Prospective students ask a lot of good questions about what our program is like. So to help share some insight on the student experience, here are some MQM FAQs:

How much time do students spend working on teams versus working individually?

It depends on what classes you are taking in a given term. Although each class has team assignments, some classes are more teamwork-oriented (Data Science for Business, Business Communication, Data Visualization), while some require relatively more individual work (Applied Probability and Statistics).

Don’t underestimate how important teamwork is to students in this program. I had experiences staying in a team room until midnight, or spending an entire Saturday with teammates on projects. Sometimes it became very challenging, especially when a deadline was near and people were under pressure. But then gradually I got used to this and became more skillful working with others.

What tools do you learn in your studies?

The use of R and Python is incorporated throughout the program. My Data Infrastructure course used SQL, while Data Visualization used Tableau almost exclusively with a big push toward why certain types of visualizations are more effective than others. Market Intelligence used SAS. Additional tools will depend on what the faculty members for each course feel is currently most relevant to solve the types of questions being addressed.

What is your favorite class?

My favorite classes are the ‘hardcore’ ones. Customer Relationship Management, for example, was one of the best for learning the application of the theory that was taught. The professor was from industry, and the class content was very straightforward and useful in the workplace.

Who is your favorite professor?

This one is extremely hard to answer! I narrowed it down to three:

Professor Ryan Burk

Professor Burk taught two of my classes, Data Infrastructure (used MySQL) and Empirical Economic Analysis (used R). As a former data scientist from IBM, he taught the most useful skills in practice, and always made them easy to understand. It’s a pleasure to follow his logic and thoughts during class and even when doing the homework. He’s also very helpful when answering student’s questions, no matter related to class or career. But the best part of class is Professor Burk’s geeky humor: “Guys, I just told a joke….”

Professor Kevin Shang

Professor Shang was one of the most popular professors with our MQM class. Although his course, Operation Analytics, was at 9:00 a.m., the classroom was always full of energy—no one wanted to miss the fun during class. My favorite exercise was the Minifield simulation game developed by Professor Shang, which allowed us to manage supply chain and operations online as a team and compete with each other. He’s also friendly and you can see his culinary arts if you follow him on Instagram!

Professor Peng Sun

Professor Sun taught Decision Analytics and Modeling, and just like the subject he teaches, he’s a smart and detail-oriented person. His class materials and homework were the most organized ones, and the way he explained the models to us could not have been simpler. When doing his homework, we were challenged to think deeper and explore every possibility. He didn’t necessarily grade based on correct answers (except for certain projects) and he encouraged us to think before he revealed the new knowledge during the next class.

What is your favorite thing about Durham?

Durham was the winner of “The South’s Tastiest Town!” My roommates and I went out to try new restaurants every Friday night. Among others, there are several authentic Chinese, Korean, and Indian restaurants, and Durham is not so large of a city that it’s inconvenient.