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The Path Forward

COVID-19 Plan. Fall 2021 Plan >>

Data Science Generalist Track

Utilize your industry expertise in collaboration with data science specialists to prioritize opportunities provided by big data. Learn how digitization, big data, machine learning and AI are being used in organizations. Your knowledge and perspective will make you an invaluable resource on an applied data science team. 

All students in the MS Applied Data Science/Generalist Track are required to complete 5 common core courses, 4 track-specific courses, and a choice of 3 elective courses.

The four foundational courses for this track have the necessary coverage of statistics and machine learning without the requirement of higher math, and focus on applications to real-world data problems.


Is this the right track for you? Check out the Specialist Track instead.

Curriculum & Schedules

Code Course Name Credit Hours
ADS521 Foundations of Data Science 3

Serving as an introduction course to the ADS program, ADS521 examines the history of data science, its status as a scientific and applied discipline in a modern-day world, and surveys all the important topics covered in the courses in the program and many of their applications to everyday life. Part of the course will also serve as review of mathematics and basic programming knowledge.

ADS522 Data Analytics I 3

ADS522 and ADS533 cover the foundation of statistical analysis of data. While necessary concepts and theory are covered, emphasis is put on the analysis of real-world data. Topics include exploratory data analysis—organizing, displaying and describing data, summarizing data, discrete and continuous distributions, data sampling and hypothesis testing.

ADS523 Data Analytics II 3

Continuing from ADS522, ADS523 covers essential topics in statistics including inference for population statistics from random samples, ANOVA, categorical data analysis, design of experiments and simulation methods such as Bootstrap and permutation test, and an introduction to regression.

ADS525 Machine Learning I 3

ADS525 and ADS526 serve as an introduction to the common themes in data mining and machine learning, covering a wide range of various data problems and their solutions, with focus on hands-on applications instead of theory. ADS525 covers topics including data preprocessing, learning methods such as decision trees, random forest, Naïve Bayes, k-Means, data reduction, shrinkage methods, principle component analysis and discriminant analysis, all with hands-on application utilizing statistical packages and programming languages.

ADS526 Machine Learning II 3

Continuing from ADS525, ADS526 covers additional important data mining methods such as bagging and boosting techniques, neural networks, clustering and ensemble methods.

ADS534 Statistical Modeling 3

This application-focused course focuses on regression analysis including linear, multiple linear and logistic regression models, with detailed discussions of model formulation, model inference, and model interpretation. Programming languages such as a SAS will be utilized.

ADS637 Data Exploration and Visualization 3

This course is an introduction to data visualization. It includes data preprocessing and focuses on specific tools and techniques necessary to visualize complex data. Data visualization topics covered include design principles, perception, color, statistical graphs, maps, trees and networks, data visualization tools, and other topics as appropriate. Visualization tools may include Tableau, Python, and R, etc. The course introduces the techniques necessary to successfully implement
visualization projects using the programming languages studied.

ADS638 Database Systems 3

It is increasingly important for data scientists to understand various database models and their associated data access methods. This course covers both the fundamental concepts of database systems and associated tools. Topics include conceptual data modeling, database design and normalization, database implementation and the use of SQL for data definition, manipulation, and query processing. The course also includes a survey of techniques for handling non-relational data models, massive datasets, and unstructured data, including data warehousing, in-memory databases, NewSQL, NoSQL, and Hadoop.

ADS650 Time Series Analysis 3

Essential to the analysis of economic and financial data, time series analysis has wide applications and can be applied to any data that has been observed over time. This course introduces both the theory and practice of time series analysis, covering classical topics including stationarity, autocorrelation functions, autoregressive moving average models, partial autocorrelation functions, forecasting, seasonal ARIMA models, power spectra, parametric spectral estimation and nonparametric spectral estimation. The analysis of real-life data and hands-on practice will be emphasized throughout the course.

ADS652 Text Mining 3

Mining high-quality information from text has become critical to many industries. Starting from basic natural language processing techniques and document representation, to text categorization and clustering, sentiment analysis and text-based prediction, this course serves as a comprehensive introduction to the topic. Relevant tool-kits will be utilized and case studies from various industries will be examined.

ADS654 Deep Learning 3

Many recent breakthroughs in artificial intelligence have been made possible by deep learning, a branch of machine learning concerned with the development and application of modern neural networks. This is an advanced course that builds upon the knowledge of probability, statistics, linear algebra, optimization and basic neural networks. Topics include convolutional and recurrent network structures, deep unsupervised and reinforcement learning, and applications to problem domains such as speech recognition and computer vision.

ADS670 Case Analysis Capstone 3

This is a project-oriented course at the end of the program. Students will demonstrate their competence in the theory and practice learned from the program through the whole process of a complex data analysis project, including data collection, exploration, preparation, analysis, interpretation and presentation. The project can be either relevant to students’ experience or aspired filed, accompanied by a final essay in which students reflect upon the goals of the program and their personal goals, demonstrate how they met these goals, and what work supports their arguments.