Apr 24, 2024  
2020-2021 UMA Catalog 
2020-2021 UMA Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Data Science

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Admissions: 1-877-UMA-1234 ext. 3465 or (207) 621-3465
Advising Center: 1-877-UMA-1234 ext. 3149 or (207) 621-3149
Coordinator: Matthew Dube
Program Website: http://cis.uma.edu/


The emerging field of Data Science is based on the essential skills necessary to perform in a data-centric society. A data scientist is naturally interdisciplinary, applying critical computing skills to an evolving application space in typically outside fields. Topics within data science include statistical analysis, data collection, data transformation, data storage, information theory, digital mapping, and many others. In a general sense, a data scientist is a person who is equipped to extract meaning from data, specializing in both the tools and methodologies that lead to that meaning. Five years ago, a bachelor’s degree in Data Science was nearly non-existent in the world. Now, the field is one of the fastest growing academic specializations, with over 70 programs having sprouted nationwide.

The Data Science degree at UMA is a standalone degree combining a critical core of computing classes with a set of core mathematics classes and a built-in outside concentration to fuel an interdisciplinary perspective. For students who perform highly within the major, a 4+1 articulation agreement exists with the University of Maine School of Computing and Information Science for MS degrees in Information Systems, Spatial Information Science and Engineering, and a future MS Data Science.

According to IBM’s Analytics Department, by the year 2020, job openings for data scientists and advanced analytical roles (specifically) will reach 62,000. This is significant, however, that number represents just 2% of the projected demand for all jobs requiring the skills found in such a major. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer and information research scientist jobs are projected to grow at a 19% rate, much faster than the national average through 2026. Actuarial positions are projected to grow at a 22% rate. Statisticians show projected growth of 34%. Operations research analysts are projected to grow at a 27% rate. The future of data science in industry is clearly strong.

Within Maine, the data science industry is largely a hidden one, embedded within various other job titles and industries. As such, the Data Science major at UMA is designed to prepare students the opportunity to augment data science skills with training in a specific area. Currently, the program includes concentrations in social science and business. As the program evolves, more concentrations will become available, with an option for students to specify their outside specialization in an appropriate manner.

Learning Outcomes:

A data science graduate will be expected to:

  1. Analyze data to identify patterns and trends
  2. Interpret and communicate data within its interdisciplinary context
  3. Develop and apply algorithms and processes
  4. Participate as an active and effective member of various interdisciplinary teams
  5. Engage scholarly literature to stay current with developments in analytics and data storage
  6. Understand and consider the ethical challenges associated with data, including privacy and downstream impacts
  7. Use data sets and variables in a correct and appropriate manner consistent with their limitations, informed not only by data properties, but also their domain of origin


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