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University receives 2.5 million euros for research in data science

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Published on Thursday, 13 September 2018

The University of Luxembourg has recently been awarded a prestigious ERA (European Research Area) Chair grant under the EU’s Horizon 2020 framework programme. With a budget of 2.5 million euros for the period 2019-2024, the university will create a high-level research group in mathematical statistics and data science. It is the very first time that this prize is given to a Luxembourg institution.

Answer market needs

Entitled “ERA Chair in Mathematical Statistics and Data Science for the University of Luxembourg – SanDAL”, this action aims to fill a gap in current research activities to position Luxembourg as a key player in mathematics research. Prof. Jean-Marc Schlenker, Head of the Mathematics Research Unit (RMATH) at the University of Luxembourg explains: “Within a few years only, we have succeeded in building an internationally renowned department in the fields of probability theory, geometry, number theory and mathematical physics. However, with the growing importance of data science in all sectors of the economy and especially in logistics, healthcare, ICT, manufacturing and finance, Luxembourg suffers from a lack of skilled scientists, engineers and researchers. Therefore, this outstanding award will enable us to meet the job market’s needs.”

Develop research and training

The project will boost research and training in mathematical statistics and data science. The ERA Chair research activities will focus on two areas: “High-Dimensional Data Analysis” to have a deeper understanding of emerging computational tools and “New Mathematical Tools for Contemporary Statistics” to develop new and more sophisticated statistical methods. In addition, new teaching programmes at Master and PhD levels will be elaborated to provide future students with the necessary skills in mathematical statistics and data science to understand, develop and apply new tools in various fields. Prof. Stéphane Pallage, Rector of the University of Luxembourg, sees all the benefits of this new funding: “The multidisciplinary ERA Chair will increase the international reputation of the University of Luxembourg by attracting and retaining experienced researchers. Moreover, it will support the competitiveness of the Luxembourg economy by transferring knowledge and know-how”.

Recruitment of an expert team

To ensure the development of a strong and sustainable new direction of research, the University of Luxembourg will recruit highly qualified research staff, namely a permanent professor who will act as the ERA Chair Holder, two postdoctoral researchers and three PhD candidates. Applications for the position of Professor in Mathematical Statistics and Data Science are open until 1 January 2019 via the job portal of the University of Luxembourg.

Figure: overall concept of the SanDAL project

Figure: overall concept of the SanDAL project: research and innovation policy context, Action Plan, ERA Chair and expected impacts

The ERA Chair SanDAL has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 811017.

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