Dynamic Data Science programs in a smart city


When you think of Miami, you think of white sand beaches, blue waters, and warm climates.

Today, it is also one of the main technology hubs in the United States. Concrete example: the new interactive “IKE” touchscreen kiosks are installed at strategic locations in the city.

“We are delighted to partner with the city of Miami, one of the most innovative and fastest growing cities in the country. IKE will further activate the pedestrian experience while reducing the digital divide through expanded connectivity and equal access to information, ”said Pete Scantland, CEO of IKE Smart City.

With this latest addition of kiosks, Michael Sarasti – CIO, as well as the director of innovation and technology, for the city of Miami – believes that it is “much easier to advocate for decision making based on data because Miami wants to be a smart city. “

The future is in data science

Indeed, the University of Miami has long recognized that technology, innovation and advancement have been and always will be a large part of the future of the city of Miami. The Institute for Data Science and Computing (IDSC) was originally the Center for Computational Science built in 2007 to serve as a center for high performance computing and software engineering.

Aerial view of the city of Miami. Source: University of Miami

Now, with the recent US $ 12 million endowment of the Knight Foundation and Philip and Patricia Frost, IDSC can establish its endowed faculty chairs to recruit innovators and thought leaders – made more attractive by the University of Miami research computing infrastructure that is not offered at any other academic institution. In this way, they can help cement the city of Miami as an international technology hub.

“As the University of Miami embraces this turning point in the evolution of technology – by catalyzing data-intensive research to solve pressing societal problems – it will allow us to go further and to go faster. Said Jeffrey L. Duerk, executive vice president of the university. for academic affairs and provost. “While the internet has fueled the latest technological revolution, data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence will lead to the next. “

About 5,400 new data science jobs are expected to be created over the next 10 years, and employment for data and information research scientists is expected to increase 19% by 2026, faster than average other professions. No wonder the demand for technical talent is now on the rise in Miami – and what could be better than studying at the University of Miami, the region’s leader in research.

The fact that Miami is committed to becoming a smart city and allowing a lot of startups to locate there should also be a big incentive to embark on the University of Miami project. Master in Data Science (MSDS) offered by the College of Arts and Sciences in partnership with IDSC, currently in its second year.

Courses and program components

Supercomputer bearing the logo of the University of Miami. Source: University of Miami

The interdisciplinary program consists of core courses, courses in data science tools, courses in data science applications, and an internship or synthesis project. Thirty credits of graduate courses must also be completed to graduate; the advisor must approve the student’s choice of course.

“This is a very personalized program, where students can focus on their areas of interest and work at their own pace,” says Mitsu Ogihara, professor of computer science, site director at the University of Miami. CARTA (UM CARTA) of the National Science Foundation. and Director of Workforce Development and Education at IDSC.

Students in the MSDS program can choose from six different focus areas in applied fields. For example, the last two – proposed in 2022 – are education and marketing measurement and statistics (strategic branding, market research and consumer behavior). Smart cities will be suitable for those interested in urban planning and design and sustainable built environments; Data visualization is more for those who enjoy intelligence analysis and visual journalism.

As part of their experiential learning opportunities, students can participate in internships – in GameChangerTec, Safe Esteem, SilverLogic, among other prestigious organizations – with the help of IDSC and the Toppel Career Center. from the University of Miami. They can also enroll with IDSC’s partner, the IBM Skills Academy, which will provide university students with recognized credentials (digital badges) under the guidance of IBM certified instructors.

Diversified courses as part of personalized learning

Jeronimo Pissinis, a current student from Argentina, believes this program has taught him many essential skills, including creating and applying machine learning models, evaluating statistical learning models, and debugging code. .

“I also like the diversity of the courses offered which allow me to explore different areas and tailor the program to my own interests,” adds Pissinis. He also notes that the faculty and staff “have always been very accessible and helpful.”

“My most memorable course – Geographic Information Systems – is about the hands-on experience that is so invaluable, and there were plenty of opportunities to develop new skills. I was also able to use knowledge from other courses, which I found very useful,Cate Morenzoni, another current student, is enthusiastic.

The program will welcome another cohort of 25 students in the fall and hopes to increase enrollment in 2022 by offering tuition waivers. For students wishing to join this program, click on here.

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