The integration of statistics, computer science and human behavior is at the core of data science, an emerging field that is helping tech-minded students find career options in health care, commerce and more. "This is a generation of kids that grew up with data science around them -- Netflix telling them what movies they should watch, Amazon telling them what books they should read -- so this is an academic interest with real-world applications," said Chris Wiggins, a professor of applied mathematics at Columbia who is involved in its new Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering.

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