He earned a BA in Mathematics and Physics and an MS in Physics from the University of Pennsylvania. He earned his Ph.D. in Physics from Harvard, where he studied fluid dynamics and instabilities in porous media and colloidal microcapsules with David Weitz. His postdoctoral training was in Chemical Engineering at Caltech, where he studied the gut's biophysics and materials science with Rustem Ismagilov. 

He joined Princeton in 2017, where his lab studies soft and living materials in complex settings, motivated by challenges like clean oil/gas recovery, effective water remediation, and targeted drug delivery. Prof. Datta is the recipient of the National Science Foundation's CAREER Award, American Chemical Society's Unilever Award, Andreas Acrivos Award in Fluid Dynamics from the American Physical Society, LeRoy Apker Award from the American Physical Society, American Chemical Society's Petroleum Research Fund New Investigator Award, Alfred Rheinstein Faculty Award, and multiple Princeton Engineering Commendations for Outstanding Teaching.