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Data Science for Undergraduates: Opportunities and Options

 

As our economy, society, and daily life become increasingly dependent on data, work across nearly all fields is becoming more data driven, affecting both the jobs that are available and the skills that are required. At the request of the National Science Foundation, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine were asked to set forth a vision for the emerging discipline of data science at the undergraduate level. The study committee considered the core principles and skills undergraduates should learn and discussed the pedagogical issues that must be addressed to build effective data science education programs. Data Science for Undergraduates: Opportunities and Options underscores the importance of preparing undergraduates for a data-enabled world and recommends that academic institutions and other stakeholders take steps to meet the evolving data science needs of students. 
 

Project Scope, Committee Membership, and Meeting Information 

 

FINAL REPORTDownload the report here.

INTERIM REPORT – Download the report here.

 

 

WATCH REPORT RELEASE WEBINAR

 

5/2/18 - Data Science for Undergraduates: Opportunities and Options - Webinar Recording

During this webinar, study co-chairs Laura Haas and Alfred Hero discuss the report's findings and recommendations, followed by a question and answer session with webinar participants.

 

WATCH PAST WEBINARS 

 

4/2/17 – Envisioning Data Science: Overview of the Study - Webinar Recording

During this webinar, committee members discussed the study's plans and solicited input on directions and topics the study should examine.  

 

9/12/17 – Building Data Acumen - Webinar RecordingSlides

During this webinar, invited speakers discussed key components that should be included in data science curriculum, how to best teach students to make good judgments about data, and how data acumen can be evaluated.

Host: Tom Ewing, Virginia Tech
Nicole Lazar, University of Georgia
Mladen Vouk, North Carolina State University


9/19/17 – Incorporating Real-World Applications -
Webinar RecordingSlides

During this webinar, invited speakers discussed how partnerships between industry and educational programs could be encouraged, whether a focus on real problems could attract a more diverse cadre of data science students, and how to help students gain access to real-world data sets.

Host: Tom Ewing, Virginia Tech
Cláudio T. Silva, New York University
Sears Merritt, Mass Mutual Financial Group

 

9/26/17 – Faculty Training and Curriculum Development - Webinar RecordingSlides

During this webinar, invited speakers discussed what types of faculty training would be beneficial, how to encourage faculty development in data science, and how to build data science programs with the flexibility needed to respond to changes in the field and encourage diverse participation.
Host:  Nicholas Horton, Amherst College
Michael Posner:  Villanova University
Robert Panoff, Shodor

 

10/3/17 – Communication Skills and Teamwork - Webinar RecordingSlides

During this webinar, invited speakers discussed how to foster communication and teamwork in data science programs and how multidisciplinary teams could serve as effective models for the real world.
Host: Lee Rainie, Pew Research
Madeleine Claire Elish, Data & Society 
Adam Hughes, Pew Research
 

10/10/17 – Inter-Departmental Collaboration and Institutional Organization - Webinar RecordingSlides

During this webinar, invited speakers discussed best practices for fostering collaboration between departments, opportunities for new data science education initiatives, and how organizational structures could be restructured to encourage data science collaboration.
Host: Tom Ewing, Virginia Tech
Mark Embree, Virginia Tech
Michael Franklin, University of Chicago
 

10/17/17 – Ethics -Webinar RecordingSlides

During this webinar, invited speakers will discuss how ethical considerations can best be incorporated throughout data science curricula and how students can be taught to make ethical decisions throughout the problem-solving process. 
Host: Lee Rainie, Pew Research
Sorin Matei, Purdue University
Brittany Fiore-Gartland, University of Washington


10/24/17 – Assessment and Evaluation for Data Science Programs - Webinar RecordingSlides

During this webinar, invited speakers discussed existing evaluation processes, best practices for assessing data science programs, and whether there are standard evaluation approaches that can be adopted across programs.
Host:  Louis Gross, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Pamela Bishop, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Kari Jordan, Data Carpentry

 

11/7/17 – Diversity, Inclusion, and Increasing Participation - Webinar RecordingSlides

During this webinar, invited speakers discussed how to broaden participation, diversity, and inclusion in data science programs and strategies for recruiting and retaining diverse data science students.
Host:  Nicholas Horton, Amherst College
Talithia Williams, Harvey Mudd College
Allison Master, University of Washington
 

11/14/17 – Two-Year Colleges and Institutional Partnerships - Webinar RecordingSlides

During this webinar, invited speakers discussed how to facilitate partnerships between 2-year and 4-year institutions and what aspects of data science are appropriate and feasible to develop at 2-year institutions.
Host:  Laura Haas, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Brian Kotz, Montgomery College
Suzanne Smith, Johnson County Community College

 

 

PLANNING MEETING

On December 12-13, 2016, the study committee held a meeting to discuss plans for the study and upcoming workshops.  Participants discussed the state of current undergraduate data science education and brainstormed ways to improve the data science education pipeline. Agenda and Presentations

WORKSHOP

On May 2-3, 2017, the study committee organized a workshop to discuss key themes relevant to envisioning the future of data science.  Participants discussed data science skills and knowledge, education delivery, and broad participation.