Mark CusickCongratulations to doctoral candidate Mark Cusick, who successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation — Human Generated Topics: A Gold Standard for Automated Topic Evaluation — aimed at making better sense of the vast amount of text, such as product reviews, generated on the web. Specializing in natural language processing, machine learning, and text mining, Cusick worked as a research assistant to the Institute’s director Dr. Michael Rappa since enrolling in the Ph.D. program in Computer Science in 2011. In August, Dr. Cusick will join as a data scientist in the company’s Cambridge (Mass.) research office. Read the rest of this entry »

MIT Chief Data Officer SymposiumThe Institute’s director Dr. Michael Rappa was in Cambridge this week to participate in the annual MIT Chief Data Officer and Information Quality Symposium. Dr. Rappa moderated a discussion with a distinguished group of financial industry executives that included Lynda Abend (Chief Data Officer at John Hancock Financial Services), Kelsey Calhoun, (Director of Operational Analytics and Reporting at Liberty Mutual), John Pyhtila, Ph.D. (Head of Analytics at Cigna), and Gopal Subramanian (Senior Vice President at Fidelity Investments). Read the rest of this entry »

MSA Student ProfilesThe 10-month journey has begun for 115 students in the Master of Science in Analytics (MSA) Class of 2016. The ninth MSA cohort is the result of the most selective admissions process since the Institute’s inception in 2007. “It’s our largest and, by every measure, most-talented group of students to date,” said the Institute’s director, Dr. Michael Rappa. “Enrolling over 100 students is a significant milestone. I’m delighted to have the opportunity to partner with them and look forward to working together.” The admissions committee reviewed 1,061 applications, up 33-percent from last year, and four-times the number from just 36 months ago. Read the rest of this entry »

The Institute’s director, Dr. Michael Rappa, has been named to the Analytics Curriculum Advisory Group of the AACSB, the prestigious accrediting body of business schools worldwide. The new advisory group is tasked with providing guidance in developing services to help accelerate the creation and enhance the quality of analytics degree programs in business schools. There are over 80 such graduate programs in the U.S. alone—in and outside of business schools—and many more around the globe. Read the rest of this entry »

The Institute has begun the process of moving into its 26,000 square foot facility in Alliance One, a new building opening this week at 901 Main Campus Drive on Centennial Campus. The Institute will occupy two floors on the south wing of the building. The new facility is adjacent to the Institute’s existing location along Main Campus Drive in Venture II, and a short distance from the Hunt Library. The move will span 4-6 weeks, in order to allow for the installation of furnishings and technologies in the offices and classrooms. Once completed, the facility will become home to 115 incoming students in the Master of Science in Analytics (MSA) Class of 2016. Operating capacity in the facility will allow the Institute to expand from the present two cohorts to three cohorts—a total enrollment of 120 to 150 students—as circumstances warrant continued growth. Read the rest of this entry »

Institute for Industrial EngineersThe Institute’s director Dr. Michael Rappa was in Nashville today to discuss the future of analytics degree programs at the annual Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Conference sponsored by IIE, the global association of productivity and efficiency professionals specializing in industrial engineering, healthcare, ergonomics and other related professions. Dr. Rappa was joined on the panel by a distinguished group of faculty that included Dr. Joel Sokol (Georgia Tech), Dr. Diego Klabjan (Northwestern) and Dr. David Shmoys (Cornell), who discussed each school’s program and offered insights into some of the challenges that lay ahead. Read the rest of this entry »

The Institute invites interested organizations to submit a proposal to sponsor a practicum team project for the Master of Science in Analytics (MSA) Class of 2016. Since 2007, our students have conducted a wide variety of projects—nearly 90 in all—from virtually every industry sector, as well as state and federal government agencies. Sponsors identify challenging business problems and share data for their team to analyze. The 8-month project is conducted confidentially and without a sponsorship fee. The proposal submission period is open through July 1. To learn more about how to submit a proposal, please see the guidelines for Practicum Sponsorship. If you have questions, or would like to discuss a proposal before submission, please contact the Institute’s practicum manager, Dr. Christopher West. Read the rest of this entry »

Applications surpass 1,000Applications to the Master of Science in Analytics (MSA) degree program increased for the ninth consecutive year—surpassing the 1,000 mark for the first time—for admission to the Class of 2016. That’s quadruple the number of applicants from just 36 months ago when the Institute increased enrollment to 80 students. This year the Institute reviewed 1,061 applications, interviewed 335 applicants, and offered admission to 131 to enroll 115 students. Applications and enrollment grew at the same pace (33%). The Institute is moving into a new facility in June, enabling it to admit the larger cohort. With the continued growth in applications, the acceptance rate dipped to a new all-time low of 12.3%, once again making the MSA the University’s most-selective master’s degree program. Read the rest of this entry »

Justin FeerhusenNatali Ojeda MenesesCongratulations to Natali Ojeda Meneses and Justin Feerhusen, who share this year’s Director’s Prize as the top graduates in the Master of Science in Analytics (MSA) Class of 2015. Ojeda and Feerhusen earned the prize in recognition by their peers of their exemplary performance throughout the 10-month program. Announcing the winners at commencement, the Institute’s director, Dr. Michael Rappa, said “Natali and Justin proved themselves to be consummate team players, consistently garnering high praise from their peers. They represent everything we value in our graduates, as smart and dedicated professionals who get the job done through skillful teamwork.” Ojeda is a native of Mexico City who completed prior degrees at Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México. Upon graduation she will join EY as Senior Consultant in Charlotte. Feerhusen is a Nebraska native and graduate of Doane College. He will return to the Midwest after graduation to begin work as Senior Analytics Manager with Crete Carrier Corporation.

MSA 2015 commencement, Amanda and AliceThe Institute held its 8th annual commencement exercises today for candidates in the Master of Science in Analytics (MSA) Class of 2015. Diplomas were conferred to eighty-six degree candidates on a beautiful sunny morning at Meymandi Concert Hall in Raleigh. Presiding over the graduation ceremony was the Institute’s director, Dr. Michael Rappa. He was joined by members of the faculty, staff and five-hundred invited guests. Surrounded by family and friends, the graduates had much to celebrate as they embark on their new careers gainfully employed as well-paid analytics professionals. “Our mission is to produce the world’s finest analytics practitioners,” said Dr. Rappa. “Today marks the culmination of ten months of hard work and determination, and each of our students demonstrated they have what it takes to succeed in the profession. The Institute is delighted to welcome them into the MSA community.” Read the rest of this entry »

Hats off to the Master of Science in Analytics (MSA) Class of 2015! With commencement a few days away, the Institute is delighted to report its second consecutive year of 100-percent job placement before graduation. All 84 students searching for new employment secured well-paying positions in the analytics profession. Average base salaries for candidates with less than 3 years of prior work experience increased to $90,900; those with 3 or more years of prior experience saw average salaries increase to $103,600. Overall students had an average of 12 initial job interviews and 3 offers of employment. Major employers new this year include Dell, Disney, Fidelity Investments, Florida Blue, and Liberty Mutual. Fourteen industry segments Read the rest of this entry »

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