Presentation of the new Bachelor in Data Science at USI

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Institutional Communication Service

6 December 2023

The new Bachelor in Data Science at Università della Svizzera italiana was presented Tuesday, 5 December. The new course will launch the next academic year (2024-25) and will be jointly taught by the Faculty of Economics and the Faculty of Informatics.

The future needs Data Scientists. In a rapidly evolving context, USI is also adapting its training courses to equip future graduates with the skills to solve increasingly complex problems. The first edition of the course was presented in the afternoon, in the East Campus Lugano Aula polivante, in the presence of Luisa Lambertini, Rector of USI, Lorenzo Cantoni, Vice-Rector for Education and Students' Experience, Ernst-Jan Camiel Wit, Co-Director of the Bachelor in Data Science, Faculty of Informatics and Paul Schneider, Co-Director of the Bachelor in Data Science, Faculty of Economics.

Programme and structure

The programme offers a comprehensive curriculum that allows students to navigate the increasingly data-driven world. With a solid foundation in mathematics, statistics, programming, and data manipulation, graduates will be capable of effectively collecting, analysing, and interpreting large datasets. Moreover, the degree in data science covers machine learning and data modelling techniques, empowering graduates to develop predictive models and derive meaningful insights from complex data. Additionally, the programme includes coursework in data visualisation and ethical considerations, fostering the ability to effectively communicate findings and make ethical decisions in data-driven environments.

For the first three semesters, students follow a mandatory core programme. In the fourth semester, they choose one of the streams in "Informatics" or "Finance & Economics". The two streams will diversify towards more methodological or more applied directions. There will be the possibility of choosing electives in the fifth and sixth semesters.

This B.Sc. degree in data science prepares individuals for diverse career opportunities in industries ranging from finance and engineering to marketing and technology, where data-driven decision-making has become integral to success, as well as further Master's and PhD studies.

"The future will need Data Scientists: in a rapidly evolving context, USI has decided to adapt its educational tracks to equip future graduates with the skills to solve increasingly complex problems," said USI Rector Luisa Lambertini, adding that "this course not only represents an excellent opportunity to acquire fundamental skills in the field of data but also aims to promote diversity and inclusion from its very first edition, offering ample study and career opportunities for women as well."

"This is an exciting opportunity that aligns with the emerging need for new professionalism. It also emphasises the importance of reflecting on scientific, ethical, and aware aspects that will increasingly impact our daily lives.", is the comment of Lorenzo Cantoni, USI Pro-rector for Education and Students' Experience, who added: "It is also a great opportunity for students from Ticino's high schools interested in mathematics and its applications, who will be able to study these fields at USI, as well as for attracting talent from across the Alps, where there is no similar offer at university level".

"Data Science is the new philosophy: it involves data-driven reasoning in any field where uncertainty is involved," commented Ernst-Jan Camiel Wit, Co-Director of the Bachelor in Data Science, Faculty of Informatics.

"With the advent of large language models, such as ChatGPT, it has become increasingly important to focus on the basics and fundamentals for various applications." Said Paul Schneider, Co-Director of the Bachelor in Data Science, Faculty of Economics. "Particularly for the financial market, data science unleashes a high potential that needs to be understood and utilised carefully. Therefore, the Bachelor in Data Science programme at USI is an important step in the right direction, with positive effects for Ticino and Switzerland as a whole."

 

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