World-Class Faculty: Online Master of Data Science


World-Class Faculty: Online Master of Data Science

The rise of Data Science is driven by a growing demand to extract actionable insights from large and complex "big data" repositories. It’s a critical and in-demand capability for every industry, including tech, healthcare, energy transition, government, manufacturing and more.

MDS@Rice students will benefit from 1:1 interaction with award-winning Faculty members who possess deep knowledge and experience in a variety of areas, including statistics and probability, electrical and computer engineering, and computer science. Our MDS@Rice faculty also encourage students to be hands-on, gaining useful skills that can help solve practical, real-world problems.


Meet the Online Faculty

Meet Rice's extraordinary educators who are dedicated to delivering an online learning experience that helps working professionals achieve their career goals and improve society.

Genevera Allen, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Statistics and Computer Science

Dr. Genevra Allen received her Ph.D in Statistics from Stanford University (2010) and her Bachelors, also in Statistics, from Rice University (2006). In addition to serving as Founder and Faculty Director of Rice's D2K Lab, she is the recipient of several awards, and in 2014, she was named to the "Forbes '30 under 30': Science and Healthcare" list. Her research interests include Statistical Machine Learning, Data Integration, Graphical Models, Optimization, Reproducible Data-Driven Discoveries, Applications in Neuroscience and Bioinformatics.

Kerry Back, J. Howard Creekmore Professor of Finance, Professor of Economics

Dr. Kerry Back is the J. Howard Creekmore Professor of Finance at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business and a Professor of Economics. In addition to teaching applications of Data Science within Investments and Finance for MDS@Rice, he currently teaches investments to MBA students and asset pricing theory to PhD students at the Jones School. His research interests include Asset Pricing, Market Microstructure, Derivative Securities, and Auction Theory.

Arko Barman

Arko Barman, Assistant Teaching Professor

Dr. Arko Barman has a background in both data science and the medical field having work as postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Houston in 2018. His research interests include Medical Image Computing, Deep Learning, Computer Vision, Machine Learning, Data Mining, and Heuristic Optimization Algorithms.

Su Chen

Su Chen, Assistant Teaching Professor

Dr. Su Chen received her Ph.D in Statistics and Data Science at the University of Texas at Austin and has industry experience working in an actuarial consulting firm. Her research lies in the interaction of methodology, theory and computation of Bayesian statistics and their applications to high dimensional data analysis.

Mike Fagan, Research Scientist and Lecturer in Computer Science

Dr. Mike Fagan received his B.A., M.S., and Ph.D. all from Rice University. His Research interests include design and implementation of programming languages, especially high level languages, and automatic differentiation.

Arun Gopalakrishnan

Arun Gopalakrishnan, Assistant Professor of Marketing

Professor Arun Gopalakrishnan is an Assistant Professor of Marketing and teaches electives on Customer Lifetime Value and Advanced Marketing Research at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business. His teaching and research interests include the impact of various marketing initiatives on holistic customer relationship management and revenue, as well as econometric and statistical methods to uncover customer insights from big data.

Marmar Orooji, Lecturer in Computer Science

Dr. Marmar Orooji’s research interests include Data Analytics, Data Privacy and Anonymization, and Semantic Analysis.

Amit Pazgal

Amit Pazgal, Friedkin Chair in Management and Professor of Marketing and Operations Management

Professor Amit Pazgal is a professor of marketing and operations management at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business. His teaching and research interests include Operations Management, Optimal Pricing Mechanisms, Competitive Marketing Strategies, Internet Institutions and Competition, and Process Improvement.

Janell Straach, Lecturer in Computer Science

Dr. Janell Straach has a diverse background including academic and industry experience. She has worked in industry for IBM and a large electric/gas utility organization and is chairman of the board of Women In CyberSecurity-WiCyS ( Her research areas of interest include Intelligent Systems, CyberSecurity, Software Architecture, and Software Project Management.



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