Friday, July 19, 2013

UC Berkeley creates online master's degree in 'big data'

Jul 17, 2013, Steven E.F. BrownWeb Editor- San Francisco Business Times

UC Berkeley's "I-school," one of its newest programs, is based in South Hall, the oldest building on campus.

The University of California, Berkeley has created an online master's degree in information and data science.

This new program, aimed at what the university calls a "national shortage of data scientists," is the first of its kind. It starts in January.

It's offered through Cal's former library school, now known as the school of information. AnnaLee Saxenian, the information school's dean, said, "This new degree program is in response to a dramatically growing need for well-trained big data professionals who can organize, analyze and interpret the deluge of often messy and unorganized data available from the web, sensor networks, mobile devices and elsewhere."

Hal Varian, chief economist at Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) and an emeritus professor at the information school, said, "We are awash with data, but the expertise to analyze and exploit that data is in short supply."

This program consists of 27 units in math, programming, communication to management, statistics and "an ability to translate technical jargon into everyday English," said Saxenian.

There will be one week of in-person work on campus in South Hall, the university's oldest building, where the school is based.

Steven E.F. Brown is web editor at the San Francisco Business Times.

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