Welcome to the Data Science+ Group Page

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Based on conversations at the 2018 LACOL Summer Workshop, a new interest group has emerged for Data Science Education, with a special interest in intersections with Environmental Studies as a data-intensive discipline.

Group Resource Page: Shared by/for Group Members  (submit resources here.)

While plans are still evolving, break-out discussions identified several areas of potential collaboration:

  • Webinars (see: https://lacol.net/data-science-nas-report) and study groups
  • Identify key data science skills and information falling between curricular cracks at LACOL schools and provide existing resources to begin addressing them.
  • Develop a repository to share software tutorials, commentary, wrappers, assignments, etc., that help teach students to use important tools. Be cognizant of appropriate scaffolding for when, where, how to use these materials in different contexts.
  • Develop a consortium-wide “Intro to Critical Data Collection and Analysis” course.
  • Explore options for managing environmental data collection from sensors or data generated collaboratively with other researchers; design requirements or existing database solutions for data sharing, and analysis.

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Webinar: Data Science on ramps and scaffolds (Nov 9)

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Event: Data Science: On ramps and scaffolds
Location: ZOOM web conference
Date: Friday, November 9
Time: 1:00-2:00pm Eastern
Discussion Leads: 
⇒ Ming-Wen An, Assoc. Professor of Statistics, Vassar College
⇒ Ella Foster-Molina, Teaching Associate, Quantitative Skills Laboratory, Swarthmore College

Prework:

Related Event: Envisioning a “What is data science?” webinar for students (Oct 1, 2018)

Description: Following on from the lively July webinar focused on the NAS Data Science for Undergraduates report (nap.edu/25104), LACOL DS+ members are invited to join a follow up webinar .

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Data Science and the Liberal Arts: June 5-7

Event: Data Science in the Liberal Arts Workshop
Date: June 5-7
Location: Washington & Lee University
Hosts: Profs. Natalia Toporikova & Moataz Khalifa
Planning Group: TBA
Attendees: members of LACOL DS+ working group and other data science educators (max 30 people)
Registration Page: coming soon
Agenda & Program:

  • A think tank to more deeply consider data science in the liberal arts college context; how to fully connect data science education to the liberal arts ethos?
  • Hands-on workshopping to design and prototype useful instructional modules for data science
    Full agenda coming soon

Which schools are involved?  All schools are welcome to join, here are local points of contact.

Amherst College (contact Prof. Nick Horton)
Bryn Mawr College (contact Prof. Anjali Thapar or Mark Matlin)
Carleton College (contact Prof. Adam Loy or Prof. Katie St. Clair)
Davidson College (contact Prof. Laurie Heyer)
Hamilton College (contact Beth Bohstedt)
Haverford College (contact Prof. Helen White)
Vassar College (contact Prof. Monika Hu)
Swarthmore College (contact Ella Foster Molina)
Washington & Lee University (contact Profs. Natalia Toporikova or Moataz Khalifa)
Williams College (contact Profs. Mihai Stoiciu or Steven J. Miller)

About the Data Science+ Working Group: Sparked by conversations at the LACOL summer workshop at Carleton College in 2018, the Data Science + working group is an active forum for faculty and staff to explore the frontiers of data science education at liberal arts colleges – especially looking for ways that collaboration can help to advance shared goals. DS+ held a series of lively webinars in 2018 and also helped to incubate ideas for the LACOL “Introduction to Critical Data Science” class being offered online in Summer 2019.

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Envisioning a “What is data science?” webinar (Oct 1)

Event: Envisioning a “What is data science?” webinar for students
Location: ZOOM web conference (rsvp to eevans@haverford.edu for a meeting invite)
Date: Monday, October 1
Time: 12:00 – 1:00 pm Eastern
Discussion Leads: 
⇒ Deborah Gross, Professor of Chemistry, Carleton College
⇒ Helen White, Assoc. Professor of Chemistry and Environmental Studies, Haverford College

Prework: add your topic ideas HERE

Related Event: Data Science on ramps and scaffolds (Nov 9, 2018)

Description: Following on from the lively July webinar focused on the NAS Data Science for Undergraduates report (nap.edu/25104), LACOL DS+ members are invited to join a follow up webinar.
(more…)

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Under Development: Introduction to Critical Data Science (shared course)

Coming in 2019 …

Introduction to Critical Data Science (co-taught course, shared digitally)

Learning Objectives:

  1. Familiarity and expertise in basic coding (R or python, Excel).
  2. Understanding of theory and application of basic concepts in statistics.
  3. Ability to write and present technical material to diverse audiences.

Course Sequence:

  • Intensive 8-week course with data lab component (fully digital)
  • Student centered learning design including pre-recorded lectures, real-time lectures, and laboratory/supported work time
  • Course to be co-taught by 4-5 instructors (one from each participating campus)
  • Delivery is fully online with some scheduled and some asynchronous events.

Level: This class is intended for non-majors.  There are no formal prerequisites; preference will be given for students with no prior coding experience; preference will be given to students who have taken college-level calculus.  Enrollment must be approved by the student’s advisor at their home institution and by a lead course instructor.

Course Team: tba (more…)

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Data Science for Undergraduates: Opportunities and Options … a liberal arts conversation

Event: Discussion of the NAS Data Science for Undergraduates Report
Location: ZOOM web conference
Date: Thursday, July 12
Time:
 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM Eastern
Discussion Leader: Professor Nicholas Horton, Amherst College

** Interested in collaboration around data science education for the liberal arts? Sign up to join the new LACOL Data Science+ Group.

Following on from the lively Data Science meets Environmental Studies meet up at the 2018 LACOL summer workshop, LACOL members are invited to join an online conversation to discuss faculty perspectives on the newly released Data Science for Undergraduates: Opportunities and Options report from the National Academies of Science. (More about the NAS report is here: http://nap.edu/25104)

Discussion of the report through a liberal arts lens will be lead by Dr. Nick Horton, Professor of Statistics at Amherst College.  Nick served as contributor to the report on the Committee on Envisioning the Data Science Discipline: the Undergraduate Perspective.   As he and colleagues at the summer workshop note, there is considerable potential to engage with each other as liberal arts colleges around curriculum development (see ASA Guideline, developed with AALAC) and other ways to support students learning to work with data.

Faculty and academic support specialists interested in data science education across the curriculum are encouraged to join this conversation!

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Data Science meets Environmental Studies at LACOL 2018

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Workshop Track: Data Science meets Environmental Studies – Exploration
Facilitators:

  • Cailin Huyck Orr, Assistant Director, Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
  • Kristin O’Connell, Evaluation and Education Specialist, SERC

Program: Session Agendas
Part 1: May 31, 9:30am, Weitz 136
Part 2: June 1, 10:30am, Weitz 230
OLI Discussion: May 31, 3:30pm, Weitz 136

ds diagramThe intersection between Data Science and Environmental Studies is emerging as an area of focus for LACOL as we explore opportunities for collaboration around digitally engaged modes of teaching and learning for the liberal arts.

Several colleges are currently developing programming under the umbrella of Data Science, including critical algorithm studies, big data, data visualization, and data privacy/security. Meanwhile, most LACOL schools have a data-intensive Environmental Studies concentration or major. Interdisciplinary by nature, these areas of study challenge students to understand and work with data from many angles. Students engage in analysis, problem solving, critical thinking, and modes of argument that are deeply connected to social, cultural, political, and aesthetic ideas. Considering such programs, LACOL is thinking about ways that digital collaboration might enrich teaching and learning in this arena.

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