Newswise — New York University has launched an undergraduate major in data science—a degree that will train students to deploy a cutting-edge computational approach in understanding and addressing a range of phenomena in the areas of human health, city planning, and consumer behavior.

The major, conferred by NYU’s College of Arts and Science (CAS) and featuring new courses designed and taught by NYU’s Center for Data Science (CDS), as well as courses offered by the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, will not only concentrate on skill-building in computational applications and database management, but also embed scientific frameworks to enhance the pursuit of new knowledge and robust discovery. In addition, the curriculum will include components on ethics and privacy as they pertain to data collection. 

“The data science curriculum takes advantage of the rich liberal arts disciplines taught by our faculty,” says CAS Dean Gene Jarrett. “It is not limited to courses in data science, mathematics, and computer science; rather, it prioritizes interdisciplinarity, with a course on data ethics and a requirement that students complete a minor degree in any of the 60 minors that exist in the College.” 

“Undergraduates will benefit from the Center for Data Science’s deep reserve of faculty in the field, whose expertise stretches from machine learning and artificial intelligence to psychology and linguistics, as well as quantitative methods in social science,” adds CDS Director Julia Kempe. 

Graduates of CDS’s master’s degree program, established in 2013, have gone on to work as business, data, and healthcare analysts as well as software, machine-learning, and research engineers in companies such as Apple, Facebook, Amazon, eBay, IBM, Pinterest, JP Morgan, TripAdvisor, and AIG.

Recently, CDS has been awarded a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation under NSF’s Research Trainee program. Under the award, CDS will train graduate students in the field of data science using means that break down the siloed curricula of individual fields and instill a cross-disciplinary approach that also considers the ethical implications of these methods.

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