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- by New College News

SARASOTA, Fla. — The Applied Data Science program at New College has finalized a grant agreement totaling $97,680 from the United State Department of Agriculture that will support internships for five of its students. 2023 marks the second time the USDA has sponsored internships for New College data science students.

The funding will allow second-year graduate students to take part in semester-long paid internships next spring, working alongside USDA scientists on topics such as food safety, soil, water or crop management, climate adaptation, animal welfare or genetics. First-year data science students will complete paid internships in summer 2024.

“Applied data science at New College is a rigorous program that produces industry-ready graduates, and the caliber of internships available to our students are indicative of their readiness to contribute in the workplace,” said New College President Richard Corcoran.

“This is an excellent opportunity for our grad students to apply their data science coursework to a very specific problem in the field,” said Bernhard Klingenberg, the Director of the Applied Data Science Program and the principal investigator of the grant. “It’s a win-win for both sides. Our students learn how to work as a data scientist in a larger team, and the USDA is glad to help train the next generation of scientists proficient in AI.”

Aaron Spielman participated in an internship through the USDA during the previous grant cycle. He spent the summer with the National Soil Erosion Lab at Purdue University.

“I was able to apply many of the skills I developed in the Data Science Master’s program to a project involving the development of a deep learning model that identifies the location of subsurface tile drains from high resolution satellite imagery and environmental data,” said Spielman.

The Master’s in Applied Data Science program at New College has a 100% job placement rate within three months of graduation with a median post-graduate salary of $95,000. Fortune Magazine has ranked it among the “Best Data Science Master’s Programs” in 2022 and 2023.