A Message from the Director

Our ability to study and understand complex phenomena has been profoundly amplified by data. The intriguing patterns we find in data lead us to exciting new questions.  Our curiosity is continuously driven to the possibilities that only data uncovers. 

Data science arises from the recognition of data as an object of study that requires the development of effective approaches to harness data.  Just like we have microscopes, telescopes, cyclotrons, incubators, ionizers, mass spectrometers, and a myriad of scientific instruments to study the world around us, we need appropriate instruments to augment, integrate, separate, clean, improve, analyze, visualize, summarize, store, collect, and disseminate data. Computer scientists, mathematicians, and engineers are diligently investigating more capable and more powerful instruments and methodologies for data-rich inquiry.

The need for data science skills continues to increase in industry, government, and academia. Our USC data science degrees prepare students for the unprecedented challenges of data-rich inquiry. Many of our faculty are world-renowned academics who conduct use-inspired research in the forefront of data science. Other faculty come from industry and are experienced practitioners with deep expertise in best practices of data engineering and results-oriented projects.  

Several of our programs are joint with other schools at USC, emphasizing the interdisciplinary areas of data science. These programs do not require a computer science or programming background, and are unique pathways to data science careers in communication, journalism, spatial and environmental sciences, public policy, and healthcare.

A recent study of careers in tech shows that USC is the fifth largest producer of graduates joining big tech. Our students pursue very successful careers in research, industry, government, and non-profits in a wide range of sectors and areas where data is abundant already or could be made so.

We hope you will consider joining us!

Dr. Yolanda Gil

Yolanda Gil
Director, Data Science Program
Department of Computer Science