Professor, Computer Science & Engineering
Since arriving at the U of M in 1981, Daniel Boley has led the charge to prepare graduate and professional students for the new worlds of computer- and data-grounded fields.
In capacities such as graduate adviser and director of graduate admissions for computer science, he has helped organize interdisciplinary programs for graduate and professional students. But it’s his work as chief organizer and founding DGS for the Data Science M.S. Degree (DSM) program that stands as his signature accomplishment.
Recognizing the need for professionals who could collect, analyze, and process the gargantuan amounts of data generated in fields like climate studies, business, and medicine, Boley brought together faculty and dean’s offices from three colleges to design a rigorous degree program that meets the needs of its diverse constituencies. Launched in 2014, it promptly attracted high-caliber students beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.
Students learn by doing, and they should learn how to drive their own research agenda. The thesis topic of every one of my Ph.D. students has been driven by their own interests.
“The program’s design is fantastic. I love its flexibility, which allows us to gain expertise in whatever is important to our career plan,” says a former DSM student.
DSM students work with an adviser on independent capstone research projects. Even before graduating, they are highly sought after by major corporate labs and universities.
“My first DSM student’s capstone work was so important, I have hired him as a researcher within my group,” says one faculty DSM adviser.