About The Hawaii Data Science Institute

The Hawaii Data Science Institute (HI-DSI) is a University of Hawaiʻi System-wide effort focused on  interdisciplinary research and data science education.   HI-DSI provides a hub to support data intensive research, facilitate the creation of new degree and certificate programs that meet student and employer needs, and foster partnerships with industry.


Data science is an emerging discipline that draws upon knowledge in a multitude of domains to derive insight from data of increasing complexity and volume. Responsibly and creatively deployed data science products are creating unprecedented opportunities to derive economic value, improve quality of life, and provide new knowledge important to Hawaii and global communities. The biggest impediment to leveraging data to create efficiencies in academia and industry is the severe shortage of individuals with expertise in data and computational science. To tackle this challenge, the Hawaii Data Science Institute was established by University of Hawaii President David Lassner, with the support of a large contingent of faculty and staff, as a system-wide initiative for catalyzing research and training capacity in data science, computation, and visualization.  


Led by Co-directors Gwen Jacobs and Jason Leigh the mission of the Hawaii Data Science Institute is threefold:

  1. Serve as a nexus for the University’s expertise in data and computational sciences within a framework that forges strategic partnerships with the industry and government agencies.
  2. Coordinate the establishment of a cross-disciplinary curriculum that prepares a computationally and analytically savvy workforce to tackle pressing challenges and opportunities for the present and future.
  3. Catalyze research collaborations between expert data and computational scientists and domain scientists on challenging, real-world problems.


The Hawaii Data Science Institute will be a world-class venue for education, training, and collaborative research in data and computational sciences. Achieving this vision will requires a focused effort to develop a symbiotic partnership with industry and business community partners to guide workforce development. The Hawaii Data Science Institute will capitalize on the University of Hawaii’s unique position and international excellence in key research domains to pursue high-impact collaborative projects. These projects will span beyond academia, with the principal objective of developing real-world applications that benefit Hawaii’s economy and citizens.