Notre Dame announces collaboration with AT&T for online master’s degree in data science

Author: Sue Ryan

University of Notre Dame

In a data-driven economy, industry leaders rely increasingly on skilled professionals who can see the significance in data and use it to solve business challenges, create new opportunities, and shape change. With a growing need for skilled data scientists, the University of Notre Dame, in collaboration with AT&T, has announced its new online master of science degree with a specialization in data science.

Offered by the Department of Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics, with the collaboration of the Department of Psychology, the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, and the Mendoza College of Business, this degree program will prepare graduates for careers as data scientists in a wide range of industry fields fields including management, marketing, information technology, government policy, health care, finance, education, and scientific research.

The 21-month degree program, offered at half-time pace to fit the schedule of working professionals, features the flexibility of online learning, small classes led by Notre Dame faculty, and exclusive in-person weekend immersions with faculty, industry experts, and thought leaders at Notre Dame and in Silicon Valley.

Ying Alison Cheng 2015 Ying Cheng

Ying (Alison) Cheng, a Notre Dame associate professor of psychology, has been leading the design and development of a web-based assessment to help candidates interested in the program self-evaluate their readiness and fit. Working with colleages across campus, Cheng designed the assessment to test linear algebra, calculus, and programming skills. The programming test can be taken in C++, Java, Python, or R.

"Upon completion of each test, the candidate will receive feedback on their performance in terms of skills that will be important to their success in the data science program," Cheng said. "It is therefore a great tool for candidates to self-evaluate their readiness and fit. Additional learning materials are also provided to help them better prepare for entering the program. I am very glad to be able to apply my expertise and experience in this process to help advance Notre Dame's online data science program."

AT&T and Notre Dame have agreed to an ongoing collaboration around this degree. AT&T’s insights will inform the curriculum, which is oriented toward real-world projects, cases, and emerging challenges. AT&T experts and thought leaders will provide exclusive insights to program students. Current AT&T employees will also be eligible for discounted tuition and other benefits.

In addition to essential foundation courses in statistics, mathematics, and computer science, the multidisciplinary curriculum will also feature data science ethics, storytelling, and communications; data science as a business process; behavioral data science; case studies; and practical applications drawn from industry. The program is being designed by a number of Notre Dame’s leading professors.

“A graduate of this new program will be equipped with the academic training, analytical insight, imagination, and practical skills necessary for success as a data scientist,” said Elliott Visconsi, Notre Dame’s chief academic digital officer. “Graduates will have the flexibility of mind to master new data science processes, tools, and strategies as they emerge, and the ability to communicate effectively and act ethically in this exciting and fast-moving field.”

“Every technology going forward must factor in software and data analytics—whether it’s 5G networks, internet of things, artificial intelligence, or any of today’s numerous industry drivers,” said John Donovan, AT&T’s chief strategy officer and group president, Technology and Operations. “AT&T is proud to collaborate with Notre Dame on this innovative online degree program to skill the next generation of data scientists.”

Mary Galvin, Warren Foundation Dean of the College of Science at Notre Dame, described the program as part of the University’s broader academic commitment: “Shaped by Notre Dame’s mission to be a force for good in the world, our program launches skilled graduates into the data science careers of the future.”

More information on the program can be found at Students from all academic backgrounds can apply for the program now. First classes begin in August 2017.

Originally published at