School of Computer and Data Sciences

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The University of Oregon will open a new School of Computer and Data Sciences in fall 2023. The school will combine the university’s growing strength in computer science with its five-year investment in data science­. The new school, housed within the College of Arts and Sciences, will offer classes to all UO students and will also be a home to research and experiential education activities.

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computer science majors
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 Joe Sventek

“SCDS is a hub of innovation and exploration where students explore the limitless potential of computational technology. They dive into coding challenges, unlock data insights, and develop futuristic solutions. The school engages in cutting-edge research, experiential learning, and interdisciplinary collaborations, preparing students for the ever-evolving world of technology and data-driven fields.” 

—   Joe Sventek, Interim Executive Director, School of Computer and Data Sciences


Our research and education will engage with the needs of the world.
We promote numeracy and data literacy as keystones of education.
We empower students to lead productive and meaningful lives.
We build on our liberal arts foundation.
We center ethical impacts in all areas of our work.
We prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion in all activities.
Our programs will lead the evolution of changing technology.
We prioritize innovation, problem solving, and entrepreneurship.
Computer and data science will be open to everyone.
We promote and maintain collaborations with academic and societal partners.



Our mission is to empower a diverse population of students and faculty working to advance knowledge in computer and data science, train the next generation of scholars, and engage with the wider world to tackle interdisciplinary challenges.

To do this, we start by applying our knowledge and experience at home across the University of Oregon campus.

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Computer Science Interdisciplinary Specializations

We are home to state-of-the-art research in natural language processing, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. We offer students and faculty a close-knit community in which to learn, discover, and innovate in a shared quest for solutions to a spectrum of challenging problems that stretch across campus:

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Data Science Undergraduate Program Domains

Data science undergraduate students can choose from a variety of domain areas from across the university. Domain specialization provides students with the opportunity to apply core data science knowledge and skills to an area of interest, including:

Undergraduate Program


Impactful Faculty Research

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Lauren Ponisio, Assistant Professor of Biology, Data Science 101 Lead Faculty

On a brilliant, balmy, late winter’s afternoon, entomologist Lauren Ponisio walks along a ridge above the McKenzie River, through a landscape transformed by fire from a forest of Douglas fir into a blackened moonscape.

White flags mark the spots where she and her students had sown native plant seeds the previous fall. Amid the rubble, she spots a few green leaves poking through the ashy soil.

“Look at them!” she says of the tiny emerging plants. “This will be full of bees. It’s going to be great.”

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Ram Durairajan, Assistant Professor of Computer Science

Rising seas threaten more than 4,000 miles of buried fiber optic cables in densely populated U.S. coastal regions, with Seattle being one of three cities at most risk of internet disruptions, according to a UO scientist.

In a July 16 talk to internet network researchers in Montreal, Ramakrishnan Durairajan, an assistant professor in the Department of Computer and Information Science, warned that most of the damage could come in the next 15 years. Strategies to reduce potential problems should be considered sooner rather than later, he said.

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Study Across Disciplines

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Haley Rice

Data Science and Biology major, Chemistry & Sociology minor, 2022

I chose a biology domain for the degree. It has helped connect my two majors and made double majoring and still graduating in four years feasible. I hope to apply my degree to environmental or conservation management. Data science is a really prevalent subject that relates to any career field because data is everywhere! Regardless of someone's interest in computers, I highly recommend learning at least a little bit about how data is collected and used in society and how it may be relevant to you.

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Viet Dac Lai

Computer Science PhD Candidate, 2023

I work on research focused on the event extraction task (EE) to detect events and their arguments in historical texts. In a collaboration with Heidi Kaufman in the English Department, this project’s goal is to study the patterns of discourse of slave and non-slave African diaspora rebellions published in nineteenth-century periodical press. I did extensive experiments with state-of-the-art EE systems, and introduced a new EE dataset for a corpus of nineteenth-century African American newspapers, featuring five entity types, 12 event types, and six argument roles that concern slavery and Black movements. For more on this research, explore the RAD Project led by Thien Huu Nguyen. 

Research & News Stories

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The University of Oregon is part of a new National Science Foundation-funded effort that will help data scientists collaborate on efforts to address such challenges as earthquake preparedness, securing electrical power systems and improved environmental health across the Pacific Northwest.
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Through a new three-year National Science Foundation grant of $599,920, Lei Jiao, an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science in the College of Arts and Sciences, is pursuing research on a new AI paradigm called “Edge AI” that aims to improve the common applications of existing AI as well as benefit network operators, service providers and other applications such as e-commerce. 

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Last year, University of Oregon researchers studied one aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic’s disproportionately high impact on Latinx people: participation in testing. They found that combining culturally informed outreach with well-located community testing sites tripled turnout. The project’s success was driven by a university-wide collaboration that included data scientists from the UO’s Presidential Initiative in Data Science.
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The National Science Foundation has awarded UO computer scientist Brittany Erickson two competitive grants, both of which involve building high-performance code for seismic modeling that will be available to the greater scientific community. Both grants will help develop a method of modeling earthquake and volcano physics, along with their associated hazards. 

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The Data Science Initiative graduated their first group of undergraduates. Seven undergraduate data science students walked the stage this spring to collect their diplomas, an exciting moment for the university’s new data science degree program.
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“There’s something very peculiar about computers and the way that computers understand our world,” says Ramón Alvarado. “I see two immediate avenues for the humanist scholar to engage with information technology: questions about epistemology—the nature of knowledge—and questions about ethics.”


Keep up with progress or express interest in the School of Computer and Data Sciences