• Course Number: 01:198:143
  • Course Type: Undergraduate
  • Semester 1: Summer
  • SAS Core Curriculum Fulfillment: 21C, QQ, QR, ITR
  • Credits: 3
  • Description:

    Don’t be fooled again!  Develop your Data Literacy while you discover the danger of false, random conclusions erroneously drawn from data. Examine examples of rushed and ad hoc findings  from so called “big data” in the news and on the web. Develop a “healthy skepticism” of claims you hear every day. Draw your own conclusions and make all your arguments stronger through our “Data and Society”  challenges. Consider questions of privacy, anonymity  vs personalization, and data ownership when we increasingly rely on online services.  And, develop marketable skills by learning basic programming tools to work with the data.

    This summer only we are offering a 3 credit hybrid version of our popular Data Literacy class (01:198:142).  We will meet once a week for a 3 hour period (except the first week when we will meet twice); the rest of the class will be run online - solving data puzzles and other online challenges.  We will also provide a flexible set of office hours for indiviual consultations.

    This class aims to provide you with a basic set of tools for data literacy as well as general view of the impact of data on society and elements of common sense data analysis and reasoning.   A significant piece of the class will be learning foundations of  “R”, which is a statistical software environment and programming language that we’ll use to analyze and visualize datasets.  Learning simple R will take some work; however, if you’re able to master the basics covered in this class, you’ll gain a concrete, marketable skill that may very well be extremely useful in your academic and professional life.   

    On the statistical side, we’ll cover basic topics from statistics and probability that are required to argue persuasively using data (a list of some of the topics to be covered can be found below).   This is not a “typical” Statistics 101 class; instead of covering an exhaustive list of topics and asking you to memorize many formulas, our goal is to focus only on the most important topics for convincingly analyzing data now by solving “hands on” weekly data puzzles.

    This class is taught in unique manner – students have to solve “data puzzles” (one or more weekly) and  defend their solutions in class in the so called “Court of Data”.  Students compete in the semester-long competition for the title of Data Masters (aggregated score for all data puzzles and the project)

    In the Final project, your data findings should have real consequences, preferably “actionable” and consequential in the real society.

  • Prerequisite Information:

    Placement in 01:640:026.

    Placement into Intermediate Algebra or higher, or completion of Math 025. No programing experience required.

    * This course may not be used toward CS major degree credit.