Western announces new Data Science degree program | Western Today | Western Washington University – Western Today

Western announces new Data Science degree program | Western Today | Western Washington University – Western Today

Western Washington University’s Computer Science Department is now offering a Bachelor of Science degree program in Data Science.

“Data has become increasingly important not only in technology-related fields, but practically every discipline and pursuit,” said WWU Assistant Professor of Computer Science Scott Wehrwein. “The Data Science program will provide students with the foundational knowledge and practical skills needed to analyze and draw insights from the data that they will inevitably encounter wherever their career path takes them.”

Sample careers this program will prepare students for include data scientist, machine learning scientist, and data engineer. These jobs are among the fastest growing in the country, and students pursuing them often land interesting, challenging, and lucrative jobs directly out of college.

“Data science is a set of skills that allows you to take all kinds of diverse datasets and learn something from them,” said Assistant Professor of Computer Science Kameron Harris. “It’s exciting how interdisciplinary this work is. Programmers can work with people in politics, physical sciences, social sciences, industry, agriculture… really anywhere that data are available, and people want to know what stories they can tell.”

Associate Professor of Computer Science Brian Hutchinson, who oversaw the design and implementation of the program, described how it was designed to better meet the needs of the growing number of students seeking data science careers.

Altogether, it is a rigorous and modern program that will prepare our students to succeed in data science careers.

“There are three legs to the curriculum, split fairly evenly in terms of courses and credits. First, there is a computer science core, emphasizing programming skills, data structures, algorithms, and databases. Second, a Mathematics core, emphasizing probability and statistics, calculus, and linear algebra,” said Hutchinson. “Finally, students will complete data science specific courses, including two new core classes, four data science electives drawn from relevant offerings in computer science and math, and a three-quarter data science senior project sequence. Altogether, it is a rigorous and modern program that will prepare our students to succeed in data science careers.”

The Data Science program officially launched in September 2021 and has already admitted its first batch of applicants to the major. The initial target is to graduate 35 Data Science majors per year, growing over time as demand dictates and resources allow.

Learn more about the program’s curriculum and requirements here, and can contact advisors at [email protected]

A Data Science Information Session will be held jointly in person in CF 420 and via zoom on Thursday, February 10 from 3:00-4:00 PM. The session will cover key information about the program and will allow plenty of time for Q&A. In-person attendees can also enjoy pizza at the session!

Source: https://westerntoday.wwu.edu/news/western-announces-new-data-science-degree-program