About the School of Data Science and Analytics

Sherrill W. Hayes, PhD Kennesaw State University
Welcome to the new School of Data Science and Analytics at Kennesaw State! The School has something to offer current and prospective students, faculty, research partners in the private and public sectors, and individuals looking to upskill themselves for the new data-driven economy. With world class faculty, top-notch facilities and an already rich history, KSU is uniquely positioned to make a lasting mark across the region. We know that Kennesaw State will quickly become synonymous with data science and analytics in Georgia.

The School of Data Science and Analytics (SDSA) at Kennesaw State is a “one-stop shop” for education and research. We achieve this by offering a “full-stack” of academic programs including general education courses, an undergraduate minor, online certificates, a masters degree, and the first PhD in Analytics and Data Science in the US. Industry, government, and organizations can partner with us to find solutions to their data-centric problems through the Center for Statistics and Analytical Research (CSAR) and the Human Studies Lab, two of the most successful and dynamic research units at the university. We have had research labs in healthcare, credit scoring, manufacturing, medical research, epidemiology, and others using techniques like machine learning, facial recognition, neural networks, deep learning, survival analysis, predictive analytics, and more.

Although we are a new academic unit, the fields of applied statistics, analytics, data science, and computing have rich histories on both of KSU’s campuses. Building on the successes of the Department of Statistics and Analytical Sciences and the Analytics and Data Science Institute, we have transitioned our faculty and programs into a school to enhance our offerings and access to talent and knowledge. While all this sounds like an impressive “to-do” list, let me provide you some numbers and examples of what we’ve already done.

  • STAT 1401 is a general education course that routinely serves over 4,000 KSU undergraduates per year.

  • The undergraduate minor in Applied Statistics and Analytics can be included in ANY major. It typically has around 200 students, making it the most popular minor at KSU. Our undergraduate researchers have presented at Posters on the Hill in Washington, DC multiple times.

  • The Master of Science in Applied Statistics and Analytics has a 99% job placement rate within the first 6 months after graduation, with almost all those students going directly into analytics and data science jobs.

  • The PhD in Analytics and Data Science was founded in 2015. Students have produced 3 patents and over 200 publications. Approximately 40% of our PhD students are female.

  • The Center for Statistics and Analytical Research (CSAR) has generated over $2 million in research funding by working with more than 15 companies on REAL data science research projects. These projects are carried out by interdisciplinary teams of faculty, PhD, MS, and sometimes undergraduate students in collaboration with partners.

  • The DS 7900 and STAT 8940 classes are sponsored every semester by companies like Southern Company, SPANX, and Coke One North America. Students work on an analytics problem, present their solutions to company executives, and have a chance to win a prize!

  • Alums of our programs have gone on to work in data science and analytics roles in places like Equifax, Home Depot, Coke One North America, HP Innovation, the Atlanta Braves, Americold, Truist, University of Pennsylvania, Tennessee Technological University, and University of New Hampshire.

  • Our MS and PhD programs are consistently ranked as Top 50 Best Value Big Data Graduate Programs.

Already on the horizon in 2021 are two new research lab partnerships, a new undergraduate class (DATA 1501 - Introduction to Data Science), a concentration in our PhD program in Computer Science, two new faculty hires, and even more to come. Please feel free to reach out to me or any of our faculty and staff with questions about the School, research, teaching, or opportunities to learn and partner with us.

Best regards,
Sherrill W. Hayes, PhD
Director, School of Data Science and Analytics