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21 Thought-Leader Professors in Data Science

The field of data science continues to grow, and with it come thought leaders who contribute to the industry through outreach and education. Many of the data science professors teaching today are leaders in the big-data field, speaking at conferences, writing books, and even creating groundbreaking big-data developments themselves. Find out which schools boast the most influential leaders in the data science industry.

Babson College

Tom Davenport

Tom-Davenport

President’s Distinguished Professor of Information Technology & Management

Cornell University

Hod Lipson

Hod-Lipson

Associate Professor, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Alex Pentland

Alex-Pentland

Toshiba Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, Director of Human Dynamics Lab, Director of MIT Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program

Matei Zaharia

Matei-Zaharia

Founder of Databricks, Assistant Professor in EECS (in 2014 academic year)

Stanford University

Hector Garcia-Molina

Hector-Garcia-Molina

Professor, Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Departments

James Matheson

James-Matheson

Consulting Professor, Stanford School of Engineering
  • Specialties: Management science and engineering
  • Conferences2014 Informs Conference on Business Analytics & Operations Rese...
  • ProjectsSmartOrg
  • BooksThe Smart Organization: Creating Value Through Strategic R&D
  • On big data’s impact on our lives: “Exploring data can be revealing. However, big data is not so good for decision-making. We have asked executives to look back at important decisions to see how much more data about the past would have helped, versus better judgements about the future. We get about 30% from past data and 70% from better judgements. Also, for big decisions it may be more important to adapt well and quickly as the future unfolds. So good data about the present and near past may loom in importance. Analysis of decision can direct data searches to the most beneficial areas. Of course, sometimes just playing with the data can produce valuable insights, but that is serendipity.”

Chris Re

Chris-Re

Assistant Professor, Computer Science

Sebastian Thrun

Sebastian-Thrun

Research Professor, Google Fellow, co-founder of Udacity

University of California-Berkeley

Joshua Bloom

Josh-Bloom

Professor of Astronomy

Michael J. Franklin

Michael-J-Franklin

Professor of Computer Science

Read full list at http://www.mastersindatascience.org/blog/21-thought-leader-professo...

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Comment by Dean Abbott on April 2, 2016 at 2:07pm

Just looking back at this now...I originally thought it said "professional" rather than "professor". Given my misread. I concur, Bob: one must first be a professor to ultimately be a thought-leader professor! 

Comment by Bob Vanderheyden on April 20, 2015 at 7:19am

Dean, it would seem to me, that to be a "Thought-Leader Professor", one must first be a professor.....

Comment by Dean Abbott on March 27, 2014 at 9:06am

I conclude, therefore, that to be a thought leader in data science you much be a university professor? The mastesrindatascience.org site should have made their title, based on their own criterion that everyone on the list be a university professor, to "Academic Thought Leaders in Data Science". :)

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