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Sunday, April 15, 2018

New data science major to become available in fall 2018 | Tufts Daily

Sarah Minster, Staff Writer at the Tufts Daily says, "Tufts has officially approved a new data science major in the School of Engineering, to become available next fall. 

Halligan Hall, where the computer science and electrical engineering departments are housed, is pictured on April 11, 2017.
Photo: Ray Bernoff / The Tufts Daily
According to Dean of the School of Engineering Jianmin Qu, this new major results from recent initiatives for progressive data science research and education.

Alva Couch, an associate professor of computer science, co-authored the data science program proposal along with Shuchin Aeron, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering
The Board of Trustees officially approved the program in February 2018, according to Qu.

According to Qu, the data science major requires 38 courses, including foundation, introductory, breadth and concentration courses, humanities, arts and social sciences (HASS) courses, as well as a capstone experience. Couch described the data science program as an “agile degree program” that will react to new technological developments and innovations in real time.

“Data science is actually a mix of applied statistics, computer science, machine learning and obscure fields such as decision theory,” Couch stated.

Eric Miller, department chair of electrical and computer engineering, emphasized the relevance of making this new major available. He also stated that the program’s development has been spurred on by student interests.

“It’s an important intellectual area of study … data science is a very new area. It combines elements that are relevant to electrical and computer engineers, computer scientists, mathematicians, statisticians, but it’s not any one of those things in particular,” Miller said. “It was important that we — both as a department and as a university — have a good program in this area for our students.”

Miller estimated that 10 to 20 data science undergraduate students will declare a data science major in fall of 2018, when the major becomes available. Aeron expressed his hope that the program would expand in future years.

“We really hope that the program grows in a healthy manner,” Aeron told the Daily in an email. “At this point we anticipate a quick growth in first 2-3 years, reaching a steady state subsequently.”
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A student signs a large check to deliver to the Tufts administration in protest of tuition hikes.
Photo: Kirt Thorne/The Tufts Daily
Deans explain tuition increases for 2018–2019 school year, inform Jessica Blough, Assistant News Editor at the Tufts Daily.

Source: Tufts Daily