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UT Dallas CS and Mathematical Sciences Department Establish a New Joint BS in Data Science Program Next Spring

Data science continues to evolve as one of the most promising and in-demand career paths for skilled professionals. The Department of Computer Science in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science in collaboration with the Department of Mathematical Sciences in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics will be launching the Bachelor of Science in Data Science Degree Program during the Spring 2019 semester. The Data Science BS is an interdisciplinary program offering a balanced mix of courses in Computer Science, Statistics, and Mathematics.

Over the past decade, data scientists have become a necessary asset in every industry. However, they are also in short supply. As increasing amounts of data become more accessible, large tech companies are no longer the only ones in need of data scientists and the growing demand for data science professionals now spans across all types of industries. The need for qualified data scientists shows no sign of slowing down.  Glassdoor ranked data scientist as the #1 Best Job in America in 2018 for the third consecutive year, and Harvard Business Review lists the job of a data scientist as the “Hot Job of the Decade.” With over 4,500 open positions listed on Glassdoor, data science professionals with the appropriate experience and education have the opportunity to succeed in some of the most cutting-edge companies in the world. Data Science jobs are consistently ranked near the top in the Jobs Rated Report of CareerCast.com. By 2020, the number of jobs for all US data professionals will increase by 364,000 to an approximate total of 2,720,000 according to IBM (read more here).

Data Science is an emerging discipline that lies at the intersection of computer science, mathematics, and statistics. The curriculum for the Data Science Program provides a solid foundation in all three disciplines. The degree prepares students for data scientist or related positions in industry, business, and government that are currently in high demand and also for graduate study in any of the three disciplines. In order to earn the BS in Data Science degree from UT Dallas, students must earn a minimum of 120 semester credit hours towards graduation. (learn more here).

We spoke to Dr. Vladimir Dragovic, Head of the Department of Mathematical Sciences in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics about the new BS in Data Science degree program. “It is a role model of an across campus collaboration as the first example of an undergraduate BS program offered as a joint program between the departments from two different schools, the Mathematical Sciences Department and Computer Science Department. Both departments have a track record of success in offering similar programs on a graduate level. This new undergraduate program is a well-balanced mixture of Computer Science, Statistics and Mathematics reasoning.”

Dr. Dragovic continued, “There are seven new classes which were specially designed for this new program. The program is designed to distinguish itself from the programs with a similar name by emphasizing quality, rigor, and employable skills. By this, we mean that the program offers a solid preparation in Computer Science, Statistics and Mathematics, together with the capstone project. It has been designed to consider the previous experience of the departments, advice from the industries in DFW area and curricular guidelines for data science programs developed by a group of faculties across the US and recommended by the organizations like American Statistical Association (ASA). At the same time, as being offered in the DFW area, which is one of the fastest growing economies in the US, it will benefit from job opportunities for future graduates from the local companies. This is only second BS in Data Science program in Texas. Both departments, Mathematical Sciences and Computer Science, are very enthusiastic about this joint venture and are working closely and tirelessly to implement this new program. There has already been substantial interest among the students and parents expressed for this program.”

Data scientists need to have a strong quantitative background in statistics and linear algebra as well as programming knowledge with focuses in data warehousing, mining, and modeling to build and analyze algorithms. Data science requires strong high school preparation in mathematics.  A minimum of elementary algebra and geometry should be completed, while trigonometry and calculus are highly recommended. Any Advanced Placement courses in computer science, mathematics, or statistics are highly beneficial. Solid communication skills are also important in light of the fact that most data science professionals work as part of a team.

For more information on admission and degree requirements for the BS in Data Science, view the Undergraduate Catalog.


Contact Information for the Bachelor of Science in Data Science Degree Program

Email: datascience@utdallas.edu

Pankaj ChoudharyPankaj@utdallas.edu

Associate Head of Mathematical Sciences and Faculty Advisor for BS in Data Science

Dr. Ovidiu DaescuOvidiu.Daescu@utdallas.edu

Associate Head of Computer Science and Faculty Advisor for BS in Data Science

Dr. Vladimir Dragovic, Vladimir.Dragovic@utdallas.edu

Department Head, Department of Mathematical Sciences

Dr. Gopal Gupta, Gopal.Gupta@utdallas.edu

Department Head, Department of Computer Science


ABOUT THE UT DALLAS COMPUTER SCIENCE DEPARTMENT

The UT Dallas Computer Science program is one of the largest Computer Science departments in the United States with over 2,800 bachelors-degree students, more than 1,000 master’s students, 190 Ph.D. students,  52 tenure-track faculty members, and 41 full-time senior lecturers, as of Fall 2018. With The University of Texas at Dallas’ unique history of starting as a graduate institution first, the CS Department is built on a legacy of valuing innovative research and providing advanced training for software engineers and computer scientists.

NSF REU Program at UT Dallas CS Offers A Unique Research Experience