ANN ARBOR – The University of Michigan Program in Survey Methodology is entering a new era with a new name. Going forward, the program, with its alumni network including statisticians, survey scientists, analysts, and data scientists, will be called the Michigan Program in Survey and Data Science.
Program Director Fred Conrad explains the motivation behind the name change. “The new name reflects the program’s cutting-edge curriculum and focus,” Conrad said. “Our curriculum is concerned with a broad set of data sources including survey data, but also including social media posts, sensor data, and administrative records, as well as analytic methods for working with these new data sources.”
The Michigan Program in Survey and Data Science emphasizes a focus on data quality. “Data quality is not at the center of most data science programs,” noted Conrad, “but survey methodologists have been concerned with data quality for decades and they have made substantial theoretical and practical progress. The new name speaks to what we teach and work on at the intersection of social research and data science.”
The program will continue to offer MS and PhD degrees to prepare graduates for careers that blend traditional survey research techniques with new methods for working with large, complex, and repurposed data. “So far, the reaction to our new name has been uniformly positive,” Conrad said. “Whether a coincidence or related to our new name, the incoming cohort of MS students is the largest we have had in our 20-year history.”
For more information:
Contact: Dory Knight-Ingram