Drexel CCI Introduces New Graduate Data Science Programs for Fall 2018

MS Data Science

With the continued growth of big data, today’s economy demands a new class of data-oriented professionals with expertise in managing, modeling and visualizing the massive datasets that arise across all industries. Data scientist has been named one of today’s fastest growing careers; by 2020, the number of jobs for all US data professionals will increase by 364,000 openings to 2,720,000, per IBM.

This fall, Drexel University’s College of Computing & Informatics (CCI) will offer a comprehensive suite of graduate and professional development programs in data science: Master of Science (MS) in Data Science, Graduate Certificates in Applied Data Science and Computational Data Science, and graduate minors in Applied Data Science and Computational Data Science.

Data scientists are key to making sense of the data that we generate, and possess the skills and knowledge to oversee the entire data science lifecycle, including the collection, preparation, analysis, visualization and management of big data within a complex system.

Data science is a fundamentally interdisciplinary field that impacts every major industry, including healthcare, finance and manufacturing. CCI’s graduate data science programs draw on the expertise of the College’s world-class faculty, who bring a wide range of academic interests and industry experience to the classroom.

“The introduction of these exciting new offerings in data science has further established our position at the leading edge of information and technology,” said Yi Deng, PhD, Isaac L. Auerbach Professor and CCI Dean. “As part of an elite class of US colleges that house both computer science and information science under one roof, CCI will provide an exceptional education in this fast-paced, multidisciplinary field to both information professionals and career-changers alike.”

The MS in Data Science curriculum includes coursework on data organization and stewardship, mining, retrieval, visualization and analytics. The program uniquely combines foundational knowledge, applied training, and computational problem-solving to provide students with a core knowledge in computation, applications, and data science management and communication. Graduates of the program will gain skills that can be applied immediately in the workplace, or used as a launching point for more in-depth and expansive knowledge in the field.

Offered both online and on-campus, the MS program’s coursework is concentrated in three areas: Analytics, Mining and Algorithms; Visualization and Communication; and Management and Accountability. Students choose electives from among these areas to enrich the requirements of computation, and gain hands-on experience with state-of-the-art tools and systems while working with real datasets. “Data analytics is at the heart of today’s technology-driven world,” said MS in Data Science Program Director Christopher Yang, PhD. “With an experiential learning approach, Drexel’s MS in Data Science program encourages students to work across disciplines to create much needed value out of data for a multitude of organizations and industries.”

The master’s program will offer four new courses: DSCI 511 Data Acquisition and Pre-Processing, which introduces the breadth of data science through a project lifecycle perspective and covers the early-stage data science lifecycle activities; DSCI 521 Data Analysis and Interpretation, which focuses on the methods for data analysis and their quantitative foundations with applications to pre-processed data; and DSCI 591 Capstone I and II, a multi-term capstone experience that initiates an in-depth and collaborative study in applying computing and informatics knowledge in a real-world data science project.

Other new electives offered in the program include INFO 623 Social Network Analytics, CS 615 Deep Learning, CS 660 Data Analysis at Scale and CS 661 Responsible Data Analysis.

For those who are not yet ready for a full master’s program, the graduate certificates in data science also offer professionals of all backgrounds with the core knowledge of data science concepts. The applied data science certificate prepares students to manage and leverage data assets for decision making, problem solving, modeling and related activity. The computational data science certificate program combines practically focused yet technically rigorous training in machine learning, data-intensive computing, large-scale data management, algorithmic and data ethics, data visualization and cognitive systems. These five-course certificates can also serve as an on-ramp to the MS in Data Science degree program.

Current Drexel graduate students can also gain data analytics knowledge to complement any major through the graduate minors in applied data science and computational data science. Upon completion of a data science minor, students have the option to continue broadening their understanding of computer science and data science by transitioning into the MS in Data Science degree program.

CCI is a founder and leading institution in the Center for Visualization and Decision Informatics (CVDI), a National Science Foundation (NSF) Industry/University Cooperative Research Center that works in partnership with government, industry and academia to develop the next-generation visual and decision support tools and techniques that enable decision-makers to significantly improve the way their organization’s information is organized and interpreted. The College is also home to a leading incubator for metadata solutions, the Metadata Research Center (MRC), with faculty members connected to the Northeast Big Data Innovation Hub (NIEHS) and collaborating across the Big Data Regional hubs.

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