An important and distinguishing feature of the MAS program is its tight connection to local enterprise, via collaborations with industrial, business, and government partners. Such partners are organizations outside of UCLA that work with the faculty to guide the program, sponsor student thesis projects and provide access to their internship programs for enrolled students.
To complete the program, students must complete a thesis project that will involve working closely with an industry partner and a faculty mentor to solve a real scientific or business problem. Industry partners will identify problems with accompanying data that can serve as thesis projects. Students will meet regularly with an appointed industry partner who will evaluate the students’ progress. Students will also meet with their faculty mentor, who will ensure that current standards of practice are being adhered to.
Students will also be encouraged to participate in internships with the industry partners. Students may elect to earn course credit for their internship by writing a substantial report relating to or arising from the internship. This report will also be co-supervised by a faculty mentor and must be separate work from the thesis.
An advisory board, consisting of senior members from industry partners, will meet annually with Statistics faculty to review the curriculum to ensure that it is offering cutting-edge preparation for professionals in the (broadly defined) data analytics and data science industry.
Being an industrial partner offers advantages to an enterprise. It will have a direct conduit for interaction with the world-class faculty at UCLA. Staff from the enterprise would be natural candidates for the MAS program. It will introduce the enterprise and its staff to talented program participants and allow them to work side-by-side. These students will be able to apply their skills to challenging and novel problems in industry, providing a fresh view.
Students are expected to complete their internships by the end of the first summer, and submit a report to summarize their work during the internship. Evaluation of the students’ work will be provided by the internship sponsors. Students will enroll in individual study and/or thesis research courses with a faculty member who will ensure that the student is assigned to a thesis project. Projects may originate from industry partners, who will also making sure the student is making satisfactory progress. Each student usually will be assigned a particular, individual project and industry mentor. In cases where a topic or dataset is complex enough or large enough in scope to warrant more than one thesis, more than one student may be assigned to this dataset or topic. However, each student will work independently on his or her thesis and each thesis will be different, relating to a particular, specific aspect of the topic, reflecting individual work. Thesis work will be reviewed and approved by the student’s faculty mentor and thesis committee.
To date, we have already established partnerships with a number of local companies, and we expect to continue fostering additional partnerships.
If you are interested in becoming an MAS partner, please select the button below and complete the form and/or contact the MAS director, Frederic Paik-Schoenberg (firstname.lastname@example.org).