By Kenya Godette

The Old Dominion University School of Data Science opened the Virginia Beach Institute of Data Science on Nov. 16. The new facility is designed to be a hub for data-driven research and exploration, housing dedicated training space for cybersecurity simulations; collaboration areas where students and industry leaders can discuss and test new research models; and cutting-edge research labs for data driven exploration.

The 17,617-square-foot facility is the first new physical space since the ODU School of Data Science received approval from the State Council on Higher Education for Virginia on Feb. 1, making the school the central home for academic programming in data science and research.

On opening day, the School held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new facility, located on the tenth floor of the Armada Hoffler Building at 222 Central Avenue in Virginia Beach.

Nearly 100 individuals representing the city of Virginia Beach, ODU and data science industries were present for the ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception. Among those who gave remarks were ODU President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D.; ODU Vice Provost of Academic Affairs Brian Payne; ODU alumni Justin Brunnel and Stephanie Milonas; inaugural Director of the School of Data Science Frank Liu; and Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer.

Sachin Shetty, associate professor and associate director of the Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center, conducted tours of the facility. The institute includes incubator and accelerator spaces, research and teaching labs and state-of-the-art research equipment like drones.

The facility will provide an environment where industry-research partnerships can take place, facilitating the exchange of ideas, resources and expertise between academia and the business community.

“The Virginia Beach Institute of Data Science will be at the forefront of education, research and collaboration,” Liu said. “Not only for the region but also for the good of building a vibrant academic community that will educate new generations of builders, thinkers and leaders. Not just in Hampton Roads, but the world.”

Virginia Beach officials noted the facility is a positive and welcomed advancement for the community.

“This initiative is yet another growing opportunity between the city of Virginia Beach and also ODU to provide new programs that will benefit our local residents and our business,” Dyer said. “We passionately welcome and celebrate this excellent venture and wish it much success.”

For more information on the ODU School of Data Science, click here.