IIT Master of Data Science Program Now Available Online; Partners with Orbitz

by Patty Cronin
April 22, 2015

Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) will make its Master of Data Science program available online starting in fall 2015.

Unlike many business or liberal arts school programs, which teach students how to answer well-defined questions, IIT’s Master of Data Science program teaches students how to analyze data like a scientist and creatively uncover value hidden in data.

Working professionals will now be able to earn the Master of Data Science online, either part-time or full-time. IIT made this change in response to requests it has received from prospective students and industry leaders since the program was launched in June 2013.

“Although the Master of Data Science is successful among traditional students, we’ve discovered that working professionals are very interested in our program but need the flexibility of online classes,” said Shlomo Engelson Argamon, professor of computer science and director of the program. “This change will allow more people to earn the degree.”

Data scientists are in increasingly high demand. As the volume of data increases, more organizations are hiring data scientists to help them make sense of their data and identify opportunities. In 2011, McKinsey predicted a shortage of 190,000 of these professionals by 2018; currently, according to Glassdoor, the average salary for data scientists is over $118,000 per year.

IIT, one of the Midwest’s top science and engineering universities, offers the interdisciplinary Master of Data Science program to produce mathematically and computationally sophisticated data scientists. Students acquire a deep and broad knowledge of theoretical principles of machine learning, statistics, high-performance computing, and data engineering, as well as the practical skills to apply them. They become effective communicators. They also learn how to maintain ethical principles in complex and dynamic professional situations. Students integrate this knowledge through a real-world data science practicum, working with leading companies and researchers in the Chicago area. By focusing on teaching fundamental principles and methods in the context of a variety of business, scientific, and other applications, the program offers students a firm foundation for their long-term professional growth.

Courses are taught by professors in the departments of applied mathematics and computer science who are internationally known for their research and scholarship. A seminar series brings in additional outstanding researchers and practitioners. To learn more, visit http://science.iit.edu/programs/graduate/master-data-science.

In addition, the IIT Master of Data Science program has established a partnership with Orbitz Worldwide (NYSE: OWW), a global online travel company, to give students the opportunity to work on real-world data science problems. Students will work with Orbitz as part of their practicum at the end of the program, applying theory learned in the classroom in projects that may ultimately offer new and actionable business insights.

“We are excited to join with a company of Orbitz’s caliber and technological sophistication to help our students take their experience to the next level,” said Argamon. “This is a company that is growing exponentially and generating vast quantities of data every day. It’s a great learning opportunity for our students, who will work on cutting edge data science problems with real impact.”

Wai Gen Yee, chief scientist at Orbitz, agreed, saying, “We see this as an opportunity to work with some of the top students in the area and contribute to the growth of the field as a whole.”

Headquartered in Chicago, Orbitz Worldwide uses innovative technology to enable leisure and business travelers to search for, plan and book a broad range of travel products and services including airline tickets, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and vacation packages. The travel company generates more than $12 billion in annual bookings and owns a broad portfolio of consumer and business-to-business brands. 

About Illinois Institute of Technology

Illinois Institute of Technology, also known as Illinois Tech, is a private, technology-focused research university offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering, science, architecture, business, design, human sciences, applied technology, and law. One of 22 institutions that comprise the Association of Independent Technological Universities (AITU), Illinois Tech offers exceptional preparation for professions that require technological sophistication, an innovative mindset, and an entrepreneurial spirit.

About Orbitz Worldwide

Orbitz Worldwide (NYSE: OWW) is a global online travel company using technology to transform the way consumers around the world plan and purchase travel. Orbitz Worldwide operates the consumer travel planning sites Orbitz (orbitz.com), ebookers (ebookers.com), HotelClub (hotelclub.com) and CheapTickets (cheaptickets.com). Also within the Orbitz Worldwide family, Orbitz Partner Network (orbitzpartnernetwork.com) delivers private label travel technology solutions to a broad range of partners including some of the world’s largest airlines, bank loyalty programs and travel agencies, and Orbitz for Business (orbitzforbusiness.com) delivers managed travel solutions for companies of all sizes. Orbitz Worldwide makes investor relations information available at investors.orbitz.com.



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