Digitized research produces enormous amounts of data these days. This increasingly complex flood of data contains great potential, for example for biomedicine. However, big data needs to be controlled and interpreted in order to become usable. To this end, the next generation of researchers will soon be trained at the newly founded Munich School for Data Science @ Helmholtz, TUM & LMU (MuDS).
The new Munich School for Data Science (MuDS) aims to integrate data science with various disciplines such as biomedicine, plasma physics, robotics and earth observation. In the Graduate School, the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has joined forces with the Helmholtz Zentrum München (HMGU), the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP), the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität München (LMU). With the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) and the Max Planck Computing and Data Facility (MPCDF), two large computing centers are on board as associated partners.
The Key Players in the Munich Region
"Great challenges require great solutions. We are bringing the key players in the Munich region together for this project, creating a unique capacity for research and training here in Munich," explains Fabian Theis, Professor for Mathematical Modeling of Biological Systems at TUM and lead coordinator of the project. Theis is also the Director of the Institute for Computational Biology at the Helmholtz Center in Munich.
Co-coordinators of the Munich School for Data Science on the part of TUM are Prof. Hans-Joachim Bungartz, Dean of the Department of Informatics, Prof. Frank Jenko, who also represents the IPP in the MuDS, and Prof. Xiaoxiang Zhu, who also acts for the DLR.
Experts on the Ever-growing Flood of Data
Using an example from his area of expertise, Coordinator Fabian Theis illustrates why experts on the analysis of the ever growing flood of data are urgently needed: "Each individual cell in our body carries the genetic makeup of approximately three billion base pairs, the equivalent of a library containing 3,000 books with 1,000 pages each and 1,000 letters on each page, and that is only one cell." It is impossible to investigate such complexity without the help of intelligent algorithms. And single-cell analysis is quite important; it can assist us in finding out more about the origins of diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer's or cancer.
Individual Course Offering in Application and Methodology
Doctoral candidates at MuDS will acquire skills in application and methodology. MuDS also offers a customized program of courses with a detailed onboarding phase followed by more in-depth training. The training program at MuDS is embedded in the courses offered by the universities and associated partner institutions. The existing graduate schools of the founding partners, including TUM-GS as well as the graduate schools HELENA, HEPP and Munich Aerospace, each of which is associated with TUM, all come under the MuDS umbrella.
Twelve Million Euros in Six Years
The grant amounts to a total of twelve million euros over six years, half of which will be provided by the associated institutions. The other half will come from the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers.
Data science had already been introduced as part of the training at TUM as early as 2016, and students from the Department of Mathematics have had the option of joining the "Mathematics in Data Science" Master's degree program since the 2016/2017 fall semester. With this program, TUM became the first institution in Germany to offer a program focusing on mathematical processes and algorithms for the analysis of big data. Since 2016, students have also been able to study the subject of handling large amounts of data at the Department of Informatics with the "Data Engineering and Analytics" Master's degree program.
Prof. Dr. Dr. Fabian Theis
Technical University of Munich
Professorship for Mathematical Modeling of Biological Systems
Tel: +49 (89) 289 - 18386