Universities join race for big data riches

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Universities join race for big data riches

Course list grows with industry partnerships.

Macquarie University will become the latest in a university big data skills race next year when it launches a postgraduate degree in data science.

Macquarie University director of information Neil Fraser told last week’s CeBIT conference the course had taken cues from US courses such as one offered by Princeton University.

“It will focus on the high-end stuff; the machine learning, the stats, the focus on data tech,” Fraser said.

The postgraduate course comes on the back of a short course in business analytics offered by the Macquarie Graduate School of Management and business analytics software vendor SAS.

Fraser described Macquarie Uni as “a hothouse for natural language processing”, with machine learning and statistics specific areas of interest.

Macquarie Uni’s push towards a more advanced data science offering follows the launch of what Deakin University said would be the first Masters course in business analytics in Australia.

The course will be offered at the university’s Burwood campus from July.

Deakin information and business analytics head, Dineli Mather, said she hoped the degree would accept between 80 and 100 students a year.

“The course will be delivered through a mix of on-campus lectures and online mechanisms including live and recorded webcasts,” Mather said.

Deakin signed a memorandum of understanding with IBM in October last year, creating a “Centre for Excellence in Business Analytics”.

Mather said IBM had committed to offering free analytic certification programs for students enrolled in the new Master’s course, as would SAS, another Deakin industry partner.

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