Find the needle in the haystack. With information sources extending into the quintillions, the ability to retrieve specific information or find a pattern comes from the ability to parse Big Data.
Become a Valued Commodity From Day One
In 2014, Mason became one of only five universities in the nation to offer a data analytics engineering master's degree program, answering the demand for individuals trained to examine, model, replicate and apply systems that solve Big Data questions. Companies, organizations, and federal agencies are clamoring for graduates with the kind of expertise that the program provides.
Our graduates will lead "the measurement revolution," making sense of the massive amounts of data generated in the digital age. Most departments are represented in the field, enabling students to select a degree that best fits their interests and skills.
See the university catalog for information about courses that provide both theoretical and practical knowledge of all aspects of Big Data, such as:
Educational Programs Related to Big Data
Mason Engineering's expertise in the field of Big Data spans programs in systems engineering, computer science, and statistics. From its programs in Biostatistics to its unique MS in Data Analytics Engineering, our students learn how to sift through and find meaning from vast amounts of data.
Applied Computer Science is a degree program for those students who want and need the knowledge and expertise of computer science to work in one of the many disciplines that require advanced computing techniques. The program offers four areas of focus: bioinformatics, computer game design, geography, and software engineering. Some career paths are: Software consulting, Bio-informatics and data management, Graphics and game development, Defense software analysis.
Computer Science is concerned with the design, implementation, and maintenance of the computer software systems used in almost all professions. Computer scientists must be well grounded in the technologies needed for acquisition, representation, storage, transmission, transformation, and use of information in digital form.
The alarm goes off. You swipe the screen of your smartphone and check your Twitter feed "@GMUIST #GoodMorning." Before you roll out of bed for the day, you've begun contributing valuable data to a rapidly growing stream. How will that information be used? For business? For science? For societal good? A BS in Information Technology is geared toward using data effectively and understanding the extraordinary complexity of information that surrounds us. Our goal is to lead the discovery of principles and processes that improve this rapidly changing discipline.
Statistical Science, BS
Graduates of this program can look forward to careers in local, state, and federal government, and in the many industries that conduct scientific research, collect, and analyze data. They will enter the workforce with the ability to impact science, public policy, technology, and industry in a positive way through their expertise in data collection, analysis, synthesis, and interpretation, each with the highest ethical standards. Graduates will also be well prepared to continue their studies in graduate schools if they so desire.
The BS in systems engineering considers all aspects of a system throughout its lifetime. The program is interdisciplinary, drawing from engineering, computer science, operations research, psychology, and economics. The core systems engineering courses tie these diverse threads to provide a global understanding of how individual engineering disciplines fit into the development of complex, large-scale systems. Students gain depth in a technical area by selecting a sequence of technical electives that constitute an emphasis.
The MS in Applied Information Technology is the very best graduate education in IT for high-potential leaders, especially those working on IT solutions that affect the federal government. Its objective is to graduate men and women of competence and character who can lead multidisciplinary teams in the design, justification, development, management, and sustainment of mega-systems from data to decision in the private and federal sectors.
Merging statistics with biology, students have many opportunities they can pursue after graduation in health-related fields, including medicine,epidemiology and public health. Biostatistics is an indespensible tool in improving health and protecting populations against disease here and around the world.
Digital forensics is a discipline addressing the collection, processing, and analysis of digital information so that this information can be admitted as evidence in a court of law. It is interdisciplinaryin its nature with the inclusion of computer engineering, computer science, information technology, law, and ethics. Digital forensics is a key component in criminal, civil, intelligence, and counter-terrorism matters. The MS in Digital Forensics will prepare graduates for careers in law enforcement, various other branches of government, and in the corporate sector such as banking and finance by combining academic education with real-world practical techniques and by offering advanced training in analyzing digital evidence, in intrusion forensics, and in legal and ethical issues.
This program offers students the opportunity to combine a sound foundation in computer science with concentrated knowledge in the latest developments in particular areas. The program prepares students for research and professional practice in computer science and related technologies. The program includes both fundamentals and advanced work in the areas of artificial intelligence and databases, programming languages and software engineering, systems and networks, theoretical computer science, and visual computing.
The master's in data analytics engineering provides students with an understanding of the technologies and methodologies necessary for data-driven decision-making. Topics cover data mining, information technology, statistical models, predictive analytics, optimization, risk analysis, and data visualization. Aimed at students who wish to become data scientists and analysts in finance, marketing, operations, business intelligence and other information-intensive groups generating and consuming large amounts of data, the program also has wider applications, including a concentration in digital forensics, the process of extracting and analyzing data to be used in the legal system.
This professional degree program focuses on the technical, managerial and policy issues associated with designing, building and maintaining information systems in organizations. Data, information and knowledge are crucial to the modern enterprise, and this program addresses both the theoretical and engineering aspects of specifying, designing, implementing and managing large-scale information systems.
The program prepares students for research and professional practice associated with the formulation, analysis, and computer implementation of mathematical models of operational systems. Features of the program include mathematical programming, queueing and network theories, computer simulation and modeling, applied and computational probability, and the application of these to realistic problems. Students are expected to become proficient in these areas, as well as in supporting areas of information technology necessary to implement OR analysis approaches.
The Statistical Science MS trains students in the theory and practice of statistical methodology, particularly as it relates to high-technology applications. Statistical science is regarded as one of the oldest and most successful information technology (IT) subjects. It focuses on the conversion of raw data into information. Coursework emphasizes applied statistics, applied probability, and statistical inference, with elective options in mathematics, operations research, and others. The program prepares students for careers in research as well as in industry and government, for positions such as statistician, data scientist, or biostatistician.
Doctoral study in Computer Science offers students the opportunity to combine a sound foundation in computer science with concentrated knowledge in the latest developments in particular areas.
Mason’s PhD in Statistical Science emphasizes mathematical theory, computation, and data analysis. Coursework focuses on algorithm and simulation, measure and linear space, probability theory, and mathematical statistics. The program prepares students for careers in research as well as in industry and government, for positions such as senior statistician, senior data scientist, or senior biostatistician.
The program encompasses all aspects of information technology and the branches of engineering most closely associated with information and engineering. Our focus on the science, engineering, and technology of information processing complements and enhances traditional approaches to engineering that are more strongly based on the physical and material sciences. The Information Technology PhD program is broad, and includes several specific concentrations.
Mason’s doctoral program in Systems Engineering and Operations Research offers a unique integration of systems engineering and operations research. This integration gives students a strong analytical and computational capability and an overarching systems perspective that is well-grounded in application. The program prepares students for leadership positions in research and development in government, industry, research organization, and academia.
"Companies are desperate because data analytics are so critical to being competitive that they want to be able to apply the data they have, be more nimble, and have more foresight. They need these people right now."
Stephen Nash, professor, Volgenau School of Engineering
Bringing the Pieces Together
Showcase your newly acquired knowlege and expertise as you design and implement a major data analytics software project in the program's required capstone course. This team project gives students the opportunity to make connections and deploy their skills on meaningful research. In addition to evaluation by Mason Engineering faculty, capstone project presentations in front of industry experts give our grads a competitive edge in the job market.
Find a Sector of the Field that Fits You
Mason Engineering degrees offer programs for those with an interest in:
- Applied analytics — Become an employer's most valuable asset by analyzing data about consumer behavior. You'll also be proficient in the legal issues that arise when personally identifiable information (PII) is involved. Programs to consider: Data Analysis, Minor; Data Analytics Engineering, MS.
- Data mining — You'll wrestle big data into submission by sifting through the numbers to find patterns and relationships. Marketing departments will swoon. Programs to consider: Statistics, Minor; Data Analysis, Minor; Data Analytics Engineering, MS.
- Digital forensics — Help determine justice by gathering and presenting data to present as evidence in court. Digital forensics is a key component in criminal, civil, intelligence, and counter-terrorism issues. Programs to consider: Data Analysis, Minor; Computer Forensics, MS; Data Analytics Engineering, MS.
- Predictive analytics — Companies and organizations want to know what the future holds before they take action or make decisions; predictive analytics makes such forecasts more accurate. Programs to consider: Statistical Science, MS; Statistics, Minor; Data Analysis, Minor.
- Statistics for analytics — Taking the numbers, figuring out what they really mean and explaining that to others can make you feel like the smartest person in the room. Hiring managers will agree with that assessment. Programs to consider: Statistical Science, MS; Statistics, Minor; Data Analysis, Minor.