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    What Is a Data Scientist?

    IIT College of Science Professional Master's Program: Data Science - Making Sense of Data


    Data are being acquired faster than ever before and are being used to make decisions in business, healthcare, science, and government policy. Yet amassing huge quantities of data and applying fancy statistical analysis often lead to meaningless, if not misleading, results.

    Powerful computers and sophisticated statistical algorithms are able to process data to find patterns and trends, but they cannot explain the data and predict in a way that makes sense. Data scientists, on the other hand, are able to extract insights from the data to tell a story, to provide solutions.

    Since the connection between the data and the decision-maker's problem is not obvious, the data scientist will help to understand and clarify it. The data scientist has the technical expertise and theoretical understanding to infer valid conclusions, find clear and effective ways to communicate the findings to both a technical and non-technical audience, understands the ethics and responsibility of handling data, is a creative problem solver, and is inherently curious about what patterns of data can reveal. The data scientist makes sense of data.

    Shlomo Argamon
    Shlomo Argamon

    An international, interdisciplinary team of researchers, led by Illinois Institute of Technology Professor of Computer Science Shlomo Argamon, is developing a software system that can find and analyze metaphors in any language (currently English, Spanish, Russian, and Farsi) by looking at statistics of how words and phrases are used in each of these languages. The project, called ADAMA (Autonomous Dynamic Analysis of Metaphor and Analogy), could have important applications in a number of areas including forensics, intelligence analysis, business analysis, sociological research, and communication studies.

    In addition to Argamon’s research group at IIT, other members of the ADAMA team come from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Georgetown University; Bar-Ilan University; and Behavioral Media Networks, Inc.

    ADAMA is funded by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), a research arm of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence via the U.S. Army Research Laboratory.

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