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Dort­mund Data Science Center: Know-how for Big Data

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group photo © Martina Hengesbach
The founding team of the new Dort­mund Data Science Center (from the left): Prof. Frithjof Anders, Prof. Wolfang Rhode, Prof. Stefan Turek, Prof. Bernhard Spaan, Prof. Katja Ickstadt and Prof. Katharina Morik.

Many researchers at TU Dort­mund University handle large amounts of data on a daily basis, for instance, as they collect and analyze the results of large experimental series or simulate thousands of scenarios, whatever their specific field requires. The Faculties of Statistics, Computer Science, Mathematics and Physics at TU Dort­mund University have now joined forces to pool and jointly expand their expertise in the field of data science. On October 24, researchers opened the newly established Dort­mund Data Science Center (DoDSc) as a new cross-disciplinary structure.

Data science plays a big role at TU Dort­mund University: One of the four profile areas at the university, which achieve world-class research outcomes, is called “Data Analysis, Modeling and Simulation”. TU Dort­mund University is also the speaker university for two research projects dedicated to analyzing large amounts of data – the Collaborative Research Center 823 “Statistical modeling of nonlinear dynamic processes” and the Collaborative Research Center 876 “Providing Information by Resource-Constrained Data Analysis”. Also, TU Dort­mund University has won the nationwide bid for one of four centers of excellence for machine learning in partnership with the University of Bonn as well as the Fraunhofer Institutes for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems (IAIS) in Sankt Augustin and for Material Flow and Logistics (IML) in Dort­mund. Handling large amounts of data also plays a role in teaching: The Faculties of Statistics, Computer Science and Mathematics jointly offer the Bachelor’s degree program “Data Analysis and Data Management” as well as the Master’s program “Data Science”.

Working across disciplines to create new models

“In the natural sciences, engineering, and social studies, systems are becoming ever more complex. New models must be created to describe these systems. This happens partly on a theoretical basis, but most of the work must be conducted with actual data. This is where the Center’s interdisciplinary activities come in,” says Prof. Gabriele Sadowski, Prorector for research at TU Dort­mund. Researchers in statistics, mathematics and physics are collaborating at DoDSc to share their methods for handling big data and to jointly develop new approaches in data science. In addition, the new center offers training and professional education on big data. DoDSc also caters to young scholars; the center will offer opportunities for young researchers to participate in projects and thus become data experts.

Facilitating start-ups and data access

“We also care about transferring our insights into practice. Our Center for Entrepreneurship and Transfer and our close cooperation with the Tech­no­lo­gie­Zen­trum­Dort­mund puts us in a great position to launch innovative start-ups. We will foster that very systematically,” says Prof. Katja Ickstadt from the Faculty of Statistics, one of the founders of DoDSc.

The IT & Media Center (ITMC) of TU Dort­mund and the Dort­mund Center for Scientific Computing are providing servers and infrastructure to support the DoDSc team and its work. Participating physicists, for instance, enjoy ideal conditions for processing data generated by experiments at CERN.

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Location & approach

The campus of TU Dort­mund University is located close to interstate junction Dort­mund West, where the Sauerlandlinie A 45 (Frankfurt-Dort­mund) crosses the Ruhrschnellweg B 1 / A 40. The best interstate exit to take from A 45 is "Dort­mund-Eichlinghofen" (closer to Campus Süd), and from B 1 / A 40 "Dort­mund-Dorstfeld" (closer to Campus Nord). Signs for the university are located at both exits. Also, there is a new exit before you pass over the B 1-bridge leading into Dort­mund.

To get from Campus Nord to Campus Süd by car, there is the connection via Vogelpothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at Campus Nord and use the H-Bahn (suspended monorail system), which conveniently connects the two campuses.

TU Dort­mund University has its own train station ("Dort­mund Universität"). From there, suburban trains (S-Bahn) leave for Dort­mund main station ("Dort­mund Hauptbahnhof") and Düsseldorf main station via the "Düsseldorf Airport Train Station" (take S-Bahn number 1, which leaves every 20 or 30 minutes). The university is easily reached from Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duisburg.

You can also take the bus or subway train from Dort­mund city to the university: From Dort­mund main station, you can take any train bound for the Station "Stadtgarten", usually lines U41, U45, U 47 and U49. At "Stadtgarten" you switch trains and get on line U42 towards "Hombruch". Look out for the Station "An der Palmweide". From the bus stop just across the road, busses bound for TU Dort­mund University leave every ten minutes (445, 447 and 462). Another option is to take the subway routes U41, U45, U47 and U49 from Dort­mund main station to the stop "Dort­mund Kampstraße". From there, take U43 or U44 to the stop "Dort­mund Wittener Straße". Switch to bus line 447 and get off at "Dort­mund Universität S".

Dort­mund Airport offers flights to several destinations in Central Europe. There are regular connections to Katowice, Kraków, London and Munich. For the approximately 20km-trip from Dort­mund Airport to TU Dort­mund University, you can use a shuttle bus to the railway Station "Bahnhof Holzwickede", from which trains depart to Dort­mund main station (please visit Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr for more information). Normally, the fastest way is to catch a taxi at Dort­mund Airport.

The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dort­mund University. There are two stations on Campus Nord. One ("Dort­mund Universität S") is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the university directly with the city of Dort­mund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the "Technologiepark" and (via Campus Süd) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at Campus Nord and offers a direct connection to Campus Süd every five minutes.