A Message From the Director
Hi, my name is Jim Baldo, and I am the director of the George Mason University College of Engineering and Computing Data Analytics Engineering Program (DAEN). Our multidisciplinary program provides its students with knowledge and experience across a broad range of data analytics methods, tools, and processes, and focuses on a flexible and broad set of courses intended to prepare our graduates to solve a wide range of real-world problems.
In the area of data analytics methods, the DAEN program targets a foundation of existing algorithms that have widespread applications in both research and industry as well as emerging algorithms that have recently been introduced. Students study algorithms to acquire an understanding of the algorithm and how to use the algorithm on real-world problems. This insight enables our students to select the correct algorithm(s) for the specific problem.
The DAEN program exposes its students to both state-of-the-art and state-of-the-practice tools. These tools available to our students are either commercial or open-source and range from programming language libraries to commercial cloud-based data science workbenches.
Our faculty have many years of industry experience as practicing data analysts/engineers and most of the faculty are currently engaged as data analytics practitioners. Since it is a multidisciplinary program, the merging of multiple disciplines can be leveraged for innovative problem-solving. This unique combination provides an innovation engine that supports a rich learning experience.
Our experienced faculty also prepare students to work on problems in a team environment. Most data analytics teams today are extremely diverse with respect to knowledge, skills, and team members, and we prioritize teaching our students how to work together quickly towards a solution.
Like the current data analytics industry, our student population is diverse with respect to degrees (undergraduate and graduate), nationalities, and culture. Data analytics problem solving is performed in diverse teams that are necessary to drive both innovative solutions and enable teams the freedom to apply creativity to problem-solving.
Near the end of their studies, all students participate in capstone projects that are increasingly based on industry partner projects that enable students to work on problems as a team. This provides students with a realistic experience of the working environments they will be practicing in after graduation and enable students to apply for data analytics positions with confidence.
The program provides all students with the ability to create a plan of study that is flexible enough to cater to their unique career goals and objectives.
Director, Data Analytics Engineering