Data Science program collaborates with GE Digital for research

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Kennesaw State has announced a research collaboration with GE Digital to provide students in the Ph.D. Analytics and Data Science program the opportunity to explore advanced data science technologies.

Jennifer Priestley, associate dean of the Graduate College and executive director of KSU’s Analytics and Data Science Institute, said the collaboration and the grant that comes with it will allow students to research data-centric questions.

“Collaborative, practical research is the foundation of our Ph.D. program in Analytics and Data Science,” Priestley said in a press release. “Our students are working with real data, to solve real problems. They are trained in theory, but applying those concepts to real business challenges is the hallmark of the 21st century Ph.D. degree.”

The Ph.D. in Analytics and Data Science was introduced in 2013 and launched in 2015. Over the few years it has been active, the number of applicants has almost tripled. There are only five funded positions each year, which includes the students and teachers who will work as a group to find solutions the private sector has provided them.

“Kennesaw State University is the first in the country to offer a Ph.D. in Analytics and Data Science,” Priestley said. “The program sits at theory and practical applications, so students must take a series of intensive courses and have at least one-year of experience or practicum.”

The Analytics and Data Science program opened the Equifax Data Science Research Lab at earlier this year. Equifax Inc. provided the program with a grant to enable graduates and instructors to find solutions to research large questions, like “diversifying and democratizing access to credit around the world,” as Priestly said.

Priestly noted that more than 50 percent of people in the United States who secure a Ph.D. go into the private sector, and many of these ultimately work in research and development for companies like GE Digital or Equifax. Students will begin working on the research collaboration this fall.

Only students with a master’s degree can apply to the program, and these usually come from the computational disciplines, but may also include finance, epidemiology and engineering degrees.

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