Data Science

Our world generates huge amounts of data - numbers, words, measurements and observations - that describe what’s happening in our lives, our organizations and our society. Translating that data into useful information is the work of data science, one of the world’s fastest-growing professions.

Program Snapshot

Program Type Format Credit Hours
Major, Minor On-campus 120 (16 for minor)

Why Study Data Science at Wilkes?

Data Science draws on expertise from multiple disciplines. At Wilkes, not only will you get a solid foundation of knowledge in the state-of-the-art practices, algorithms and visualizations that underlie the field, you'll also have the opportunity to partner with students and faculty from other departments to get first-hand experience solving problems in business, science, the humanities, or a field of your interest.

Additionally, you'll have access to resources capable of tackling even the most demanding computational problems. The Wilkes Accelerated Research Learning and Outreach Cluster, WARLOC for short, offers outstanding computing power and data analysis capabilities at scale. You can be part of a team of students who conduct research with one of the most powerful academic supercomputing clusters in the region.

What Will You Learn as a Data Science Major?

  • A blend of foundational computer science and data analytics courses provide a strong base of theoretical and practical knowledge you'll use every day.
  • Advanced discipline-specific coursework such as machine learning and artificial intelligence builds on what you've learned, taking your data science expertise to the next level.
  • In semester-long practicums, students build, deploy, monitor and operationalize end-to-end machine learning pipelines using real-world data to put theory and concepts into action.
  • Pre-approved data-aware electives from other departments allow you to develop knowledge in a specific external domain. For example, if you're passionate about using your skills to support our planet, you can take an environmental science course in global climate change and modeling.
  • A senior capstone brings it all together. You'll have the opportunity to leverage everything you've learned as you work on a project team under the direction of a faculty member solving actual problems.

Interested in this program?

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The Wilkes WARLOC Supercomputer is the only one of its kind in the region.

The Wilkes Accelerated Research Learning and Outreach Cluster — WARLOC, for short — is the region’s largest supercomputer. It allows faculty and students to perform high-caliber research on the most demanding computational problems, including:

  • Climate change and landslide prediction
  • Genomic analysis
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Drug design
  • Short story generation
  • Nanotechnology
  • Medical device design
  • Protein folding
  • Quantum computing

The National Science Foundation granted Wilkes $486,000 to build the complete system. Wilkes is the only institution of higher learning in the region with such advanced computational facilities. WARLOC contains a wide variety of specialized components that allow it to solve a variety of problems. These include:

  • State-of-the art GPUs that can be used for computational physics or artificial intelligence
  • Large memory nodes that can load more than a terabyte of data into memory at a time
  • Over 300 terabytes of storage for incredibly large datasets

Faculty Spotlight

Dr. Ghazaleh Taherzadeh

Assistant Professor

Prior to joining Wilkes, Dr. Taherzadeh worked as a postdoctoral research scholar at the University of Maryland’s Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnical Research. Her research is focused on data mining, artificial intelligence and pattern recognition as well as bioinformatics and computational biology, with emphasis on antibodies and protein function prediction.

Dr. Taherzadeh earned a Doctor of Philosophy in computer science from Griffith University in Australia, a Master of Science in computer science with a major in artificial intelligence from the University of Malaya and a Bachelor of Science in software engineering from Multi Media University in Malaysia.

Careers & Outcomes

Data Science is a rapidly growing field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of data scientists is projected to increase by 36% from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations. The roles below are just a sample of the types of careers you can prepare for with a Data Science degree.

  • Data Scientist
  • Data Analyst
  • Machine Learning Engineer
  • Business Analyst
  • Marketing Analyst
  • Data Architect
  • Data & Analytics Manager
  • Business Intelligence Analyst
  • Data Mining Specialist
  • Statistician
  • Database Administrator
  • Database Developer