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Hendrix College to Offer New Minor in Data Analytics

CONWAY, Ark. (March 5, 2018) – Hendrix College will offer a new minor degree in Data Analytics, beginning with the 2018-19 academic year. The new minor was approved by the Hendrix College Board of Trustees at their February meeting. 

Hendrix is one of only four Associated Colleges of the South member institutions with a data analytics minor. Hendrix offers 33 majors and 35 minors, in addition to a master of arts in accounting. 

“There is a tremendous amount of data out there that is stored, and a tremendous need for people to find meaning in it. There’s more data than there are people to examine it,” said Dr. Gabriel Ferrer, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science and chair of the Department. “Demand for data analysis professionals is high, and we can help with the supply. We want to equip students with the skills they need to help people get valuable information from data.”

The Data Analytics minor requires that students study computer science, then draw from a range of elective courses, with options from mathematics, psychology, sociology and anthropology, biology, economics and business, and politics. Electives may focus on developing skills in computing and statistics, or introduce students to areas of the physical or social sciences with needs for applying statistical knowledge.

Faculty recommended the new minor at their January meeting, citing work already underway in multiple departments that gives students opportunities to examine data and determine effective ways to use it. For example, a new course in Computational Humanities offered by the computer science department is exploring a variety of data across multiple disciplines. 

“Right now, my students are learning techniques for analyzing and visualizing textual information,” said Dr. Mark Goadrich, Associate Professor of Computer Science. “Using data analysis, they are clustering a corpus of literature and poetry based on semantic content and writing style, and revealing some unexpected connections.”

“We see this program complementing existing majors, and we’re confident that it will bridge computational, mathematical, and statistical tools with the various contexts that can benefit from the examination of data,” Ferrer said. “And of course, learning to think about and interpret the underlying meaning of information fits with the spirit of a strong liberal arts education.”

For information on course requirements for the new Data Analytics minor, contact Ferrer at 501-450-3879 or

About Hendrix College

A private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix College consistently earns recognition as one of the country’s leading liberal arts institutions, and is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. Its academic quality and rigor, innovation, and value have established Hendrix as a fixture in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings. Founded in 1876, Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. To learn more, visit