All data science master’s students are required to take a practicum course where they will work with local industries on real-world analytics projects using data provided by sponsoring organizations. Practicum students work in small teams throughout the semester to:
- Understand the business problem
- Clean and analyze the data
- Devise a solution
Students also explore ethical issues related to the use of data science.
You can view descriptions of recent practicum projects, news articles, and testimonials on the capstone projects website.
During a semester-long course, students are organized in teams of three to four, and follow this timeline:
Weeks one and two: Students learn about project management, data science lifecycle, and data visualization, and review data cleaning.
Weeks three and four: Local companies and other organizations present their projects to students. Students are assigned to projects based on their preferences and individual skills.
Weeks five through ten: Students work on their project, directly communicating weekly or biweekly with company sponsors.
Weeks eleven and twelve: Students give final presentations and write up final reports. Final versions of software code developed are archived and submitted to the sponsoring companies as deliverables.
For a detailed look at what the practicum course entails check out ‘Real world’ data science projects benefit sponsors, students.