University of Helsinki launches MSc programme in Data Science

The University of Helsinki establishes a Master's programme in data science to meet corporate and research needs. Data science is a new field of science for the methods of analysis of various forms of data, and there is a considerable lack of experts in this field. The new programme will start in 2017.

On May 12th, 2016, the Rector of the university has decided to establish a new Master's programme in Data Science.

- The core of the data science Master's programme comprises modern methods of  computer science and statistics for the analysis and management of data collections. These methods include data mining, machine learning, and string algorithms, as well as architectures for infomation management and computation, says Professor Hannu Toivonen, coordinator of the programme.

Data science is often connected with the narrow field of analysis of large bodies of data. The approach is broader at the University of Helsinki, where the complete tool kit for data science is covered.

- The management of large data sets leans on distributed computational environments, and requires the knowledge of distributed systems like cloud services, says the Head of the Department of Computer Science, Sasu Tarkoma.

- Within the data-science programme, the hard core knowledge of data analysis at the Department of Mathematics and Statistics will be combined with the strengths of the Department of Computer Science, data analysis and distributed systems, he continues.

The data-science Master's programme at the University of Helsinki will be multidisciplinary. In addition to computer science and statistics, it will be possible to study data science for e.g. biosciences, physics, or meteorology.

- Thanks to the wide array of minor subjects offered at the University of Helsinki, students may specialise in applying data science within e.g. biology, history, or languages, Toivonen says.

The Master's programme in data science is international. Instruction will be given in English, and foreign students will be accepted to the programme.

- Officially, the new programme will start up in autumn 2017, but it has been possible to specialise in data science at the Department of Computer Science since 2014. Some 75 of the data science students are already from abroad.