BI hires head of department for data science

15 September 2021

Professor Francesco Ravazzolo will lead new initiative on data-driven discovery and innovation.

Francesco Ravazzolo

Professor Franscesco Ravazzolo

Last year, BI founded a new academic department for the study of applied and theoretical data science and statistics. The department will contribute to teaching, supervision, and the development of new programs and courses.

“Data science is a key area for BI Norwegian Business School going forward. There is increased demand from both students and the business community for knowledge of programming and analytical skills. It is expected that the demand for data skilled graduates will continue to increase as business demands tools and skills to explore the increasing availability of data,” says Hilde C. Bjørnland, Provost for Research and Academic Resources.

Hiring Ravazzolo as head of the new department is an important milestone in this work. The position is for a 2-year period and Ravazzolo will start in October 2021.

He is currently affiliated with University of Bozen-Bolzano in Italy, where he is Professor of Econometrics. He has previously worked at Norges Bank and has had an adjunct position at BI’s Department of Economics since 2012. His research focuses on Bayesian econometrics, energy economics, financial econometrics, and macro econometrics.

“I am extremely honoured to join BI as Head of the Department of Data Science and Analytics. I will concentrate my efforts on promoting junior colleagues, looking for talented scholars to join the team, on organizing new activities to promote data science and, more generally, BI Norwegian Business School,” says Ravazzolo.

He is the first full Professor of data science the new department hires. They have previously hired six assistant professors, one associate professor and one adjunct researcher.

“Francesco is a very active and skilled researcher, with a lot of interest in the wider impact of research to the business community. Francesco also has a great deal of energy and enthusiasm, so I think this will be very good for the growing department of Data Science and Analytics,” says Bjørnland.

The department will be a single point of contact for other departments at BI to obtain, coordinate and collaborate on cutting-edge knowledge on advanced data science.

As part of the initiative to strengthen data science competence, BI last summer entered into an agreement with Simula Research Laboratory. They will collaborate on artificial intelligence, machine learning and statistical learning through the new research centre Simula@BI.

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