Dean's Message

​​Professor Duan LI

Welcome to the School of Data Science!

On 1 July 2018, the City University of Hong Kong (CityU) launched its School of Data Science (SDSC) – the first stand-alone school in the region to focus on data science (DS) and its applications. Offering a comprehensive DS education programme, the SDSC aims to provide cutting-edge undergraduate and postgraduate programmes to nurture future DS talents, who are urgently needed in industry and society. With its world-class faculty and infrastructure, and future vision, CityU, the newly established Hong Kong Institute for Data Science and the SDSC aspire to become trailblazers in DS in Hong Kong and beyond.

The past decade has witnessed a revolutionary transition into the information era. The marvellous advancements induced by the Internet and DS have drastically altered the ways in which people interact and businesses operate, bringing us into a digital world comprising new and emerging industries. Artificial intelligence now powers autonomous vehicles; the Internet of Things provides infrastructure and utilities that will allow us to revolutionise our power grid; and the sharing economy, including companies such as Uber, DiDi and Airbnb, is connecting people to new marketplaces every day. As we gradually move away from a manufacturing-centric economy and refocus on data-driven industries, the demand for market practitioners with advanced skills in DS has skyrocketed.

While people have been fascinated by the inferential and computational powers we have developed and harnessed using DS, we are just beginning to scratch the surface of its true potential. AlphaGo, Alexa, and Netflix are merely first-generation products in our march towards deriving intelligence from data. Open practical and theoretical questions remain, and new challenges surface on a daily basis as society tinkers with DS and its applications. Innovation never stops, and the SDSC will strive to tackle challenges and advance both DS education and research to contribute to a better tomorrow.

The SDSC offers interdisciplinary curricula to both undergraduate and postgraduate students. These curricula provides not only a solid foundation and state-of-the-art spectra of data science, but also applied projects and ‘connected’ courses to promising DS applications such as business analytics, financial technology, social media analysis, and smart city technology. Fostering intellectual curiosity and autonomy, the SDSC will provide students with ample opportunities to participate in open-ended projects and create their dream DS products. Through our extensive industry partnerships and networks, the SDSC will prepare a new cohort of DS professionals who thrive on inter-disciplinary and cross-functional collaboration.

I am confident that our high-quality programmes will provide students with a stimulating learning environment and an eye-opening experience. I look forward to welcoming you to the school in the coming year, and cannot wait to see you bring your unique perspective to the class of 2019!

Professor Duan Li
Acting Dean
School of Data Science