College Announces New Data Analytics Major

Sai Atluri '24, Junior Reporter

The College passed its newest major of Data Analytics at the March faculty meeting, a field that professors describe as rapidly evolving.

“We’re going to be focusing on something that I think liberal arts does really well, some of the things we need to think about are the ethical considerations for what you’re doing and what the algorithms are telling us,” said Professor of Mathematics Dick Forrester. “A lot of technical skills are perishable and if you really look, there aren’t really any textbooks on data analytics because the field is changing so fast.”

Because data analytics is such a new and rapidly changing field, Forrester says a liberal arts perspective will be extremely beneficial in the long run because there is always new information to apply to work. 

“You’re going to get the technical skills, but you’re also going to make sure that your lifelong learners and you know how to stay current and learn on your own” said Forrester. “There are not enough people out there who do data science and data analytics, so there’s a huge need for people to process and utilize data.”

The major consists in a total of 13 courses in the fields of math, computer science, data science and philosophy. It also consists of a 3-course sequence in any discipline of the student’s choosing.

Regarding the 3-course sequence, Associate Professor of Computer Science John MacCormick. said “that will give you the ability in your final year to do a project in data analytics that applies data analytics in an interdisciplinary fashion to a specific field in which you have main knowledge.”

Data analytics majors will also be required to complete an experiential learning credit in the form of a research activity or an internship. “This major is not just about sitting in a classroom,” said MacCormick. “This major is about taking your knowledge and applying it in an interdisciplinary fashion by either an internship or research and must be recorded on your transcript.”