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Northwestern Adds Master's in Analytics to Engineering School

Northwestern University has added a new degree program focused on the study of data analytics. The McCormick School of Engineering is taking applications for its Master of Science in Analytics, to begin in fall 2012. This follows on the introduction in fall 2011 of the Master of Science in Predictive Analytics, an entirely online program offered by the School of Continuing Studies.

Both programs have support from IBM. As part of its Academic Initiative, a program that gives colleges and universities access to technology and business industry expertise. IBM is providing Northwestern with curriculum, project-focused case studies, access to software, and guest lecturers.

The new master's program provides education on advanced data analysis, advanced statistics, database management, Web analytics, predictive modeling, and marketing analytics, among other topics. The program also includes electives in fraud detection and Web analytics to help students learn, for example, how predictive analytics can uncover fraud within companies, predict energy usage based on historic patterns, and improve customer buying experiences online based on Web site statistics.

"Business leaders are faced with an enormous, and ever-increasing, amount of complexity," said Julio Ottino, dean of the school of engineering. "It is critical that we prepare the next generation of leaders with the skills to find trends and patterns in this vast amount of data. The field of analytics provides powerful tools to find meaning and opportunity amid complexity. We are committed to preparing students to excel in this emerging field, and we value the support of IBM in our efforts."

The collaboration is not new. Northwestern faculty are already working alongside IBM researchers at the TJ Watson Research Center in the areas of material science, engineering, and computing.

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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