“Data Mind” for Purdue Engineers

The College of Engineering (CoE) is launching a new initiative in Data Science and Engineering, focused on enhancing existing efforts in research and education, as well as launching new programs, in data science and its interface with engineering. This initiative follows the university-wide goal of establishing Purdue as a leader in the broadly construed field of data science. Since August 2017, a CoE committee representing the broad-based interests of the College has been exploring opportunities to advance our strategic agenda in Data Science in both education and research.

On the research front, Purdue Engineering already has deep expertise in the foundations of data science, including high performance computing, data visualization, signal processing, and machine learning. There are opportunities to reinforce and advance fundamentals. In addition, Purdue Engineering excels at data science driven applications, including next generation manufacturing, advanced materials, biomedical imaging, infrastructure monitoring, autonomy, (human) learning analytics and digital agriculture.

On the education front, one of the exciting programs that the College is pioneering is called “Data Mind for Purdue Engineers.” The goal of Data Mind is for every Purdue engineer, starting with the Class of 2020, to graduate with exposure to at least some of the three elements of Data Science: Foundations, Implementation, and Applications. Because every student’s needs and goals for data science knowledge is different, the key to Data Mind is Stackable Ones — one credit hour courses focusing on the three elements that can be “stacked” to create a custom data-science curriculum. These courses will be offered online too. Students can also satisfy the “Data Mind” requirement by taking existing courses in their major that cover any of the three elements. A full list of such courses will be announced soon. Additional opportunities are also being explored for undergraduate and graduate students who want to pursue more in-depth studies.

The design of the Stackable Ones is being led by a multidisciplinary team in the College, with input from the various schools, to design modules appropriate for students in every area of engineering. A pilot Stackable One, covering Data Science Implementation, was offered in Spring 2018. This course, appropriate for all College of Engineering sophomores, was taught by award-winning professors. Students can register for this one credit-hour course: “ECE 295: Introduction to Data Science.”