Once the university’s first women’s gymnasium, Pomerene Hall will now become a hub for data analytics with renovations costing $59.9 million.
By April 2018, the nearly 100-year-old building will be home to the Translational Data Analytics Institute, a 21,000 square feet space dedicated to research, teaching and innovation.
Part of the $59.9 million — $52 million of which being an investment from the state of Ohio — in funding will go towards hiring new data science and analytics faculty as well as research and professional staff, TDA interim faculty director and Ohio State professor Raghu Machiraju said in an email.
There is a reported 105 affiliated faculty within the university which will be involved with the institute, as well as 41 new hires. However, University spokesman Ben Johnson said there is not yet a set allocation within the budget for faculty and staff hiring.
Translational data analytics uses data-analytics theories and methods to generate solutions for real world problems, said David Mongeau, director of TDAI, in an email.
“Having a physical hub for TDAI supports integrating and making accessible all the data science and analytics expertise and assets across all the colleges – creating a convening and mutual problem-solving space for our faculty, staff, students and community partners,” Mongeau said.
The space will include three labs, which will be used to build hardware, test software and conduct large-scale visualization analysis and data simulations, according to the project’s website. It will also host a cafe with a 10-foot bar top and large space to be used for workshops and gatherings.
The gymnasium will be home to an ideation zone, a two-story space that will house three state-of-the-art, co-located labs for building hardware, testing software, and conducting large-scale visualization analysis and data simulations.
Machiraju said project funding will also help award seed grants and launch a new professional science master’s program.
“The master’s program is currently under development, and we expect it to launch in the 2018-19 academic year,” Machiraju said.
OSU’s undergraduate major in data analytics began in 2014, and its first students graduated this year. Johnson said the major is not affiliated with TDAI, but the institute will partner with the field of study on important events and programs.
The TDAI space intends to host software and hardware days where students, faculty and staff can learn about new software and hardware available to support data analytics projects; give students seats on the advisory council; and include various programming for students of any major to attend, said project coordinator Jenna McGuire in an email.
In a statement Bruce McPheron, executive vice president and provost, said TDAI “represents a long-term commitment by Ohio State to data science and analytics to solve real-world challenges globally.”
The institute will officially launch in spring 2018 with a series of open house events.