Data Science Graduate Program Taps into Silicon Valley Demand

Students in the new master of science degree in data science program will develop practical working skills in topological data analysis, machine learning, and statistical methods. (Photo by Mark McCarty)

ALBANY, N.Y. (October 11, 2018) – Tapping into one of the fastest growing careers in the United States and across the world, UAlbany’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics has launched a new master of science degree in data science (DATMS).

Whether it is the massive wealth of information stored by the U.S. Census Bureau or Google’s famed search algorithm, industries in the United States either thrive or fade based on an ability to understand and process “Big Data.” This is one reason why IBM predicts the number of jobs in information science will grow by 364,000 openings to 2,270,000 by 2020 alone. The information-driven industries of Silicon Valley and beyond are in the market for professionals with the ability to conduct effective technical research within massive amounts of data.

This where the new M.S. in Data Science program at UAlbany comes into play.

“We educate students in the theory and practice of machine learning, statistical methods, and other advances at the frontier of data science such as topological data analysis,” said Associate Professor Boris Goldfarb, who serves as graduate director for the department. “This pioneering program combines expertise in traditional and bleeding-edge skills, building on a thorough mathematical foundation.”

The program is designed to provide students with the foundations in all three major aspects of data science: topological data analysis used for the study of large data sets; machine learning, which involves improving the ability of computers to think and act independently as humans do; and statistical methods. Students will develop practical working skills in all of them.

And as data problems become increasingly complex, many big companies are demanding advanced degrees. Moreover, the premium skills are shifting from the data analytic tools that are becoming a commodity to deeper knowledge and understanding of these tools and the mathematics behind them.

This was the motivation behind the establishment of the M.S. in Data Science program in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

“When you earn your M.S. in Data Science, your valuable technical skills will be applicable to virtually every industry,” continued Goldfarb. “Professionals with the ability to conduct effective technical research within massive amounts of data will continue to grow in high demand in all industries across the board for many years to come.”

For more information, see the program page in the Graduate Bulletin, or contact the Graduate Director, Boris Goldfarb, at bgoldfarb@albany.edu.

New Faculty in Mathematics and Statistics

The department has also welcomed two new faculty members for the fall 2018 semester.

New UAlbany Professors Michael Lesnick, left, and Hyun-Kyoung Kwon
Assistant Professors of Mathematics Michael Lesnick and Hyun-Kyoung Kwon joined UAlbany in 2018

Assistant Professor Hyun-Kyoung Kwon, who earned her Ph.D. from Brown University, specializes in analysis and its applications. Her research lies in the fields of operator theory and complex analysis. She is interested in Cowen-Douglas operators and the corona problem, as well as applications of this.

Assistant Professor Michael Lesnick, who earned his Ph.D. from Stanford University, specializes in topical data analysis (TDA), including the theoretical foundations and computational aspects. Part of his work involves designing software tools for TDA and applications to biology.

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