Mission Statement - short version

Our purpose is to teach and advocate for the responsible use of data science.

Mission Statement - long version

Our purpose is to teach and advocate for the responsible use of data science. We define data science as the process of gaining insight from data through reproducible and auditable processes. Responsible use of data science involves insisting on reproducible practices, carefully considering the ethical implications of one’s work, clearly communicating and not overstating one’s results, creating effective analyses and visualizations, as well as minimizing technical debt. We are committed to teaching these practices to our students, and disseminating them within the global data science community both directly and indirectly through our alumni. Finally, we are committed to be involved in determining the definition, scope, and boundaries of data science.

Our vision for MDS has three areas of focus: building a world-class data science Master’s program, engagement and leadership in the data science community, and fostering a happy and passionate team. Below, we describe our vision for a “wild success” scenario for MDS in each of these three areas.

A world-class data science Master’s program

  • Students find the MDS program challenging, effective, and fun.
  • We are transparent about what we are offering, and what we aren’t.
  • We work to make MDS better each year, based on student feedback and new developments in the field.
  • We do not stop at teaching our students; rather, we take ownership of our students’ learning, which we carefully assess and assist.
  • We support our students’ academic, professional, and career growth.
  • We set a good example, both technically (e.g. writing good code) and professionally/personally (e.g. treating people with respect).
  • We bring together diverse cohorts of students from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds who learn from each other, learn to work at the boundaries between disciplines, and/or bring data science back to their respective fields.
  • We foster a welcoming and inclusive environment for all our students.
  • The MDS degree has both local and global recognition, which benefits our students on the job market.

Engagement and leadership in the data science community

  • MDS is a world-class hub that promotes sharing of data science knowledge and data science pedagogy, including through our blog and open-source resources.
  • We regularly attend and organize conferences that foster discussions about the responsible use of data science and data science pedagogy.
  • We maintain a public description of how we define data science, including its scope and boundaries. We engage with the data science community to build a definition that is agreed upon by a wide audience.
  • MDS alumni form a thriving network of responsible stewards and practitioners of data science, who are well posed to spread the responsible use of data science in their respective organizations, and to influence global change through data science.
  • MDS alumni engage with the program through Capstone projects, conferences, and career events.
  • The MDS alumni network is a vibrant community for both technical and non-technical discussions, as well as job postings.

A happy and passionate team

Our team includes faculty, administrative staff, technical staff, teaching assistants, and anyone else who contributes to making MDS a success.

  • We learn from each other, help each other, and keep our egos out of the workplace. Our workplace culture is safe for dissent.
  • The various branches of the team communicate effectively and support each other.
  • Working at MDS is exciting and immersive, but is consistent with an appropriate work-life balance.
  • We avoid inertia and step outside our comfort zones to keep the program cutting-edge.
  • We have fun and celebrate our accomplishments.
  • Through implementing the above, MDS is highly desirable place to work.