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Applications are open for the new II level Honors Course in Data Science at the Sant'Anna School

A new Area in Data Science has been created as part of the Social Sciences Class of the Sant'Anna School. Applications for the 2024-25 a.y. are now open until June 18th.
Publication date: 28.05.2024
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Starting in the 2024-2025 a.y., the Sant'Anna School will be launching the new Sant'Anna School II level (Masters) Honors Course in Data Science. Individuals interested in applying for this exciting program, which will provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in the rapidly growing field of Data Science, can find the official call (including deadlines and formal requirements) at the Sant'Anna School's Honors Courses page.

Data Science lies at the heart of contemporary science, policy, and business -- and data scientists, capable of addressing complex questions through data and principled methodology, have become indispensable to research and decision making in all fields.

The new and evolving curriculum, developed by members of the L'EMbeDS community, targets the challenges posed by the analysis of massive data sets generated by research, industry, and government -- providing computational and statistical skills, along with the interdisciplinary environment to apply such skills in the social sciences, and critical socio-economic and legal perspectives on their use.

The School will offer two fully-funded scholarships for students starting the program in the 2024-2025 a.y., which will cover housing and meals for the entire program duration, as well as funding for travel and opportunities for internships and visiting periods in national and international academic institutions.

In addition to the Sant'Anna II level Diploma, students enrolled in the program will pursue either the Laurea Magistrale (M.Sci) degree in “Statistics and Data Science” at the University of Florence, or the Laurea Magistrale (M.Sci) degree in “Data Science and Business Informatics” at the University of Pisa. Both Lauree Magistrali offer extensive training -- and, in addition to courses and activities within the Sant'Anna School, will provide students with a well-rounded, rich educational experience and a multitude of placement options.

While the Sant'Anna Honors Course in Data Science is new, L'EMbeDS and its faculty have been building expertise and momentum in this field for years. Courses in Data Science have been taught at Sant’Anna since 2017, and honors students in Economic and Management Sciences had the option to pursue the Laurea Magistrale in Data Science and Business Informatics at the University of Pisa since 2018.

Christian Esposito Espositowas the first Sant'Anna student to take this path, due to his interest in Machine Learning applied to healthcare and biomedical data. Based on collaborations established for his thesis, after graduating in 2020 he joined the SickKids lab in Toronto as a visiting researcher, studying cardiac arrest prediction in intensive care units. He pursued the same line of research as a visiting researcher at Harvard's Machine Intelligence Lab in Boston in 2021. In April 2022, Christian became a research scientist at the biotech Owkin in Paris, where he works on Machine Learning for drug discovery in oncology and cardiology. “The environment at Sant’Anna encourages research and allows for close and valuable feedback, which is rare and probably one of the most effective ways to learn” – says Christian – “The close guidance I received and what I learned proved really useful in my work ever since, demonstrating the quality of the education provided by Sant’Anna”.

Lorenzo Testa Testa followed Christian's lead graduating in 2022, and then began a PhD in Statistics and Data Science at the Carnegie Mellon University of Pittsburgh. During his time as an honors student at Sant’Anna, Lorenzo spent a visiting period at the Pennsylvania State University and engaged in several research projects, which he remembers as “an invaluable opportunity to learn how real research works from impressive scholars”. He highlights the unique value of the interdisciplinary environment at Sant’Anna, where researchers tackle a diverse array of data-driven challenges, from climate change and its impacts to epidemiology. “The learning and research opportunities in this environment are endless” – Lorenzo emphasizes – “Sant'Anna is really the right place to study Data Science, at the right time!” Even while pursuing his doctorate oversees, Lorenzo maintains various research collaborations at Sant'Anna, and has become a junior affiliate of L'EMbeDS.

Esposito-FFilippo Michelis, who recently completed the Laurea Magistrale in Data Science and Business Informatics and is about to graduate also from Sant'Anna, will be joining the Statistics Department at the University of Michigan as a PhD student in the Fall of 2024.  During his studies, Filippo took several courses in Statistics and Machine Learning, spent a semester abroad as a visiting scholar at the Department of Statistics of the Pennsylvania State University (USA), and engaged in research with L’EMbeDS faculty. “The experience at Sant'Anna marked a significant turning point in my life” – Filippo says – “The dynamic environment of the School, coupled with early engagement in research and close interaction with faculty, helped me shape my academic objectives and provided opportunities to pursue them”.

The vibrant Data Science community at Sant’Anna and at its partner institutions is looking for talented students eager to learn about the multifaceted aspects of this field and genuinely interested in working with data. We encourage all interested students to apply! Follow this link to the Sant'Anna School's Honors Courses page.


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