Mines News

Release Date Monday, July 18, 2022

South Dakota Mines Offers New Undergraduate Specialization and Doctorate in Data Science and Engineering

Dr. Kyle Caudle works out a math problem on a whiteboard with two Mines graduate students. Mines new doctoral program in data science and engineering will offer students a chance to excel in a wide variety of STEM fields.

South Dakota Mines will offer a new specialization in data science for math majors and a new Ph.D. in data science and engineering starting in the fall of 2022. The South Dakota Board of Regents approved Mines proposal to add a doctoral degree in May and the new undergraduate specialization in data science in June.

Data science and engineering cross every discipline at Mines and have become a fundamental component in the advancement of all STEM fields. It’s also crucial for business, financial, social, political, and military analytics and decision-making.

Data is virtually everywhere in the modern world. It’s in the factory robots that build cars. It’s in the way water flows through an aquifer. It’s in the fluctuations of the cattle market in relation to commodity price changes. It’s in the frequency of floods and extreme weather events. Mines is educating top-tier experts in data science and engineering who will make vital advancements across multiple sectors of industry, government and academia. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ranks data scientist number 29 among the fastest growing occupations with a growth rate of 31%.

“Industry 4.0, the fourth industrial revolution, is based on data,” says Jeff McGough, Ph.D., professor and head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Mines. “It will be driven by data science, machine learning, and AI. The ability to gather and understand vast amounts of data is critical. We will be training the architects of Industry 4.0 and bringing these high-tech industries to South Dakota.”

Data science 2The new undergraduate specialization is led by the Department of Mathematics at Mines. Roughly 12% of Mines mathematics graduates pursue careers in data sciences, taking on positions with companies including Boeing, Cyentia Institute, RARE Science, United Airlines, Xcel and many more. The mathematics department at Mines offers robust instruction in applied and computational mathematics and works closely with faculty in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science to provide students with strong undergraduate preparation in the field of data science.

“In an age of ever-increasing connectivity, networking, and data collection, we are inundated by data,” says Travis Kowalski, Ph.D., professor and head of the Department of Mathematics at Mines. According to Domo, in 2017 roughly 2.5 quintillion bytes of data were created every day, and by 2020 there were 40 times more bytes of data than stars in the observable universe. “Consequently, there is a critical need across disciplines and industries for trained mathematicians to effectively analyze and process this tsunami of information,” Kowalski says.

The new Ph.D. in data science and engineering is a collaboration of the departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Industrial Engineering, and Mathematics. The new doctorate in data science and engineering will have a direct benefit in South Dakota as a wide range of state-based industry relies on data analysis and processing. This includes companies like Raven, Black Hills Energy, Sanford Health, the Sanford Underground Research Facility and many more. Furthermore, Mines doctoral students in data science and engineering can make immediate contributions to industry and governmental research teams as part of their own studies and thesis.

The new doctorate in data science and engineering at Mines complements the world-class computer science and engineering education the university offers students. Mines’ robust curriculum is on par with other top universities in the nation and includes hands-on research that turns out industry leaders in computer science, computer engineering, cybersecurity, machine learning and artificial intelligence, data visualization and data learning.  

 

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About South Dakota Mines  

Founded in 1885, South Dakota Mines is one of the nation’s leading engineering, science and technology universities. South Dakota Mines offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and a best-in-class education at an affordable price. The university enrolls 2,418 students with an average class size of 24. The South Dakota Mines placement rate for graduates is 97 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $68,685. For these reasons  South Dakota Mines is ranked among the best engineering schools in the country for return on investment. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu and on FacebookTwitter, LinkedInInstagram and Snapchat.

Contact: Mike Ray, 605-394-6082, mike.ray@sdsmt.edu