Student Success Stories
Whether through their capstone projects or through competitions, students of UBC’s Master of Data Science program are turning data into knowledge that can, and will, be used to inform decisions in the real world. Below are just some examples of the successes they’ve achieved to date:
Skill #3 – Time management
In part 1, I outlined the importance of knowing yourself as a learner. In Part 2 of our series on the three skills you need as a data science student, we move on to …
Skill #2 – Problem-solving
Having been admitted to the intensive UBC Master's of Data Science Computational Linguistics (CL) program, students are going to undertake 96 lab assignments, 42 quizzes, 192 lab hours, and 288 lecture hours. Two years of courses are compressed into 10 months. Those numbers highlight the anticipation I felt when I joined the program last September 2019. As a new graduate from a business bachelor’s degree with minimum experience in data science, I was accepted into the UBC MDS CL program.
Students choose graduate studies for a number of reasons.
For some, their chosen profession requires it, while others want to change career paths or advance more quickly in their current roles. Many others want to conduct high-level research in an area close to their hearts or one that can change the world.
In an ideal world, our MDS students would be learning in-person amongst their cohort but the COVID-19 outbreak has forced post-secondary institutions like UBC to move classes online.
We spoke to a few of our MDS students from the Class of 2020 on how they’ve adjusted to learning data science online.
Q: How have you been adjusting to learning online?
Ngan Nguyen Lyle was studying for an upcoming data science quiz when she got the call.
Lyle, a Master of Data Science (MDS), student at UBC Okanagan and medical doctor, was being summoned to return to work to support Interior Health’s COVID-19 response team.
The COVID-19 outbreak has forced many institutions like UBC to move all classes online. The UBC Master of Data Science (MDS) program was no exception and has been teaching online since March 16.
To move to this new way of teaching, the MDS team used a variety of online tools like Collaborate Ultra and Zoom for lectures. Slack and GitHub to communicate with students and Canvas to administer exams.
We spoke to a few of our MDS teaching staff to see how they’ve adjusted to this new way of teaching and lessons learned.
Last week, we welcomed our next set of cohorts for MDS Vancouver and Okanagan as well as the very first cohort of the MDS Computational Linguistics program.
It is exciting to see the MDS program grow year-over-year. When the program began in 2016, we started with just 22 students, which then increased to 43 for year 2 and 70 students in year 3.
We are proud to see the program welcome 97 new students as the fourth cohort of MDS-Vancouver.
Here are some facts about MDS Vancouver - Cohort 4:
As a resource clerk based on Haida Gwaii with the forestry branch of the Province of British Columbia, Ayla Pearson is a Jack of all trades doing everything from issuing permits for forestry companies to administration assistance for First Nations consultation to front end reception to hardware tech support. It was while doing all of those tasks that Pearson noticed how disorganized was its data integrity.
“That’s when I started realizing what I wanted to do with the data with that job,” said Pearson.
As Heather Van Tassel was completing her biochemistry and neuroscience degree at the University of British Columbia, she took a biostatistics course which became her doorway into data science.
"What I appreciate the most about data science and what drove me to return to school is that having an analytical skill set will allow me to think more critically at work, which is both challenging and rewarding,” said Van Tassel.
A UBC Master of Data Science (MDS) alumna and one of her UBC professors encouraged Van Tassel to take the MDS program.