By G. Jay Kerns
Professor of Mathematics & Statistics, YSU College of STEM
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Youngstown State University recently launched a new graduate program in data science and statistics.
The YSU master of science degree in data science and statistics (MS-DaS) teaches the skills to effectively organize, visualize and analyze data. The program has many unique features, including the ability for students to take electives in a variety of disciplines and the opportunity for students to participate in the YSU Data Mine.
One reason that the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 32% growth in data science professions over the next 10 years is because data analysis is central to nearly all professions. Recognizing this fact, the MS-DaS program is open to college graduates of any discipline and incorporates elective coursework in a variety of fields. This gives students the ability to apply their data analysis skills in their chosen professional discipline.
Students take courses in data management, data visualization, predictive modeling, advanced data analysis and data ethics. The skills learned in these courses can be applied in discipline-specific electives in computer science, biology, economics, industrial engineering and statistics.
Perhaps the most unique aspect of this program is the ability for students to participate in the YSU Data Mine, a collection of interdisciplinary teams that unite corporate industry partners, faculty and students in data science initiatives. YSU students work collaboratively with an industrial partner and faculty mentor to make actionable insights based upon data provided by the company.
For example, one team of students in this year’s Data Mine is working on a project for DriveOhio, an initiative of the Ohio Department of Transportation that develops smart mobility technology. Students are analyzing trip data from automated vehicles that’s being collected at a 540-acre, $45 million testing center in East Liberty, Ohio.
Another team is partnered with Team NEO, whose mission is to accelerate economic growth throughout 18 counties of northeastern Ohio. Students are analyzing a vibrant economy index to provide actionable insights to growing businesses in the region. Yet another team worked with Nuvve Holding Corp., a global corporation based in San Diego that advances Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology, which dynamically manages power among EV batteries and the grid to deliver improved value to EV owners, stabilize the energy grid, combat carbon emissions and support the transition to clean energy.
Students in the YSU Data Mine hone their coding skills through a joint program with Purdue University and its National Data Mine Network, which includes access to Anvil, Purdue’s powerful supercomputing cluster funded by the National Science Foundation.
The MS-DaS program is open to all students with a baccalaureate from an accredited institution and undergraduate GPA of 2.7 or higher. The 30-hour program requires 15 hours of required courses in data management, data visualization, predictive modeling, data analysis and data ethics. Additionally, students complete a project, internship, or participate in the YSU Data Mine. The remaining hours are interdisciplinary and can be chosen among courses in a variety of disciplines.