Data science is one of the fastest-growing fields in the world and James Allan is guiding the next generation of experts at UMass Amherst. His specialty, search engines, is currently the top program in the nation.
So when I came here, Google didn't exist, all right. Search engines existed, but it was AltaVista was the big one at the time. And then Google came along. And Google, and Bing as a result of that, and Yahoo somewhere in the midst of that, obviously, just changed the employment opportunities for students and the research opportunities for students. UMass, broadly speaking, is top 20 to 25 in computer science, in general. In search engines, my own area, we happen to be number one. Data science itself is absolutely a fast-growing field, one of the very fastest growing fields, I'd say, right now. A lot of startup companies now are doing a lot of data mining and data science aspects. So this is a good place to come to become a student in that area, to be educated in the new things, what's hot, what's coming down the pipe. Not the stuff that we knew about 10 years ago, but the stuff that's just now being developed. The students in our program who are involved in the data science area in particular have opportunities to work with real problems from real companies. We have students working on problems associated with large amounts of data, so students working with data from the insurance industry, students working with data from social media, students working with data from scientific experiments, such as the Mars Rover project. There's a wide range of topics that cover true practical, real-world existing problems, but also things that are a little more hypothetical that we hope we could maybe solve sometime in the future. I'm James Allan. I'm the Chair of the Faculty at the College of Information and Computer Sciences. I stand for educating the Commonwealth, the nation, and the world about the growing importance of computing to help solve society's problems. And I stand for UMass.