed information on previous events, see the "Workshops" tab on the left navigation menu. 

Network Models: Basic through Latent Value Forms Workshop

January 26 - 27, 2023

View the abstract.


Learn more about Jeff Gill, Distinguished Professor of Government, Professor of Statistics, and Member of the Center for Neuroscience and Behavior at American University.
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Title slide for Cyberprivacy book review

Technology ·

Book Review - Cyber Privacy: Who Has Your Data and Why You Should Care

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Data scientist with glasses

MS Data Science

Build your skill set in data science with this shared degree program, offered by SPA and the AU College of Arts and Sciences (CAS).

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Institute for Data Science

Read about our annual Institute for Data Science.

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Data representation

AU’s MS in Data Science Listed in AMSTAT News Graduate Programs

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Undergraduate Researchers

The Center for Data Science is looking for undergraduate researchers who are interested in working with faculty projects associated with the center. Contact Jeff Gill:


Mailing List

Sign up for the Center for Data Science mailing list to learn about upcoming opportunities and events.

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