A campus-wide Data Science Working Group (DSWG) was formed in 2016 to foster data science research at the
University of Delaware. Over the course of the following year, the DSWG held several meetings and events and produced a white paper in the fall. In May 2017, a data science symposium was hosted by the Research Office and organized by a faculty committee co-chaired by Eric Wommack and Nii Attoh-Okine. Featuring keynote talks, breakout sessions, and short research presentations, the symposium helped lead to the data science white paper.
These events, in no small part, inspired this degree program. The presentations made it clear that successful data science programs involve collaboration across multiple disciplines; generally, this means statistics, computer and information sciences, and mathematics together with domain or application areas. During the summer and fall, a group of faculty discussed and proposed this master’s degree program, which was subsequently passed by the departments, participating colleges, and the University. The first students were admitted in the fall 2018 semester.
As of fall 2021, eight students have graduated from the program, and double that number should graduate by the end of summer 2022. There are currently 50 students in the program and it is expected to continue to grow in the near future.