Tag Archives: university

NBA Basketball Analytics Hackathon

The National Basketball Association is hosting an Analytics Hackathon.
Application are accepted until August 6, 2017 and the actual competition occurs on September 23-24, 2017. The competition has 2 focus areas:

  • Basketball Analytics
  • Business Analytics

The prizes for winning consist of:

  • Lunch with NBA Commissioner
  • A trip to the All-Star Game
  • Tickets to a game of your choosing

To be eligible, you must be:

  • At least 18 years old
  • An undergraduate or graduate student

Good Luck!

Valparaiso University is Turning Homework into Social Change

Recently, I had the honor of speaking with Dr. Karl Schmitt from Valparaiso University. He is the director of the Data Science undergraduate program at Valparaiso University. We had a very nice discussion, and I thought I would pass along my summary.

What are the Details of the Valparaiso Undergraduate Program?

The program is housed in the Mathematics department and it is designed to be fairly interdisciplinary. It consists of four parts.

  1. Math
  2. Statistics
  3. Computer Science
  4. A Separate Focus Area

The separate focus area can be from nearly any other department and is targeted at building some domain expertise. Although not required, a double major is encouraged.

One of the most unique and excited aspects of the program begins during the first year. Students take Introduction to Data Science, which has few prerequisites and serves as motivation for the remainder of the program. Valparaiso partners with non-profits and government agencies to provide the first year students with hands-on experience solving problems for social good. Examples include Meals on Wheels, mapping with the United States Geological Survey, and a child welfare non-profit. Then, the junior and senior students are involved with a capstone project that can be a continuation of the first year project, some other social good project, or students can serve in a consulting capacity to other departments on campus.

What skills Do You expect Valparaiso Data Science Graduates to Have?

There are a few basics skills that make sense for data science: coding, database skills, statistics, and general math. In addition, Valparaiso grads should also know how to talk, write, and create videos about mathematical concepts. Finally, ethics is an essential portion of the program. According to Dr. Karl Schmitt,

I want my students to graduate with ethics related to data science.

To enforce that statement: ethics case studies are required of all students, it is a key learning objective of the projects, and ethics is integrated into all the classes so students understand the importance. Students need to be able to do the hard data science, communicate the results and care about the consequences.

Why Choose Data Science as an Undergraduate?

It is a utility degree that is in strong demand in nearly every field. As companies continue to understand the usage of data, having data skills is going to get increasingly more crucial. Data Scientist are going to be (currently are) in demand for human resources, supply, sales, technology and many other awesome jobs.

Why Valparaiso for Data Science?

There are a number of reasons:

  • Good University Size – It is easy to double major and engage with things outside the major, plus disciplines are very connected which allows for collaboration.
  • Writing/Communication is Integrated Throughout – Many people can crunch numbers, but Valparaiso graduates can express discoveries. The students get that from the very beginning.
  • Projects – All students will have experience and examples of projects to demonstrate.
  • Finally, students have an opportunity to turn their homework into something that matters!


Thank you to Dr. Karl Schmitt for the interview and to Valparaiso University for Sponsoring Data Science 101.

Georgia Tech Masters in Analytics for Less than $10k

Georgia Tech University just announced a new online master’s degree in Analytics.

Georgia Tech Creates First Online Master of Science in Analytics Degree for Less Than $10,000

The degree will begin in August 2017 and will be fully online. It will offer 3 tracks:

  1. Big Data
  2. Analytical Tools
  3. Business Analytics (coming at a later date)

Berkeley Undergrad Data Science Course and Textbook

The University of California at Berkeley has started The Berkeley Data Science Education Program. The goal is to build a data science education program throughout the next several years by engaging faculty and students from across the campus. The introductory data science course is targeting freshman and it is taught from a very applicable and interactive environment. The course videos, slides, labs, and notes are freely available for others to use. The course heavily uses Jupyter. Also, the course textbook is online at Computational and Inferential Thinking: The Foundations of Data Science.

Data Science College Programs Across the Globe [Interactive Map]

Continuing this weeks theme on data science colleges, the nice folks at Silk.co created an interactive map of the Data Science University Programs across the globe. Click the map to view the interactive visualization.

Where are the Programs?

Global Map of Data Science Colleges
Map indicating the location of all the data science college programs

Based upon the visualization, it is easy to see most of the programs are in the United States and Western Europe.

What About Degree Types

Data Science Breakdown by Degree Type
Data Science Breakdown by Degree Type

The data can also easily be broken down by degree type and how the degree is delivered (online/on-campus).

What is Silk.co?

To state it simply, Silk.co is a place to very easily store and visualize data. It looks pretty awesome.

Data Science Colleges by US State

US Data Science Colleges
US states with the most data science college/university degree programs

Creating the Awesome Data Science Colleges List has opened the data for some analysis. The above chart shows the states with the most data science programs based upon the total number of colleges in the state (dark red is best, followed by orange, followed by yellow, and finally black is for states with no data science programs).

The Top States

  1. Washington D.C.
  2. Colorado
  3. Massachusetts
  4. South Dakota
  5. Nebraska
  6. Indiana
  7. New Hampshire
  8. Maryland
  9. Illinois
  10. Pennsylvania
  11. New York
  12. Michigan
  13. Arkansas

The States Needing to Create Data Science Programs

  • Alaska
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Mississippi
  • North Dakota
  • New Mexico
  • Vermont
  • Wyoming

See the original post at Need to Learn Data Science? These States are the Best! and the analysis at Create US States Choropleth for Data Science Degrees.

Awesome Data Science Colleges List

I recently compiled a huge list of colleges and universities with data science-related degree programs. The compiled list is available on Github as Awesome Data Science Colleges.

I encourage you to contribute to the list if you know of missing programs.

3 Questions When Choosing a Data Science Program

I was honored to write a guest blog post for Master’s in Data Science. The site contains a very detailed list of graduate programs in data science. The post I authored is title:

3 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Data Science Program

Not to ruin the post, but the 3 questions are:

  1. What is my Background?
  2. What are my goals?
  3. Does location matter?

Head on over to Master’s in Data Science to see all the details about why those are 3 important questions.

List of Over 200 Data Science College Programs

My previous list of Colleges with Data Science Degrees has grown very large, and numerous people have requested the ability to sort and/or filter. Thus, I built a new list. It is available at: Data Science Colleges. As far as I know, this is the most comprehensive list of data science programs available. Here are some of the features it offers:

  • Over 200 Programs
  • Certificate, Bachelors, Masters, and Doctorate programs included
  • Sort and Filter Programs
  • US and International
  • Program Name
  • Location
  • Online Programs
  • Ability to download the raw data as CSV or JSON

Yes, you read that last one correctly. All the data is freely available for you. If you do use the data for something, I would love to know and potentially blog about it.

The list will continue to evolve. If you find any broken links or missing programs, please leave a comment. Also, please leave a comment if you can think of ways to improve the list.

$10M for University of Virginia Data Science

The University of Virginia just announced a $10M endowment to support its new Data Science Institute.

The University of Virginia is in the closing stages of creating a Master of Science in Data Science (MSDS) and the eventual goal is to have an undergraduate minor and a Ph.D. program in Data Science. The curriculum for the MSDS contains a nice mix of math, computer science and statistics courses. It even includes coursework in visualization. Also, the program appears to be an entirely new program and not just the renaming of an existing program.

The University of Virginia is definitely taking the correct steps to become a recognized leader in data science education.