November 22, 2013

WPI Launches Data Science Grad Program

Responding to higher demand for professionals who understand how to analyze and find value in "big data," Worcester Polytechnic Institute is launching the state's first graduate program in data science, the school announced.

WPI said its program, which will begin next fall, is one of a handful in the nation and will lead students to either a master of science degree or a graduate certificate.

"The data bonanza and the growing use of data analytics in business, education, and government (have) created a need for a new breed of professionals, called data scientists, who have expertise in such specialized areas as machine learning, statistical modelling, data warehousing, predictive modeling, and large-scale database architecture and management," said Elke Rundensteiner, professor of computer science and program director. "These data represent an exceptional opportunity to harvest and extract insights important for competitive business and for innovation, health care, science, engineering, and societal well-being."

Rundensteiner said the number of data science job postings jumped 58 percent from the first half of 2010 to the second half of 2012

The program's courses will be taught by faculty from the departments of computer science and mathematical sciences, as well as the School of Business.

"To effectively tackle the challenge of modern big data analysis, data scientists need a cross-disciplinary technical and scientific background that emphasis these three disciplines," Rundensteiner said.

For more information about the new program, click here.

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