By Gianluca Reali, Ph.D Associate Professor, Università degli Studi di Perugia, Dipartimento di Ingegneria- Italy
– February 4, 2017.
The University of Perugia, in Italy, has strengthened its academic offer in the field of Data Science. In addition to the existing Computer Engineering graduate program, specialized in Data Science, the Department of Engineering has launched a new post-graduate Master program, also in Data Science – masterds.unig.it.
This program is strongly oriented to the industry needs. Indeed, it is sponsored by both large enterprises, such as Engineering spa – www.eng.it – and IBM Italia spa – www.ibm.com/it-it/ – and an SME named Transport Planning Service srl – www.tpsitalia.it.
This Master program at the University of Perugia has also been selected as champion by the EU co-funded project EDISON (http://edison-project.eu/), which aims at establishing a reference model for training young data scientists, and inspires to the EDISON Body of Knowledge and Model Curriculum.
“The growing pressure of companies, that require well focused competences in this exciting field by young graduates, has inspired this new ambitious program. The traditional academic programs fall short in suitably addressing the qualification requested by companies for young data scientists” said prof. Gianluca Reali, Director of the Master program, “and for this reason we have gathered open-minded graduates, expert in technical disciplines, but with background rather heterogeneous, such as Statistics, Economics, Engineering, Computer Science, Mathematics and Physics. Our purpose is to break cultural barriers between these disciplines and leverage their cross-fertilization.
This aim is pursued by a teaching staff made of professors and researchers selected in different university departments, other international lecturers from the Goethe University of Frankfurt and from the University of Amsterdam, and experts from the collaborating companies.
This team is believed capable of training students for obtaining the best competitive advantages in different socio-economic sectors, such as trade, financial services, healthcare, energy, telecommunications, web, social media, manufacturing, business management and strategic consulting”.
The organization of the programs begins with some basic courses that aim to align the student competences in terms of statistics and programming skills. Step by steps students are accompanied in the world of big data, through the implementation and usage of distributed computing platforms, by using both commercial and open-source packages.
After that, students are trained in the extraction of insightful contents from big data sets, are challenged with real data science problems, and are introduced in the usage of these data for business purposes.
The duration of the program is one year. Theoretical and laboratory courses are suitably complemented by traineeship in companies, where the student will have the opportunity to face challenging situations in operation and get domain expertise.