From fundamental research on the most energetic events in the universe to the search for asteroids that may one day impact the Earth, the science of the next decade will be driven by data. Our ability to make scientific breakthroughs will be governed by our capacity to deal with the scale and complexity of the data from a new generation of telescopes and experiments that will explore the inner and outer reaches of our universe. DIRAC is creating an environment where scientists harness interdisciplinary expertise to solve some of the most difficult questions facing astronomy today; an interaction space between Astrophysics, Computer Science, Statistics, and other disciplines.
DIRAC represents the culmination of ten years of crosscutting research, strategic hiring, and interdisciplinary partnerships by the University of Washington. It will enable and make discoveries through the development of new ways of thinking about data and how we extract knowledge from massive data streams. It provides a remarkable opportunity to change the way we undertake astrophysics and to prepare the next generation of researchers to succeed in a data rich environment; researchers who will lead astrophysics in the next decade.