Info For
Skip to Content
students gathered around a computer

Taylor Mathematics Adds Data Science Major

  • By: Charis Negley
  • Published:
student working in a data science class

The Mathematics Department’s new Data Science major prepares students to explore, understand, produce, and interpret data to make educated decisions in their fields by using appropriate data analytic tools holistically, responsibly, and effectively. 

With concentrations in Chemistry, Political Science, Sociology, and Systems (Psychology, Biology, Public Health, Physics, and Sports Management concentrations to come in the next academic year), Data Science students can focus on fields in their areas of interest.

While Data Science is a new major this year, the Mathematics Department has been preparing successful data scientists for many years already. A joint venture with the Computer Science & Engineering Department, the Data Science major has evolved thanks to the growing interest in combining math, computer science, and systems.

Jason Argo

Jason Argo ’19: Lead Data Scientist

Jason Argo ’19 is a lead data scientist for Chick-fil-A. After doing a summer internship at the company, he had the opportunity to come back to Chick-fil-A full-time as a software engineer. He later moved into a role in data analytics, and after completing his master’s degree, he transferred to a data scientist role.

As a Taylor student, Argo was a Computer Science and Finance major. While in those programs, he learned about adding the Systems curriculum to his degree.

“The foundational skills from some of the Systems classes got me interested in the idea of doing a career in data science, but also laid a foundation for my master’s coursework,” Argo said. “So when I went into the master’s degree, I felt very well prepared.”

Argo partners with different stakeholders in Chick-fil-A and helps design analytical tools to provide relevant insights to help them solve problems. A lot of this comes through machine learning

Argo’s passion for data science is deeply rooted in his fascination with the world around him.

“I think it’s seeing the beauty of the different patterns in the world,” he said. “Data is essentially our mechanism to try to capture an element of the signal of reality. Things are going on all over the place, and we can model what’s going on with data. 

Taylor fosters a community of life-long learners, and Argo is no exception. Through Chick-fil-A’s professional development budget, he continues to take classes on AI and Machine Learning.

Allie (Terrnet) Carter

Allie (Ternet ’19) Carter: Biostatistician

Allie (Ternet ’19) Carter, a Mathematics-Interdisciplinary alumna, works as a biostatistician for Indiana University, conducting statistics and data analysis for clinical trials and medical research. 

While Carter’s time at Taylor shaped her academically, it also had a great spiritual impact on her life.

“Being around believers every day really was formative, and having professors teaching not only math but also those faith concepts was really instrumental for me,” Carter said. 

No matter the field, Carter notes that appreciation for data science is becoming more and more prevalent.

“Every field is using data now; even if you’re into art or music or English, people are looking at data to make decisions and see how things are working,” Carter said. “So really, data is everywhere. It’s not just a math thing. You can go so many different directions with it.”

Hannah King

Hannah King ’20: Business Intelligence Assistant

Hannah King ’20, also a Mathematics-Interdisciplinary major, worked for a couple of years as a data scientist at Resultant and now works as a business intelligence assistant.

“As a data scientist, I worked pretty much daily with data directly,” said King. “Usually (clients) have some kind of business-related question in whatever area of expertise they have, and we take a look at the data either that they provide or data that we have access to answer some of those questions.”

King said that her Taylor education prepared her for the field in a crucial and personal way.

“There is a very human-centered approach to everything,” she said. “Coming from Taylor, I think my education was on working collaboratively with other people and understanding why certain questions are being asked.”

God’s Stewards Over Data

In the Data Science major, students learn that there are real people behind the data they work with. The program approaches this idea of data stewardship from a Christian perspective.

"To be able to do it in a holistic Christian way that values depth of thought and creativity, that’s what Taylor’s got that’s unique,” said Mathematics Department Chair Dr. Derek Thompson.

As part of the Mathematics Department, Data Science students participate in activities like Math Club, freshman retreat, and Pi Week (where students get to throw a pie at a professor), attend competitions and conferences, and listen to speakers talk about what it’s like to do math in the industry and be Christian in that field.

“Anybody who collects data now needs someone to put it to use,” said Thompson. “These courses are more broadly about what does it mean to be a mathematician, what does it mean to be a human who loves God and wants to use these things for his glory?”

See How Data Science Can Equip You

Want to learn more about Taylor’s new Data Science major? Begin your Taylor journey now by scheduling a campus visit.