Second Annual IC Data Day Showcases the Future

By Carlie McClinsey ’19, October 26, 2018
Lectures highlight exciting possibilities of “Big Data.”

Data makes the world go around, and this week, members of the Ithaca College community got to see exactly how that data will impact the future, thanks to the second annual IC Data Day, hosted by the Office of Analytics and Institutional Research, on Thursday, Oct. 25, in the Campus Center.

Yuko Mulugetta, IC’s chief analytics officer, said this event was an opportunity to educate the campus community on the importance of data and data analytics. “I hope that our students will begin to see how fast our society is changing around the data in person — not just through social media messages or movies — by exposing the IC community to advancements in data-related technologies,” she said.

Among the speakers was Michael Garrison ’10, who gave the crowd practical advice in a morning session focused on ways students can get their first analytics job.

The keynote address was delivered by Mark Campbell, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Cornell University, who presented on the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering’s relationship with self-driving cars. The research and data collection being done there provides the core of a self-driving vehicle’s operation. He shared how this evolving technology operates and where the science behind it is heading.

To end the presentations, Garrison, along with Ithaca College professors William Tastle and Scott Erickson and alumnus Nick Vogel ’18, and student Ferdinand Mase ’19 spoke about the current and future state of analytics at the college.

One way in which IC is preparing students for a future steeped in data is through the business analytics minor in the School of Business. Students in this minor take a variety of immersive classes and are taught to ask the right questions when collecting data, thoughtfully analyze results, and present findings through accessible and comprehensible data visualization.

Computer science major Joseph Cleveland ’20 was drawn to attend because of the discussion on self-driving cars, but came away impressed by the entire event. “I think that this was a great opportunity to see what kind of things are out there,” he said.