Program Report: Data Science Programs

By Nathan Taback

Students sitting in front of computer analyzing data
Large amounts of data from sports to finance, and even fields like history, are becoming more common than ever before. Searching the internet, using social media, communicating using voice or text, taking photos, or using business services all creates data. Coaches using data to inform their decisions about players and strategy, historians using web archives to research the recent past, and universities trying to understand what does and doesn’t work for its students all fall within the purview of data science.

It’s no surprise that data science methods rely on statistical theory, computer programming, algorithms and modern data storage – and of course a good understanding of the data.  Students that have these skills are in high demand in academia and industry, and there is a seemingly insatiable demand from students to study data science.  
Undergraduate Specialist in Data Science

2018/19 was the first year of the undergraduate specialist in data science – a joint program between computer science and statistics, where students take courses in both disciplines. A unique feature of the program is practical training in data science through newly developed integrative and capstone courses, jointly taught by both departments.

Students will combine their expertise in computer and statistical science to produce and communicate analyses of complex large-scale datasets. Courses cover data exploration and preparation, data visualization and presentation and computing with data and require students to learn from case studies and collaborate with industry and researchers in other fields. The program also introduces data science workflows and professional skills, such as oral and written communication, and ethical skills for data science.
 Masters of Science in Applied Computing: Data Science Concentration
Jointly with the master program of science in applied computing, our department has also developed a data science concentration. The second cohort of thirteen students accepted into the program will start their eight-month internships at the beginning of May 2019.

The organizations that have hired our data science interns include Uber ATG, St. Michael's Hospital - Li Ka Shing Centre, and Pelmorex - The Weather Network.