Why now and why Tufts?

Tufts University, with expertise and strength in foundations of data science, STEM disciplines, policy science, and diplomacy is uniquely positioned to run the D3M@Tufts program. This program builds on an interdisciplinary model developed under the Water Diplomacy program, Tufts Data-Intensive Science Center, and Tufts-Transdisciplinary Research in Principles of Data Science. The D3M@Tufts program educates data professionals by integrating science, engineering, policy, and diplomacy for data-driven decision-making.

Tufts Data Intensive Science Center (DISC)

The Tufts Data Intensive Science Center (DISC) is a major cross-university initiative to facilitate data science-related scholarship and education. Led by founding director Abani Patra, a member of the D3M@Tufts leadership team and a mathematical modeling expert working with natural disasters, the DISC brings together new faculty and full-time data scientists with activities that include symposia, study groups, sandboxes, and training opportunities in key data science methodologies to serve as an umbrella that integrates data science training and initiatives across Tufts.


Tufts is home to a new NSF-funded T-TRIPODS (Tufts-Transdisciplinary Research in Principles of Data Science) institute focused on the foundations of data science and led by Lenore Cowen, a faculty member of D3M@Tufts. Two research themes of T-TRIPODS, “space-time analysis of data with physics-based machine learning” and “data access and algorithmic innovations including quality, transparency, and synthesis of quantitative and qualitative information,” are both of direct importance to data driven decision making. 

Water Diplomacy Program

The Water Diplomacy Program was conceived and developed by an interdisciplinary group of professionals from Tufts, MIT, and Harvard in collaboration with reflective researchers and practitioners from around the world. This Water Diplomacy Timeline highlights the evolution and major milestone of the program. The IGERT (Integrated Graduate Education and Research Traineeship) program was supported by the National Science Foundation and has graduated 26 Ph.D. students from a range of STEM [Biology, Chemistry, and Engineering (Civil, Environmental, and Water Resources)] and non-STEM disciplines [Economics, Political Science, International Relations, Urban Planning]. The Water Diplomacy RCN (Research Coordination Network) project developed a global network of water professionals to synthesize theory and practice to generate actionable water knowledge. The Global Water Diplomacy IGERT and RCN have created an active network with over 400 water scholars and practitioners from 70 countries. To put the theory of the Water Diplomacy Framework into practice, we initiated and conducted the annual international Water Diplomacy Workshop in Boston. The Water Diplomacy Database AquaPedia is perhaps the first open-source, searchable, collaborative public knowledge base of water issues and conflicts.