MAY 19, 2021 — The University of Texas at San Antonio has selected David Mongeau to serve as the founding director for its School of Data Science. The new school, the first of its kind in Texas, is a key component in UTSA’s phased, 10-year approach to accelerating the development of its Downtown Campus as a destination for producing highly skilled professionals in data science and analytics, advancing economic development in the urban core and creating prosperity for San Antonio.
UTSA has long been recognized as a leader in cybersecurity, cloud computing and analytics. It is one of just a few universities in the nation—and the only Hispanic Serving Institution—to hold three National Center of Excellence designations from the National Security Agency and U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Mongeau is well recognized for his success leading data science and analytics research institutes and training programs as well as his unparalleled ability to develop impactful partnerships across government, industry, academia and the philanthropic community to advance collaboration in data science. He will join UTSA from the University of California, Berkeley, where he served as executive director of the Berkeley Institute for Data Science.
“At UTSA, we are preparing students not just to succeed in the jobs of today but in the jobs of the future. Data scientists are already in short supply and will be needed in much larger numbers in the coming years to power our city and state economies,” said President Taylor Eighmy. “Our new School of Data Science will become a leader in meeting this workforce need, further solidifying San Antonio’s status as the largest information and cybersecurity hub outside Washington, D.C. I am thrilled to welcome David to the Roadrunner community and look forward to collaborating with him as he leads UTSA’s advancements in these emerging fields.”
Mongeau has a record of pioneering work in the national data science community. While at UC Berkeley, he set the strategic direction for the Berkeley Institute for Data Science, working closely with its interdisciplinary faculty members and data scientists. He oversaw the institute’s research, training and outreach, significantly expanding its engagement with industry and most recently foundations to advance the use of data science methods and tools in health care, global change and criminal justice. He also launched three new data science fellowship programs for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. His work at Berkeley includes a new partnership with a global firm and a not-for-profit designed to enable greater access for legal immigrants and refugees to data science careers.
Prior to his work in California, Mongeau co-led the Translational Data Analytics Institute at The Ohio State University, where he helped to grow the institute by 52 faculty across 12 colleges and to make the university’s data expertise and resources more integrated and accessible. While there, he oversaw the development and launch of a new professional science master’s program, engaging five Fortune 100 firms as strategic sponsors for the program, and secured grants from the National Science Foundation, the State of Ohio and new industry partners to reduce environmental contaminants, prevent infant mortality and thwart opioid addiction using data science.
As vice president and general manager of the software and information engineering unit at Battelle Memorial Institute, a 90-plus-year-old applied science and technology nonprofit, Mongeau expanded the unit’s data analytics brainpower and solution set to serve clients in national security, health care and financial services. He also championed the concept and original proposal for a $30 million, seven-company partnership focused on advanced data analytics and cybersecurity, now known as Covail.
Mongeau began his career at Bell Labs, where he worked for more than 20 years, spanning several communications, data, information technology and networking research groups. At Bell Labs, he worked with the inventor of the C++ programming language on its first commercial offer as the AT&T C++ Translator. Later, he led wireless product development and professional services organizations at the parent companies of Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies and Alcatel-Lucent, overseeing globally dispersed teams of more than 200 employees. Notably, he introduced a software-as-a-service tool for topology discovery in heterogeneous IP networks, for which he holds a patent, and he designed and delivered courses in benchmarking, competitive intelligence and reverse engineering.
“David is an accomplished leader the field of data science,” said Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Kimberly Andrews Espy. “We are excited for him to join us to lead and champion our efforts at UTSA in educating a highly skilled workforce to fill growing needs in cybersecurity, data analytics, business intelligence and digital asset management. David has worked at some of the finest institutions across the country and brings background in industry that will help us to realize a strong impact on our San Antonio tech workforce – so our talented students can stay here to chart their futures.”
“Through the School of Data Science, UTSA is bringing remarkably diverse student talent forward to excel in academia, government and industry, perhaps most notably at the intersection of data science and cybersecurity,” said Mongeau. “The commitment to SDS by the university leadership, faculty, regional business and state government—and the vision for the school’s future—are so compelling and quite timely in our world. I am grateful to become part of it all by leading the SDS forward.”
The School of Data Science is a cornerstone in UTSA’s vision to earn national recognition as a research-intensive institution. Through the new school, UTSA will supply intellectual talent to community partners in San Antonio’s high-tech corridor to help address the national call for a highly skilled workforce.
The transdisciplinary school will include more 70 faculty members from UTSA’s departments of Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Statistics and Data Sciences, and Information Systems and Cyber Security while supporting over a dozen bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees as well as certificate programs and other professional credential educational opportunities. It will also house the Draper Data Science Business Plan Competition, an international competition for college students who are interested in entrepreneurship and tech innovation.
The school will house seven UTSA research centers accelerating transdisciplinary research and development: the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security, the Cyber Center for Security and Analytics, the Institute for Cyber Security, the MATRIX AI Consortium, the Open Cloud Institute, the Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute, and the National Security Collaboration Center.
“With this new model, the school will be a place for cross-pollination between students, faculty, research partners and the larger tech community in the city and in the region. It will become the meeting place for innovation,” said Bernard Arulanandam, vice president for research, economic development, and knowledge enterprise, whose team led the SDS’ national search.
UTSA is currently constructing a new facility for the School of Data Science in its expanded Downtown Campus footprint. The $90 million, 167,150-square-foot building sits along San Pedro Creek at 506 Dolorosa St. in the heart of the city to provide government, industry and community partners with access to UTSA’s nationally recognized programs and talent. It is expected to be completed by summer 2022.
“We are at a pivotal point in San Antonio’s growth trajectory and UTSA is leading the way in developing our region’s workforce of the future. The new School of Data Science under the leadership of David Mongeau will further connect our current and future businesses with the tech talent they need to thrive in San Antonio,” said Jenna Saucedo-Herrera, president and chief executive officer of the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation.
In 2018, San Antonio business leader Graham Weston gave UTSA $15 million to support the university’s School of Data Science.
“The announcement of a new academic director for the UTSA School of Data Science is exciting and represents another step toward a bright future,” said Weston, who is serving as co-chair of UTSA’s Campaign Leadership Council. “The School of Data Science is bringing together the most innovative students, faculty and researchers who are accelerating everything in San Antonio’s downtown tech ecosystem. I look forward to the vision and leadership that David Mongeau will bring and hope to collaborate on impactful initiatives that will elevate UTSA and San Antonio as leaders in data science and research excellence.”
Mongeau earned a master of science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, an M.B.A. from Purdue University, and a bachelor’s degree in humanities and minor in data analysis from Carnegie Mellon University.
He will join UTSA on July 1, 2021.
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