In the past decade, global data and information witnessed explosive growth. The appearances of IoT, Cloud Computing, Mobile Phones, PC, Laptops, and a variety of sensor networks have contributed to the amassment of data and the current era of big data, from which mining knowledge is a great challenge. The big data and data engineering services market is expected to grow from USD 34.47 billion in 2018 to USD 77.37 billion by 2023, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 17.6% during the forecast period. In this big data economy, the major concern is not about how to find data, but how to make use of and apply data appropriately.
Nowadays, due to the fierce market environment, companies in various industries urgently need to find new business opportunities from the data assets that are growing exponentially. However, with further technological development, data-literate talents are in short supply. McKinsey & Company's research estimated that by 2018, the United States may face a gap of about 140,000 to 190,000 in terms of "talents with in-depth analysis capabilities", while the gap of "managers or analysts who can apply big data analysis to make effective decisions" will reach 1.5 million. Data science is known to be one of the most promising careers as the global demand for outstanding graduates in data science is high and urgent.
Data in the 21st century will become the next great strategic resource. In November 2015, the Chinese government put forward the "National Big Data Strategy" at the 5th Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee. This is the first time that big data has been written into the party's plenary resolution, marking the official rise of the big data strategy into a national strategy. Moreover, the employment scope of data science graduates is much broader than that of computer or pure mathematics students. On the one hand, a large number of graduates can enter the IT industry to engage in big data jobs, such as those at Facebook, Amazon, or China's Internet companies, such as Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent. On the other hand, with the rapid growth of data in traditional industries - for example with credit card payment records, customer consumption data, real-time surveillance video data, etc. - these industries also show a great demand for data analysis talents.
As a result, the establishment of the Data Science major in our school is in line with the economic development needs of our time. It is a response to the market economy and the national innovation-driven development strategy. This Data Science major trains students to have a solid comprehensive knowledge of data science and big data. It provides students with a solid background in mathematics, statistics, and computer science. It prepares students to be able for interdisciplinary research and to be able to engage in big data-related research or development positions. Graduates can take up job positions in IT companies or in traditional industries, and they can also continue their studies in many related fields such as big data, computer science, and statistics.
The Data Science Programme was established in 2017. It is a cutting-edge cross-discipline programme that takes advantage of its internationally prepared teaching staff. UIC is one of the second batch of universities in China to offer this major.
The Data Science major is a four-year programme. To support its teaching, it uses the latest and most renown textbooks in use worldwide today. The core courses of the programme including: Foundations of C Programming, Data Structure and Algorithm, Object-oriented Programming, Database Management System, Design and Analysis of Algorithms, Neural Networks and Deep Learning, Advanced Mathematics for Data Science, Data Processing Workshop I, Data Processing Workshop II, Final Year Project I (DS), Machine Learning, Linear Algebra, Calculus, Advanced Calculus, Discrete Structure, Optimization, Advanced Statistics, Regression Analysis, Data Mining, Computer Organization, Data Communications and Networking, Operating Systems, Software Engineering, Introduction to Robotics, Numerical Computation, Digital Logic Design, Technical Communication, Text Mining and Analytics, Introduction to Bioinformatics, Social Computing, Introduction to Data Visualization, Big Data Analytics, Introduction to Recommender System, Multivariate Analysis, Sampling Survey, Categorical Data Analysis, Time Series Analysis, Experimental Design.
Graduates will master the basic knowledge in big data science such as multi-dimensional analysis, large-scale and distributed data storage technologies, and network data collection. They are proficient in the methods of data pre-processing and data mining and confident with professional application software and programming languages. They possess data modeling capabilities and can generate data visualizations. Graduates of this major will become versatile professionals who can engage in positions in data management, artificial intelligence innovation, and research and development. They can research for both commercial companies or research departments of universities or government.
Excellent science students who have a solid foundation in mathematics and excellent English language skills. They possess high analytical and communication skills and meet the academic requirements for admission.