The UVA site of CVDI will pursue a research agenda that features an integration of control, decision, and systems modeling concepts with statistical methods, machine learning and pattern recognition. Areas of concentration include cognitive assistance, information retrieval, natural language processing, latent structure learning, reinforcement learning, deep learning, data fusion and distributed learning, spatio-temporal models, and agent-based models and simulation. A distinguishing characteristic of the UVA site research agenda is an emphasis on prescriptive modeling and the use of data in the context of decision making in complex systems. Specific research directions identified for initial projects include: (1) Systemic risk–analytics addressing fragility and shock propagation in networks, financial or otherwise; (2) Cognitive assistance–analytics that help humans interact with complex socio-technical systems, such as the law; and (3) Privacy and anonymity–analytic methods that preserve these quantities. Current site members include companies the fields of manufacturing, IoT and sensing, data privacy and security, finance and banking, national defense, and media.
UVA faculty participation includes more than a dozen members from the three computing and informatics departments–Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Systems and Information Engineering–as well as members the College of Arts & Science (Psychology), McIntire School of Commerce, School of Medicine, and School of Law. This faculty interest reflects the critical importance of data science across all disciplines, as well as the breadth of UVA’s academic and professional degree programs. The UVA CVDI site is a Center of Excellence within UVA’s Data Science Institute, which supports all aspects of data science across the university with a rich array of computational resources that includes a secure cloud for analytics on medical patient and other sensitive data. UVA has a deep commitment to industry-sponsored research, which accounts for 20% of the total activity in School of Engineering and Applied Science, and a rich history of engaging with the I/UCRC program that includes current or past membership in the Laser Center, NGeNE, WICAT, and BWAC. Other major industry research relationships include being one of three U.S University Technology Centers for Rolls Royce Corporation and being a founding university member of the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing, which has more than 30 industry members. Founded in 1836, the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science is the third oldest engineering school at a public university in the U.S., with a distinguished faculty and a student body of 2,300 undergraduates and 615 graduate students.