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MISSISSIPPI PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES SUPPORT DATA SCIENCE FIELD THROUGH ACADEMIC PROGRAMS, RESEARCH

12/17/2021 - Jackson, Miss.

Leaders from all types of businesses and organizations understand that using data to drive decisions is an important key to success. Data science impacts every sector, from agriculture to sports marketing. From advanced wearable technology to supply chain logistics, Mississippi Public Universities offer degree programs and conduct research in the growing field of data science.

The University of Southern Mississippi's Gulf Coast Geospatial Center (GCGC) provides a strong geospatial foundation that supports research, innovation, and infrastructure throughout the Gulf South. Through scientific research and the development and application of precise geospatial data, tools, and models, the GCGC aims to enhance the understanding of relative sea-level rise and its impacts, coastal change over time, and the remote sensing of the coastal environment. Coupling Global Positioning Systems (GPS), remote sensing, and geographic information technologies, research at the GCGC provide insight into advancing the understanding of GPS positioning as well as Mississippi's mainland and near-shore coastal environmental and geological processes. Designated by NOAA in 2007 as the Mississippi Spatial Reference Center (MSRC), the GCGC provides accurate and up-to-date geodetic positioning for the State of Mississippi and leads NOAA National Geodetic Survey's 5-State Geospatial Modeling Program that spans the southeastern United States.

The University of Southern Mississippi's School of Computing Sciences and Computer Engineering provides students the opportunity to work with faculty to gain hands-on experience in the ever-evolving computing and cybersecurity fields and to obtain the skills necessary to succeed in a wide range of professional domains including full-stack software development, system architecture design, cybersecurity defense, network and system administration, artificial intelligence, and data science. Academic programs lead to undergraduate degrees in computer engineering, computer science, and information science, a master's in computer science, and a Ph.D. in computational science. Certificate programs in applied cybersecurity, computer networking, and software development, as well as undergraduate minors, are also available.

Alcorn State University announced a multimillion-dollar partnership with IBM on an educational and outreach program designed to develop cutting-edge technological skills that align with evolving industry demands and trends. The grant allows students and faculty to expand the tangible skills they need for today's IT workforce and the jobs of the future. The IBM Skills Academy is a comprehensive, integrated program delivered through an education portal designed to create a foundation of diverse and high-demand skill sets that directly correlate to what students will need in a high-tech workplace. The learning tracks address advanced topics as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, blockchain, data science, and quantum computing. The partnership will also focus on research innovation, global collaboration, and job skills and recruiting. The IBM University Awards program sponsors competitive awards for faculty at universities worldwide.

Alcorn State University's Department of Mathematics and Computer Science offers a bachelor's degree in mathematics with a concentration in data science. This degree program explores the latest technology trends and theories that will make students marketable in today's industry, and organizes research activities to prepare students for leadership, scholarship, and service.

Delta State University's Department of Commercial Aviation offers both a concentration and certifications in logistics, exposing students to critical elements and systems which drive logistics decision-making to manage supply and demand. Courses offered within the logistics concentration include transportation operations management, sourcing and contract management and internal supply chain management. Delta State's continuing education certifications in logistics are accredited by Association for Supply Chain Management (APICS) and are available to both students and working professionals in the field of logistics and supply chain management.

Jackson State University's College of Health Sciences ("A CEPH-accredited School of Public Health") is creating a Public Health Informatics and Technology (PHIT) Workforce Development Program that will allow JSU to train public health professionals in collecting scientific data for improving clinical and medical decisions. A $10 million cooperative grant from the U.S. Health and Human Services' Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology will allow JSU to partner with Alcorn State University's Cora S. Balmat School of Nursing in Lorman, Mississippi, and develop curricula to train Alcorn students in nursing informatics.

Mississippi State University recently launched the state's first Master's of Science in data science program, helping to meet the growing demand for data science professionals in industries such as healthcare, public policy, environmental science, business and public relations.

Mississippi State University has the 4th largest National Science Foundation CyberCorps scholarship program in the nation. The program is designed to increase and strengthen the team of federal information assurance professionals that protect the government's critical information infrastructure.

Programs in the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine provide advanced educational opportunities in biomedical and veterinary sciences. The goal of these programs is to train the next generation of scientists and educators who will be leaders in biomedical, public health, and veterinary research and education. Coursework options include population medicine, computational biology, and epidemiology. By launching an online archive of approximately five decades of agricultural seed technology research, MSU is ushering in a new era of open data and information sharing that will play an important role in improved global health, safety and food security.

Mississippi State's athlete engineering team is designing and deploying groundbreaking, advanced wearable technology that creatively collects millions of data points for researchers to analyze, predict performance and improve body mechanics. Their success in designing and building wearable devices is establishing MSU's athlete engineering researchers as the go-to experts for a growing number of sports teams and wearable companies seeking feedback on their products. Using their state-of-the-art human performance lab, athlete engineers can validate the accuracy of wearable devices and other technologies by testing them with the coaching staff and student-athletes. They're also eyeing applications beyond sports. Wearable tech can mitigate injuries and improve performance for industrial workers, military personnel, emergency response personnel and others in physically challenging roles all while helping people during their rehabilitation after surgeries and injuries.

Mississippi State University's National Strategic Planning & Analysis Research Center is an internationally recognized multidisciplinary social and data science research center that provides tailored research, analysis, and software architecture services with an emphasis on workforce and economic development. The center engages in convergent research and creates customized data and software solutions unique in the country and is home to experts across disciplines including sociology, economics, statistics, computer science, communication, and engineering.

To help increase profits for timber producers and wood-mill consumers, scientists in the Forest and Wildlife Research Center are developing a precision model to help timber producers better understand the impacts of market variables and streamline decision-making for forest-industry stakeholders.

Researchers in the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Experiment Station are establishing national economic metrics for the U.S. aquaculture industry to analyze the economic viability, impact, and management measures to help producers and stakeholders now and in the future.

When producers want to diversify and expand their operations, they contact Extension. Whether beekeeping, livestock, fertilizer, or vegetable production, Extension agents, specialists, and faculty help clients get reliable, data-based answers to their questions, improving yield and profitability.

MAFES scientists seek to redefine farm policy in the era of digital agriculture to help create farm programs that better serve producers. They are exploring how programs enacted by the farm bill, such as crop insurance programs, are triggered to find a better way to determine premium rates for crop insurance.

MAFES scientists work with the MSU Geosystems Research Institute to perfect precision tools that assist farmers with planting, plant population estimates, and inspection of crops and animals to ensure their health CALS. CALS faculty and students are researching how farmers use precision agriculture in their operations to design training.

The University of Mississippi launched an online Master of Science in Sport Analytics to combine interest in sports with expertise in data analytics to build a career in sport marketing, sport science or human performance.

The University of Mississippi Patterson School of Accountancy offers two graduate degrees incorporating data analytics. The Master of Accountancy and Data Analytics program offers specialization in data analytics paired with graduate-level accounting coursework. The Master of Taxation and Data Analytics program offers specialization in both taxation and data analytics. These innovative degree programs equip students coming into the accounting profession with the tools and critical thinking skills to understand today's cutting-edge technologies. Furthermore, students are given real world, hands-on experience in data analytics and the ability to transform their analysis into usable information for decision-making. Both degree programs are STEM designated and are designed to be completed in one year. They require 30 credit hours to complete and are the only ones of their kind in Mississippi.

The University of Mississippi's Institute for Data Science (IDS) serves as a resource for the next generation of data scientists in response to the demand for data-savvy professionals in a variety of disciplines and across all industries. IDS fosters interdisciplinary research and education; enhances relationships and establishes creative partnerships between world-class researchers and industry leaders, community and government stakeholders; and supports graduate and undergraduate degree offerings involving data science and analytical skills. Students have opportunities to develop data science knowledge and skills to unlock insights in large data sets through new courses, workshops, summer internships and faculty-mentored research experiences. For faculty, IDS provides opportunities to engage in, collaborate on and compete for sponsored research projects that advance data science and machine learning methods or apply them to solve problems of importance to society.

A multidisciplinary team at the University of Mississippi Medical Center recently received two contracts, totaling more than $1 million, to sequence viral genomes to determine where, when and which COVID variants are present in the state. Supported by contracts with the Mississippi State Department of Health and the Centers of Disease Control, the goal is to sequence 3,700 samples from COVID-19 patients in one year.

The Department of Data Science at the University of Mississippi Medical Center is unlike most data science schools. What sets it apart is its focus on population health as a department within the John D. Bower School of Population Health, one of just three schools of population health nationally.

The Department of Data Science offers the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Biostatistics and in Data Science, along with a post-baccalaureate certificate in Analytics. Its faculty fuse together statistical theory, effective communication skills and epidemiology within the newest data science fields to produce graduates who are leaders in their fields.

The Department of Data Science provides cutting-edge biostatistical and information science expertise to collaborators at UMMC. The department promotes the highest standards in research and education by providing consummate biostatistical expertise to collaborators and scholars toward translating data into evidence and answers. It promotes the development of long-term collaborative relationships between its team members and investigators. This increases efficiency through familiarity with specialized areas and issues within disciplines and results in more responsive, comprehensive and productive service to our collaborators.

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The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.

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