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Data Science

Improving how the world uses data to make decisions

A flock of birds flying in the foreground with windmills in the background
Statistician Lisa Madsen and collaborators help estimate the total mortality of birds and bats at wind farms to make green energy safer for wildlife.

With demand for data scientists projected to grow 34% between 2014-24, the ability to produce useful insights from complex data has never been in greater demand. The College of Science employs some of the best and brightest minds in mathematics, statistics and bioinformatics to meet the growing need for strong quantitative data science and reasoning skills in an increasingly data-driven era. We produce interdisciplinary analytical thinkers and capable data scientists who analyze large high-dimensional data sets to address complex interdisciplinary problems.

Data science tackles today’s toughest challenges

The need for data-driven scientific conclusions, decision-making and performance assessment is accelerating a worldwide call for experts in data science. From more accurate models of climate change to disease contagion and prevention, from personalized medicine to precision agriculture, data science is fomenting breakthroughs and shaping new thinking across a wide range of research topics in the College.

Today’s large data sets require major transformations in tools, techniques and methods and most importantly, in the application of scientific principles to data generation and interpretation.

Interdisciplinary collaborations deliver new insights that drive decisions and discovery

Summer research opportunities offer on-the-job training for undergraduate students interested in data science. They gain valuable advanced data analytics skills that they can apply to many interdisciplinary science research projects.

“The need to train community members in data science has never been more essential. Data science skills are critical for all students, not just those in STEM.”
Professor of Statistics James Molyneux brings numbers alive in his statistics classes, with real-world problems and computational and graphical reasoning tools accessible to all students.
“Marine, earth and atmospheric studies of tectonics, ocean acidification and clouds, through the use of massive data collection and search algorithms are helping us to understand the pace and consequences of climate change.”
Ed Ray President, Oregon State University

Data scientists are in high demand.

  • “The fastest-growing jobs today are in data science,” Forbes, 2017
  • Data scientist called “Best Job in America for 2018,” Glassdoor

Students with experience in data science are in high demand across almost all sectors, from private and non-profit companies to government agencies and academia. Data science is transforming knowledge and practice across all fields of science and beyond, from biology to chemistry, health to resource management, marketing and business development, emergency preparedness, actuarial science and more.

Fueled by big data and AI, demand for data science skills is growing exponentially, according to many job sites. However, the supply of skilled applicants is growing at a slower pace. A January 2019 report from Indeed, one of the top job search websites in the nation, showed a 29% increase in demand for data scientists year over year and a 344% increase since 2013.