New Undergraduate Program in Data Science Announced

Developed jointly with the Department of Statistics, the new program will bring together the practices required to adequately manage, analyze, and interpret data at scale.

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University of Michigan students at the College of Engineering have a new major course of study to choose from, and it is one that is highly relevant in this age of “Big Data.”

Developed jointly between the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department in CoE and the Department of Statistics in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts, the new multidisciplinary Data Science major will be offered for the first time in the Fall of 2015.

“Our world is exploding with data,” notes Marios Papaefthymiou, Chair of Computer Science and Engineering. “Massive amounts of data in the form of text, audio, video, and sensor measurements are routinely collected in science, healthcare, business, industry, as well as by government and society at large. The ability to unlock this data and extract actionable knowledge is leading to new discoveries in science and engineering, and is fundamentally changing the way in which businesses and lives are led.”

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Key to the program is bringing together practices from computer science and statistics – such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, pattern recognition, statistical learning, probability models, and visualization – in order to adequately manage, analyze, and interpret data at scale.

“There is a pressing need for qualified individuals possessing the intellectual tools, breadth, and perspective to work in this space,” says Atul Prakash, Professor of EECS, who spearheaded the design of the program along with Professor Vijay Nair from Statistics. “This program is designed as a springboard for this new class of experts.”

Students in the program will be exposed to both the practical use of Data Science methods as well as the theoretical properties underpinning the performance of the methods and algorithms.

Electives for the program expose students to a wide range of application areas, from earth and environmental systems through computer vision and the modeling of infectious diseases, allowing students to tailor or broaden their experience as desired. Capstone projects will be designed with input from industry and afford students the opportunity to develop solutions for real problems. Graduates of the program will be well prepared for exciting careers in Data Science and will have opportunities for advanced study.

Information regarding the Data Science program available through the College of Engineering is on the EECS Department website. Students who enroll through the College of LSA should visit the Data Science program page at the Department of Statistics.

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