Purdue University says its Data Mine program is giving students hands-on experience helping big name companies such as Ford and Microsoft connect the dots between the technology of today and tomorrow. Director Mark Daniel Ward says there is a large demand for Data Mine students in every sector of industry.
“Anytime we’re talking to a company who’s visiting campus or we have ongoing research with, there’s such a demand to have students who are really well trained in the data sciences and then they also know their domain of expertise as well.”
In an interview on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, Ward said the program brings benefits to both students and companies.
“We could work with a manufacturer, for example, here in the state of Indiana and the students get to experience over the whole academic year how data science is actually used in practice, much more deeply than say a typical 10-week internship,” said Ward. “The students understand the culture out in the workforce, the nuances of how data science is really used into data that companies are wrestling with. It’s a pretty exciting time.”
In April, Purdue received a $10 million grant from Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc. to establish the Indiana Digital Crossroads initiative. The effort is designed to create regional data science hubs throughout the state.
“We can help other campuses all over Indiana to have similar models and partnerships with industry and also broaden who’s studying data science in terms of females, minorities, persons with disabilities just to ensure that everybody has access to these opportunities at all undergraduate and graduate levels,” said Ward.
One of the first partners in the Indiana Digital Crossroads initiative is the Indiana School for the Deaf in Indianapolis. Ward says they want to help empower deaf learners who want to study data science.