CoLAB Launches Effort to Build Data Science Capacity in Uruguay through J-WEL Membership

New blended learning program aims to build faculty capacity to teach data science and machine learning and involve up to 500 students over three years.
Photo: Brandon Muramatsu
Photo: Brandon Muramatsu
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MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay - May 16, 2019 - PRLog -- At an event today in Montevideo, Uruguay, CoLAB—an alliance of Uruguayan educational organizations—launched a new program to build Data Science capacity in Latin America that was developed through membership in the Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab (J-WEL). With a focus on the local universities and industries of Uruguay, the Program in Data Science ( includes online courses from MITx and from several Uruguayan universities, online synchronous activities facilitated by J-WEL staff, and J-WEL and MISTI on-site workshops. J-WEL, an initiative of MIT and Community Jameel, works with organizations around the world to promote excellence and transformation in education.

CoLAB is an alliance between Plan Ceibal (, the Uruguay Technological University (UTEC), and ANII (the National Research and Innovation Agency). Plan Ceibal joined J-WEL as a Charter member in January 2019. Through J-WEL membership and the Program in Data Science, CoLAB aims to develop instructor capacity to teach data science and machine learning, develop new curriculum, create a community of data scientists in the region, as well as support up to 500 students in the next four years participating in a blended learning program in data science offered through UTEC. Graduates will gain the fundamental knowledge to master the essence of data science, develop new lines of business for companies and lead decision-making processes in their teams.

The Uruguayan government and participating organizations were represented at the launch event by Dr. María Julia Muñoz, Uruguay Minister of Education; Dr. Rodolfo Silveira, UTEC board member; Eng. Miguel Brechner, Plan Ceibal President; Eng. Fernando Brum, ANII President; and Dr. Virginia Robano, Director of the Program in Data Science. Mr. Morgan Doyle, Representative of the Inter-American Development Bank, also provided remarks. From MIT, J-WEL Executive Director Dr. M.S. Vijay Kumar and Prof. Munther Dahleh, Director of the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS) addressed the gathering.

Students enrolled in the Program in Data Science will take courses from MITx MicroMasters® program in Statistics and Data Science, covering Introduction to Probability - The Science of Uncertainty, Data Analysis for Social Sciences, Fundamentals of Statistics, and Data and Machine Learning with Python: from Linear Models to Deep Learning, plus courses addressing entrepreneurship and the future of work and electives offered by Uruguayan universities. MIT will join UTEC to provide students with online synchronous facilitated sessions as they take the MicroMasters courses.

J-WEL's engagement with CoLAB and Plan Ceibal is part of a portfolio of activities through J-WEL aimed at fostering educational transformation. An initiative of MIT and Community Jameel, J-WEL—which is housed in MIT Open Learning alongside other landmark MIT education initiatives including MITx and MIT OpenCourseWare—brings together member organizations from around the world to focus on educational transformation efforts in the pK-12, higher education, and workplace learning domains.

Stephen Carson
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Page Updated Last on: May 17, 2019
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