CDS Announces Initiative for Online Programs under Leadership of Giorgos Zervas

The Faculty of Computing & Data Sciences (CDS) at Boston University will expand into the online master’s program through a partnership between CDS and BU Virtual

In keeping with the CDS mission to “democratize access by learners, researchers, practitioners, and the public to the transformative power of computation and data,” CDS will expand its portfolio to include online degree programs that are distinct from and go well beyond the core residential undergraduate and graduate programs, both in terms of pedagogy and target learner population. Azer Bestavros, associate provost for the Faculty of CDS and William Fairfield Warren Distinguished Professor of Computer Science, said this will enable CDS to serve a wider and more diverse set of students and address a clear and growing national need for working professionals who need to advance their skills in computing, data science, and artificial intelligence (AI). 

“This is an exciting time for CDS. Today, nearly every industry, from health care and automotive to marketing and commerce, creates demand for skills in computing, data science, and AI,” Bestavros said. “Exploring new modalities for professional education and for new types of learners in that space is a great step forward in advancing the work we do to create greater societal impact.”

Giorgos Zervas

Giorgos Zervas, a founding member of the CDS faculty, will lead this initiative, serving as the inaugural director of Online Programs in CDS. He will dedicate his full effort in the next two years to working with CDS faculty and the BU Virtual team, led by Wendy Colby, Vice President and Associate Provost, on the conception, development, and launch of the first online offering, an Online Master’s in Computing and Data Science (MCDS) degree program tentatively scheduled to launch in fall 2024.

Wendy Colby

Zervas is an associate professor of marketing at the Questrom School of Business and a member of the BU faculty since 2013. He has been involved with CDS since day one and helped with its launch phase (2020-2022), actively contributing to the proposal development of the undergraduate and graduate degree programs, serving and continuing to serve as a member of the CDS Academic Policy Committee, and serving as a member of all faculty search committees for CDS since its inception. 

Previously, Zervas held a variety of distinguished positions, including Visiting Scholar at MIT Sloan, Simons Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale University, and affiliate at the Center for Research on Computation and Society at Harvard University. He holds a PhD in computer science from BU and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in computer science from Imperial College London.

According to Bestavros, the first step in the conception of the new Online MCDS is to develop the proposal for getting the program approved through University Council, which Zervas will focus on this fall.