2022 Highlights

In 2022, its inaugural year, DCADS made steady but modest progress against several key objectives. We defined six areas of focus that complement school-specific and University interests; established connections with faculty at Darden, the School of Data Science, and additional units across the University; created initial mechanisms to engage and coordinate with faculty, staff, and students; and began to build communities of interest in key topical areas.  

DCADS made progress planning and/or executing activities in five of the six themes. Initially, we focused on two themes – Bias and Misinformation and Analytical Leadership. As 2022 progressed, we were also able to make progress in all but one of the remaining themes as well.  

Highlights of our 2022 progress include the following: 

  • Created and launched a series of salons, which serve to bring together a community of interest among UVA faculty who are working in, or are interested in working in, each of the six themes. The first one, a salon on Bias and Misinformation in Business (Theme 1), was held in October. The salon was organized by DCADS and supported by the Karsh Institute, the McIntire School, and the Law School, in addition to Darden and the School of Data Science. It was attended by more than 25 faculty from those units and the College and School of Engineering, and included a guest speaker – Cathy O’Neil, Visiting Scholar at the School of Data Science, and a faculty panel chaired by Bobby Parmar of the Darden School. Participants also learned about additional opportunities to engage with DCADS, including in the final solicitation and selection of inaugural DCADS research fellows. In a post-event survey, participants overwhelmingly indicated that the salon was a unique and valuable mechanism to gather and engage UVA faculty with like interests. 
  • Authored two multi-school, multi-disciplinary proposals for consideration in the UVA Grand Challenges process. AI & Trust focuses on the role of governance in building trust in the application of AI techniques and approaches to opportunities in business and society. Healthy Choices focuses on the role of decision-making by individuals and within groups in advancing the health status of individuals and the performance and equity of the U.S. health care system. Both proposals are supported by multiple units, including at the two schools and across the University.
  • The School of Data Science secured a corporate gift from current partner Capital One that included $50,000 in funding for a “seed grant” for research in machine learning. The gift will provide funding for a DCADS research fellowship, which will be selected in 2023.
  • The Darden School secured a historic gift from current donor David and Kathleen LaCross, including $6.5 million in long-term funds earmarked for “a future Darden research center or initiative on artificial intelligence” that will “build on existing collaborations with the UVA School of Data Science” including DCADS.
  • Members of the DCADS leadership and steering committee developed and taught several new data-intensive courses in 2022. These included courses in the MSDS program (DS5400 - Ruggiano), the MBA program (GBUS8055 – Lichtendahl and Tassone) and MSBA program (GBAC7204 –Ruggiano and Venkatesan).