An important role in the activity of the institute is the work on training, knowledge transfer and communication. A large fraction of the IFCA personnel has a direct and intense participation in the undergraduate program of the University of Cantabria. Moreover we promoted two official (accredited by the National Education System, ANECA) inter-university Master Programs with Universidad de Cantabria (UC) and Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo (UIMP), with the collaboration of CSIC. The creation of the two masters was a strategic decision of the institute to promote two subjects of multidisciplinary research with great potential for collaboration across the IFCA research lines.
The Master in Data Science started in the academic year 2017-2018, and it provides access to the PhD studies in "Science and Technology" from Universidad de Cantabria Doctorate School. The training activity of the institute has resulted in 23 PhD Theses in the last five years.
Data scientists and experts in Big Data are two of the most demanded professional profiles nowadays since they are quite new positions with still a small number of specialists in the market. It covers areas as diverse as business marketing, tourism, education, communication, research or health. There is an increasing number of opportunities for this profile in research centers all around the world.
With all this in mind, the Master in Data Science was launched in the academic year 2017/2018 as an official Master's Degree from the University of Cantabria (UC) and the Menéndez Pelayo International University (UIMP) together with the National Research Council (CSIC), being the Institute of Physics of Cantabria (IFCA) deeply involved in terms of organization and teaching. During its first year, the degree has met a great success, corroborated by the high ratings given by the students both in terms of contents, academic structure and quality of the faculty. The number of enrolled students was doubled in the course 2018/2019 consolidating thus the degree.
Master's Objectives: Our era is characterized by the avalanche of data of all kinds, and in all fields. Extracting knowledge from data is the new engine of scientific, technological and economic development. In this Master, students learn the most cutting edge techniques in Data Science with experts from the University of Cantabria, CSIC and several specialized companies. Students have access to the best resources of data and computing in Europe and are offered Internships in leading companies and research groups in areas such as Economy and Finances, Internet of Things (IoT), Biomedicine, Environment, Meteorology, Physics and Astronomy or Social Sciences. The training acquired in the Master allows the direct incorporation of students to the professional world or to a research group allowing them to start a PhD.
The master's faculty board includes experts from different centres of the CSIC, including personnel of IFCA, professors from the UC (Departments of Matemática Aplicada y Ciencias de la Computación; Matemáticas, Estadística y Computación; Ingeniería de las Comunicaciones), as well as relevant experts in the field from several research centres and national and international companies. The master's program offers three different specialization modules:
Data Science Analytics: This module aims to provide the student with the basic knowledge on the different methodologies and techniques in Machine Learning and to apply them critically to real problems, including text and web mining. A second practical goal is to provide the standard skills and tools needed to autonomously analyse data projects.
Data Science Engineering: This module aims to provide the student with direct contact with the technologies, mainly in computer engineering, which allow the deployment of the data analysis tools and the development and implementation of new solutions.
Open Data Management: This module aims to provide the student with direct contact with the technologies used for the implementation of data repositories and their subsequent exploitation. The most relevant standards and the most visible initiatives are presented in different areas of knowledge within the Open Science context.
The academic organisation of the master presents thus a great balance between theory and practice, making this degree one of the most complete of its kind.
Together with the specialization modules, there is a professional module covering the security, privacy and legal aspects of Data Science and the newest developments on the field as dedicated seminar sessions.
One of the strongest points of this Master is the professional orientation module, where the students can choose between an internship in a company or research group and a set of datalabs, where they can explore real world problems guided by experts on the field.