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What? Why? Who?

A general introduction to the Program

“Data Scientist: The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century”
Harvard Business Review, 2012

What are “Stochastics*” and “Data Science”?

The Master's Degree in Stochastics and Data Science aims at preparing students with a solid and modern education in probabilistic and statistical methods. Core topics will be advanced methodologies and techniques that are nowadays required tools for performing mathematical modelling and analysis under uncertainty (Stochastics) and for analysing and being able to interpret high-dimensional and complex data structures (Data Science). The emphasis of the course topics will be both theoretical and oriented towards computation and applications, providing not a “book of recipes” but the capability of discerning, combining and applying the most useful and modern methods available in Probability and Statistics.

The Master's Degree in Stochastics and Data Science draws inspiration from the best graduate programs in Data Science recently started in the USA and Europe, and is currently the only offer of this type in Italy.

 Why should I be willing to obtain a degree in Stochastics and Data Science?

 We live in an era with huge availability of information. Think for example about the amount of data the social networks generate, where every click is registered and archived for future use. Being able to model and interpret this information is crucial, whatever the scope.

It then comes to no surprise, that one of the leading job figures of the 21th century is going to be that of data scientist. In the past few years, jobs analysts have been constantly ranking Mathematicians, Statisticians and Data Scientists among the best and most requested jobs, with even better future scenarios. Here is a sample of international media reports

  • Harvard Business Review: Data Scientist: The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century.
  • CareerCast ranks Data Scientist and Statistician as the top 2 jobs in 2016 (see also the Wall Street Journal and CNN).
  • Glassdoor rated Data Scientist as the no. 1 job in 2016.
  • Forbes: number of Data Scientists doubled over the last four years.
  • McKinsey: Big data, the next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity.
  • LinkedIn ranks Statistical Analysis and Data Mining as the hottest skill in 2014.
  • New York Times: Bayesian statistics are rippling through everything from physics to cencer research, ecology to psychology.

and Italian media reports:

  • Il Sole 24 Ore: Data Science and Statistics are experiencing a rapid expansion in terms of job positions.
  • La Repubblica: no jobs shortage for Mathematicians.
  • La Stampa: skills and competences for Big Data still lacking in Italy.
“For today’s graduate, just one word: Statistics”
E. Brynjolfsson, MIT Center for Digital Business Director, New York Times, 2009


What can I do after completing this Master's Degree?

Gaining solid skills related to the above outlined topics will enable to deal with and model data collected in a variety of disciplinary fields by exploiting a deep mathematical understanding of the underneath structures. Graduates in Stochastics and Data Science will have a solid knowledge in key topics from Applied Mathematics, Probability and Statistics combined with computational skills essential for modern interdisciplinary applications. Such preparation allows to use this theoretical knowledge for concrete tasks, for example for: 

  • autonomously formulating complex probabilistic models for describing static and dynamic phenomena of interest;

  • developing the necessary mathematical and statistical tools for their analysis;

  • using these models together with sets of available data to perform estimation, forecasting and uncertainty quantification of phenomena under study;

  • designing and implementing computational strategies in the form of algorithms for concretely carrying out the statistical procedures.

Such skills are nowadays highly demanded in a variety of professional environments, both in the private and in the public sector.

Alternatively, those more interested in proceeding with PhD studies, will have gained a solid background which allows to enter programs in Statistics, Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Operations Research, Computer Science, Economics and Mathematical Finance, among other topics.


What degree does this Program award?

The Master's degree in Stochastics and Data Science is a second-cycle degree legally recognised as a Laurea Magistrale in the class LM-40 Mathematics within the Italian university system.


Whom is the Master's Degree aimed at?

The Master's Degree in Stochastics and Data Science is aimed at highly motivated students who have obtained or are close to obtaining a Bachelor Degree (Laurea Triennale for students in Italian Universities) or an equivalent title. A Bachelor education in Mathematics, Statistics, Physics or Computer Science is ideal, but talented and motivated students with a different degree and willing to enrol in a challenging and exciting course are also welcome to apply for admission.

Students who need to consolidate their mathematical background will be given suggestions for self-organised study at the admission and during the first semester.  To the same end, these are also encouraged to choose their free credits for the Bachelor Degree (Laurea Triennale) on courses in quantitative methods, most notably analysis, probability, statistics,  operations research and econometrics.

"I keep saying the sexy job in the next ten years will be statisticians."
H. Varian, Google Chief Economist, The McKinsey Quarterly, 2009




* Note that Stochastic is an adjective but Stochastics (with the "s") is a noun. The name Stochastics and Data Science (with the "s") then represents the two main souls of the Program (and an adjective in front of "and" would not make grammatical sense).

Last update: 22/09/2016 18:45
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