December 7, 2016
As 2016 draws to a close, a report on the first year of Berkeley's Data Science Education Program has been released as part of the campus' ongoing efforts to integrate data science into the undergraduate curriculum and extend the program to larger populations of students in the future.
Co-authored by Bob Jacobsen, Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Cathryn Carson, professor of history, and David Culler, professor of computer science, the report provides a pedagogically oriented overview of the program to date. It gives context for the Berkeley Data Science curriculum in terms of student needs, experiences, and course-taking patterns, so these can be integrated into the university’s ongoing planning. It addresses key lessons drawn from the first year of experience in the Data Science education program, notably:
● The pedagogical success of the entry-level offerings (Data 8 and connectors)
● The value of a broad-ranging, modular, and still integrated program
● The significant effort required make the program connect across the campus
● The extraordinary opportunity of designing for diversity and inclusion in student populations, interests, and support mechanisms.
Taking this first-year start-up as establishing proof of concept for a significant part of the student body, the curriculum can be refined and extended to larger populations of students, its effects can be followed into their ensuing course-taking, and its integration with programs of study across campus can be moved forward, assuming adequate institutional structure and support are provided.