Data Science Institute

Data Science Course Design Institute

The Data Science Initiative and the Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning embarked on a partnership at the beginning of the current academic year to add data science to the curriculum across campus through the Data Science Fellows program, which trains undergraduates to support faculty in adding data science to their courses.  


Another component of this partnership, the Data Science Course Development Institute (DSCDI) for faculty, was held for the first time on January 15.  Facilitated by Eric Kalder and Linda Clark, the one-day session focused on infusing data science content into Brown courses. There were six faculty participants from a very interesting range of disciplinary homes, including IBES, MPPB, Physics, TAPS and two from CLS/German. 

The institute consisted of three primary modules. Starting with “What is Data Science,” the  workshop introduced current definitions and skills, and the evolving nature of data science as a field. The focus then transitioned to thinking about teaching data science within a domain or discipline from an interdisciplinary perspective. The third area of discussion related to teaching data science, focusing in on cognitive load and creating interdisciplinary understanding. During the workshop, participants interactively refined a data science learning outcome and brainstorming instructional approaches to meet the outcome. 

Several of the participants are working with Data Science Fellows this semester. These faculty have been paired with a Brown undergraduate in the Data Science Fellows course, who will assist in the development of the curricular content developed during the institute. 

Participants all agreed that they left the institute being able to articulate objectives related to data science for their course, as well as learning how to plan for collaboration with a Data Science Fellow.

The next DSCDI is tentatively planned for next winter (2021).

For more information on the Data Science Fellows program, please contact