UTS Master of Data Science & Innovation (MDSI) Information Video
5 minutes 04 sec
Speaker: What’s unique about the course, first and foremost, is that student engage with data science and innovation, so looking at those two things together is something that makes us a pretty special program. We were the first in Australia to tackle both those aspects and put them together.
New speaker: I think an important aspect of data science that people don’t realise is that there is a creative element to it. Data doesn’t speak for itself, you have to bring your own perspective to it, and you can shape the story that you tell, and that story, how it’s shaped, doesn’t reside in the data itself. It resides in how you think about the data – your background, your ethics, your values, and these are kinds of things that are becoming ever more important in the present day world.
New speaker: The teaching style is very interactive in our course. It’s a participatory approach that we take, so we expect our students to be very active, not just in the classrooms but in the times in between class sessions. It’s a blended mode of delivery, so we will be working with students in very active activities when they’re on campus, but then also looking to get them to be working with one another on their visits to the university, as well as in the spaces in between.
New speaker: The kinds of things we teach in this course are the technical aspects, obviously – algorithms and so forth – but we also focus on teaching students that data doesn’t speak for itself: it has to be given a voice. And data can be seen in many different ways, so we encourage students to look at data in different ways. What we teach in our technical classes today could well be out of date in 5-6 years. The important thing that people need to learn is how to learn, and that’s one thing we really try very really hard to do in the MDSI, is to prepare our students to be lifelong learners.
New Speaker: Our students are not expected to come on campus every week, we use online content as a way of helping our students to actually carry on working. The majority of our students enrol in our program as part-time students and that’s because they are working in fairly demanding jobs and we appreciate that and recognise that if they are going to come on campus, we want it to be for meaningful purpose. So when we have a program scheduled on campus we want our students to be actively engaged, and then in the period in between those on campus sessions we are finding ways to help our students to work online independently but also collaboratively.
New speaker: We have a deep engagement with industry in our program – it’s another one of the drawcards that I think a lot of students say attracts them to the program at the beginning, and it’s how we connect the theory to the practice of data science and innovation. Our connections to industry have helped us to shape the curriculum; we also look to industry to help us to deliver the curriculum. There are two parts of the curriculum that are very specifically targeted at giving students semester-long engagement with a real-life industry challenge. In addition to that, we’ve been crafting a number of opportunities in, as internships, so that our students have an opportunity to actually sit within an organisation and experience data science practice in a real-life day-to-day context that takes you completely beyond the sort of thing that you would do in the classroom.
So what we’re really looking for in our students is a commitment, a desire to be able to develop some of the technical capacities but also a passion and a sense of curiosity that they will be able to take into whatever new challenges they face. We want them to be passionate, we want – we look for students who are self-motivated, self-driven, have an interest in digging deeper into some of the questions that are an important part of the data science and the innovation space at the moment.
New speaker: Most people come to this program with a professional background, so they already have their own interests and a good sense of what they’re interested in. The nice thing about the MDSI program is that it’s transdisciplinary, so we teach a lot of different things, not just the technical stuff, and then we open up students the option to do four electives, which are drawn from faculties right across UTS, so business, law, engineering, and they can then build on their interest but also integrate it with what they’re taught in the program.
New speaker: One of the particular strengths of our students that industry has flagged is their capacity to communicate the significance of data – to be able to locate findings that they’re reporting within the context of an organisation’s needs, an organisation’s strategy and plans. So that reminds us that it’s not just enough to know what to do with data, but you have to be able to explain its significance and explain its meaning.