Innovative data science is advanced at universities through the creation of high-quality physical spaces that successfully cultivate the “water cooler” effect (i.e., exchange and collaboration), raise the level of prestige for data science and scientists, and are adaptable to a range of activities that can promote data science research and learning. It is also essential that spaces be designed to bring together the data scientists who reside in academic units spread across our (large) campuses. This requires the spaces to be valuable as study, contemplation, development, and individual work areas.
The goal of discussions around this theme include how to design common spaces that encourage collaboration both within and between universities in a setting where stakeholders wear multiple hats and often have their own labs to manage. What events are most successful at bringing in researchers from multiple domains? How can space provide both the means for collaboration and the proper setting for concentration on data-intensive science?