Programmatic issues in an undergraduate data science minor

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Conference Proceeding

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We address some issues involved in developing an undergraduate Data Science program, and discuss them in the context of the Data Science minor at St. John Fisher College. The presentation will show how American Statistical Association curriculum guidelines for statistical science led to course and curriculum development work, culminating in program requirements, a course progression, and a skills map for the Data Science program. We discuss the need for disciplinary inquiry and problem solving in a Data Science program. Our program combines a badge of statistical and computing study with disciplinary electives that are integrated in a capstone Data Science experience, and we illustrate some of those disciplinary connections. Finally, we address the statistical computing challenges of a Data Science program, particularly as they play out in a Data Science minor, and explain our use of R as our program’s computing environment. Our experience is that Data Science is inherently multidisciplinary and adds value to students’ education in many liberal arts disciplines and their preparation for careers in those fields.


Presented at the 7th Annual Conference of the Upstate New York Chapters of the American Statistical Association in Rochester, New York, April 21, 2018.

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