The Master of Science in Data Science (MSDS) was announced officially in the beautiful Audion on UD’s STAR campus Tower on the evening of March 26, 2019.

Audion picture

Presenting the programs in the STAR Tower Audion. Credit: Vic Wang

The MSDS was briefly described by Richard Braun, Founding Director of the MSDS and Professor of Mathematics, as part of the information session “Mastering Data Science and Statistical Analysis.” This info session featured several majors that are in the realm of, or very closely related to, data science and data analytics. The majors included:

The event was sponsored in part by the University of Delaware Office of the Provost, Constellation Energy (an Exelon company), JPMorgan Chase & Co, and the State of Delaware Government Information Center.

Doug Doren

Doug Doren

Cathy Wu

Cathy Wu

Doug Doren, Interim Vice Provost for Graduate and Professional Education, remarked on the exciting developments on campus regarding data science and the founding of the new Graduate College. The Graduate College is expected to foster the kinds of interdisciplinary degree programs described at the info session. He then introduced Cathy Wu, Founding Director of UD’s Data Science Institute (DSI). She described the rapid growth of the DSI, including new resident faculty, acting as a hub for data science work on campus and beyond, as well as a variety of other activities.

Bioinformatics, Business Analytics and Cybersecurity all have established data-science-related programs with a significant number of students and alumni. Prof. Wu, also Director of the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, described an array of vibrant degree programs in Bioinformatics. Adam Fleischhacker, Associate Professor of Business Administration, described the successful MBA in Business Analytics program. Chase Cotton, Associate Professor of Practice in Electrical and Computer Engineering, provided slides about the well-established Cybersecurity program. Thomas Ilvento, Professor and Chair of Applied Economics and Statistics, explained the MS programs in Statistics (since 2001) and Applied Statistics (new and online). Delphis Levia, Professor of Ecohydrology and Chair of Geography, described a new 4+1 Bachelors/MS in Geographic Information Science and Environmental Data Analytics to be implemented in the 2019-20 academic year.

The following faculty presented short talks on their research:

  • Pinki Mondal, “From space to earth: Connecting pixels to people” (Department of Geography)
  • Chad Giusti, “Detecting organizing principles: The topology of data” (Department of Mathematical Sciences)
  • Rahmat Beheshti, “Health Data Science” (CIS)
  • Austin Brockmaier, “Exploring Data with Informative Machine Learning” (ECE)
  • Greg Dobler, “The Urban Observatory: Better Cities through Imaging” (Biden School of Public Policy & Administration; Physics & Astronomy).
Q&A in the STAR Tower Atrium. Credit: Vic Wang.

Q&A in the STAR Tower Atrium. Credit: Vic Wang.

They gave excellent examples of research related to the MSDS and DSI. The talks were followed by Q&A in the STAR Tower Atrium.

The MSDS had a soft opening during the 2018-19 academic year with a handful of students. Those students are roughly equally split between full- and part-time study. The program has begun admitting students for the 2019-20 year, and we anticipate adding 20-25 new students. Continued growth is expected thereafter. The program is working with its partners and sponsors to provide relevant data, as well as project, internship and job opportunities.

The MSDS is now entering a phase of rapid growth and we are excited to see where it leads!