(Admitted in 2017-18)
As a 3rd year Data Science student, I was able to take courses that range from Calculus and Statistics in Math to Algorithms and Data Structure in Computer Science. This means that I can actually enter different fields since I was already equipped with the basic knowledge of these fields. Additionally, Data Science provided me with opportunities to work with real-life data. For example, my UROP and course projects usually make me implement or research my own model for some actual datasets to discover new insights.
(Admitted in 2019-20)
Being someone who is not only interested but also fascinated by mathematics, I was sure that I wanted to pursue a major in a mathematics related field. Through research and the help of my college counselors, I was made aware of Data Science. Data Science is one of the most growing industries at the moment and I was intrigued to learn more about it. When I applied to HKUST, among a plethora of courses, DSCT stood out the most to me. DSCT offered the best of both worlds, mathematics and computer science. When I read through the program requirements, I was confident that I wanted to choose this as my major.
The courses in DSCT ensure that I am trained not only in theoretical concepts, but also have helped enhance my practical skills. All the courses I have taken thus far, have been great and I have enjoyed every moment of it. I have learnt concepts and skills both statistics and programming related. Being a student with no computer science background, I was skeptical and scared to take programming related courses. However, all the introductory level courses such as Python and C++ ensure that all the basic concepts are taught, making it easier for students of all backgrounds to keep up.
Along with the required mathematics and computer science courses, I feel the DSCT 4900 component and electives offered by the course are really beneficial. Students are given an in-depth understanding of the skills required in the Data Science and Analytics industry. SQL is a major component of Data Analysis and I believe is a skill every Data Analyst should have. Even Though, SQL is not one of the required courses, I had the opportunity of taking an elective (COMP 3311), a database management course that also has components of SQL. The DSCT curriculum plan as a whole is very strong, making it one of the best aspects of the program.
After graduating, I plan on taking up internships and projects that will help me build and learn skills vital to Data Science and Analysis. During the course of these internships, I will be given an opportunity to mingle with professionals in the industry as well as make contacts that may be helpful in my future. A year or two after graduating, I wish to pursue my masters, specialising in either AI or Big Data. I believe this will give me a better and thorough view into the field of AI and Data Science, which in turn will help me reach a clear decision about which specific field I wish to pursue professionally. Alongside the internships and masters degree, I hope to continue learning new concepts and skills via online courses.
Being one of the most talked about industries at the moment, I feel like it will be easier to encourage students to pursue DSCT. Being a DSCT ambassador, SENG Peer mentor and Student Ambassador, I have had the opportunity to mingle with several freshmen as well as prospective students. Usually, a lot of students have never heard about Data Science, hence, I usually start by giving them a brief overview of the field and examples of skills used. Then, I name the courses that are offered under DSCT and how they have proved to be helpful for me. Finally, I talk about the career and educational prospects of this major.
(Admitted in 2018-19)
I have chosen DSCT as my major because I believe that data science has a lot of interesting content that is potentially useful in the future. When I was a Year 1 Student, I have enrolled in an introductory data mining course (COMP 1942), and I was taught many data science tools. They are presented in a way where it is practical and understandable. From that course, I believe that the field of data science, especially on its algorithms, is based on human heuristics thinking, but at the same time build upon quantitative reasoning from mathematics, and at the same time facilitated by the calculator. Data science is not complicated, non-understandable algorithm, but is some tools that can be understood with some effort put into it. With such curiosity, I have chosen DSCT as my first major.
I like DSCT because of the variety of courses and the opportunities I can have inside university. The primary of courses comes from either CSE or MATH department, which differ from other majors from SENG or SSCI, where most courses came from primarily one department (or schools). This way, I can get to learn things in different norms at the same time, COMP courses I have taken focus more on practical usage, and MATH courses I have taken focus more on proofs and theory. Moreover, as DSCT is a joint school program, I can receive information and join activities from both SENG and SSCI. This way, I can have more opportunities for career consultations, exchange choices, or participation in student activities.
They are some great aspects about DSCT, with the best one being learning practical skills that are useful in the workplace and real life. In the DSCT courses, I can learn skills such as statistics, programming, and algorithm design. Those skills are useful in the workplace in terms of hard skills, and as they are practical in daily life too as they can train my logical thinking skills. As many sociologists said, humans are cognitive misers, I believe such logical and algorithmic skills can help me to think in a less bias, and more systematic way.
My career plan is to work in the educational entertainment industry. Throughout my learning from kindergarten to university, I have experienced learning through teachers or professors, through some YouTube videos, and some tutorial centers. There are different modes of learning and each suit different people. I believe that there are not enough fun ways to learn for some level groups in secondary schools, especially when some will think mathematics is bored, and in some cases, afraid of mathematics (which in fact I have experienced some people in my part-time work), I believe that educational entertainment would be interesting and contributive to the society. Data science can be applied as one of the great topics to discuss, and a way to manage data in such an industry. As data science is a multidisciplinary field, it can be used in different ways, even in just a single field of jobs.
I will recommend students on the potential benefits of studying in DSCT. After all, choosing a major is about choosing what to study in university, and sometimes finding like-minded people. Data science is a field where its application can be applied to different areas, ranging from computer science, medical science, management, or sociology. DSCT courses include experience in exploring varieties of datasets that might be interesting too, for example, high school performance, movie revenue, survival rate, or default rate datasets. It is possible to discover some interesting results in the assignments, like how a known celebrity can help boost the movie revenue. The knowledge gain from DSCT courses is both interesting and valuable at the same time, not to mention the job market in the data science field in the foreseeable future. Overall, it would make DSCT be a very rewarding program to study.
(Admitted in 2018-19)
Data science is one of the flourishing industries nowadays and HKUST provides a comprehensive joint-school program DSCT. In this program, not only do I gain a thorough understanding of computer science and mathematics, but I also develop my practical skills in mathematical tools, statistical model and programming. I also love the flexibility of the curriculum as it gives me a chance to explore various fields such as machine learning, statistical analysis and data mining so that I am capable of integrating the knowledge into everyday applications. This program fosters my logical thinking skills when I learn to solve problems through the analysis of the given information. The demand for experts in technological development explodes and DSCT makes us become competitive in IT or decision-making related industries like fintech, smart city, and artificial intelligence. What’s more, DSCT is a small but close family. Students and professors have a strong and friendly bonding while the department is supportive. We have an academic ambassador from seniors to seek for advice. Students interested in math and computer science will love DSCT very soon!
(Admitted in 2017-18)
The Data Science and Technology program enriches students with knowledge of programming and statistics, giving us the tools to embrace the world of big data in the next decade. Besides, the DSCT program provides chances for us to practise the data science knowledge we learnt and apply to tackle the world problem, and to demonstrate our skills to change the world.
(Admitted in 2018-19)
Studying DSCT at UST has been an intriguing experience for me. The combination of Computer Science and Mathematics has strengthened my technical skills and logical thinking. More than that, the faculty provides a lot of resources for us during this amazing journey. I savored different adventures through academic exchanges, internships, and entrepreneurial competitions.
(Admitted in 2017-18)
Looking back to the first year of my undergraduate study, I chose DSCT because I like both mathematics and computer programming. And at that time, AI sounds really cool to me, as we could hear people all around talking about Big Data Technology, leveraging it to solve a variety number of problems in our daily life. Therefore, I chose it without any hesitation even though it is a totally new major in HKUST at that time.
From my perspective, DSCT is a generally excellent program. We can attend the COMP seminar and the specially-designed DSCT modules, both of which are quite useful in terms of the new techniques and the insights for ourselves’ future development.
One of the good points I could think about DSCT is that it is free to choose either math course or computer science course as the elective courses so that we can have our customized course curriculum, which can make us focus more on the fields where we have more interest in. Moreover, DSCT students can enjoy resources from both Math department and CS department for exchange program and career opportunities, which is a big advantage over the other programs. Also, we can choose to do either the FYP from engineering school or math capstone from science school according to our time and interest, which promises us more space of choices for the future career path as a senior student or final year student.
As for my career plan, I want to further my study as Ph.D. candidates in the field of Natural Language Processing. As I find research-related work looks more appealing to me than the application-oriented one and there are still lots of problems waiting to be resolved in the field I have interest in. And hopefully, I wish I can become a professor in this area in the future.
For new students, one point I want to recommend for DSCT program is that it gives us a lot of space to explore what we really want to do in the future. You can be a data scientist, a machine learning engineer, a statistician, a data analyst, a business analyst in any field you like (biology, graphics, natural language, physics, medicine, education...) as data is everywhere. And we can apply what we learn to a direction that we love and dig out what the true passion lying in our hearts, which I think is the most rewarding point for us to go to a university.
(Admitted in 2018-19)
The concepts of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science have morphed into a new buzzword ‘Data Science’. The joint-school DSCT program unifies mathematical tools and IT technologies into a specialized multi-disciplinary field with both theoretical and practical training. The study of Mathematics has honed my logical thinking and number sense which deepens my understanding of analytical algorithms and predictive insights. With the aid of up-to-date computer technologies, hypothetical statistical modeling can convert into real-life applications for solving versatile ranges of issues through data mining and machine learning. In DSCT, it is a fraternity with tight connections with departments and seniors where I can gain full supports and learn from each other. This program best suits the great demands of data and predictive analytics specialists in today’s industries including financial decision-making, software or data engineering, weathering forecasting, e-commerce, etc. Enjoying both Statistics and Computer Science will find this program fun!