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New M.S. track combines data science, core CEE disciplines

3/15/2021 3:35:33 PM

A new non-thesis Master’s track in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) will emphasize data science and include courses that balance data science methodology and disciplinary contents from different CEE areas of study. The goal of the track is to provide students with a combined graduate-level expertise in both data science and a technical domain in CEE.

The track consists of nine courses, three of which are required core CEE courses in the area of data science. Two of the required courses – Data Science for CEE and Machine Learning for CEE – focus on data science algorithms and the fundamental theory behind them. In the third course, Infrastructural Sensing Lab, students will work on data-intensive hands-on projects in an experiential learning format.

This pioneering CEE-based curriculum and graduate program on data science builds on the curriculum modernization efforts taking place at the undergraduate level in CEE at Illinois, said assistant professor Hadi Meidani, who led the track development.

“We believe civil and environmental engineers of the 21st century should increasingly use and adjust methods of data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence to better address grand challenges that face our societies and our planet,” Meidani said. “And, CEE at Illinois is well-positioned to educate future CEE engineers to do just that."

Graduate students will be able to enroll in the “Data Science + Civil and Environmental Engineering” M.S. track for the Fall 2021 semester.

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