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DePaul U Opens New Center for Predictive Analytics with Help from IBM

DePaul University has opened a new master of science program focused on predictive analytics, a set of disciplines used in healthcare, financial services, and a number of other industries to predict future events based on pattern recognition in large data sets. Opening in September 2010, the new Center for Data Mining and Predictive Analytics is an applied research center that focuses on the applications of data mining. The venture will involve faculty from the School of Computing and the Department of Marketing to bridge technology and business. Students in the predictive analytics masters program will be able to choose from a curriculum of about 30 courses.

The Chicago-based university will partner with IBM, which is donating predictive analytics software, curriculum, and datasets and providing guest lecturers.

Graduate student Jonathan Feigenbaum said he sees a real need for the new center. In a YouTube video, he said that he anticipates the center being able to "connect students with faculty, ideas, projects, and skills they need to develop research ideas, network with other professionals, and have careers in predictive analytics."

"Predictive analytics is providing new job opportunities for students entering the workforce in all areas of business," added Suzanne Fogel, chair for the Department of Marketing.

IBM has also announced the Analytic Certification in Education, which tests people on their knowledge of statistical analysis using IBM SPSS Statistics software. This is an institutional edition of a credential that requires passing a single 70-question exam and that has been around for nearly a decade on the business side.

There's no charge to the university or college to participate in this program--only the requirement that the educator be certified. Participation includes materials covering all requisite content to prepare for the exam, practice tests to assess exams readiness, and student and faculty exam discounts of 50 percent.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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