fjdkl;aWinona State University is addressing a growing demand for data scientists with a new academic program.

“Data is everywhere and training young professionals on the methods to extract information from data is becoming increasingly important,” said Chris Malone, professor of statistics and data science. “Winona State is leading the way in creating this new Data Science program. I believe ours is the first undergraduate data science program in the upper Midwest.”

According to Malone, WSU has been a leader in the development of undergraduate statistics curriculum for over 20 years. The department’s strong programmatic background and faculty depth will help ensure the success of WSU’s new data science program, said Malone.

The Data Science program focuses on the skills necessary to turn data into knowledge. It also reflects a collaboration between academic and industry partners.

“In the early stages of our program development, we conducted interviews with industry representatives from companies like Fastenal, Mayo Clinic, Target Corporation and Medtronic,” said Malone. “The demand for data scientists continues to outpace most other occupations, and we felt it was important that our students attain the skills businesses are most looking for in potential employees.”

WSU will host an official launch for the new Data Science program from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, April 13, in Science Laboratory Center 120. Jessica Utts, President-Elect of the American Statistical Association, is scheduled to speak, along with WSU alumni Melia Haugen and Derek Hoffman. A reception will follow in the SLC Atrium.

The Data Science program features a major and minor and is offered through the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. The program launched in fall 2014.

Learn more about the program at: Or contact Chris Malone, Professor of Statistics and Data Science, at:

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Nicole Cullinan