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Aims and Objectives


The Wits Institute of Data Science (WIDS) seeks to be a world-leading interdisciplinary research and training institute with a focus on innovation in data science and machine intelligence. The mission of the University of the Witwatersrand is to grow its global stature as a leading research-intensive university and a gateway to research engagement and intellectual achievement in Africa. WIDS will provide a channel through which the above mission can be achieved by fostering intellectual excellence, international competitiveness and local relevance.


  • Act as a central point (or hub) to organise data science activities around three complementary areas: 
    • Mathematical foundations of data science:  modelling, statistics, optimisation, algorithms, machine learning
    • Systems aspects of data science: database systems, data cleaning, data management, data integration, data visualisation, computational technology 
    • Cross-disciplinary collaborations with domain research people across the campus 
  • Train and educate the new generation of data scientists 
  • Promote data science innovation through close collaboration with partners from industry and the public sector