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 here.
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.