New course to be offered in Summer and Fall 2021

After noticing that there wasn’t much focus on effectively visualizing data while teaching other data science courses, Research Associate Professor Laura Bruckman took it upon herself to create a new course, DSCI 354/454: Data Visualization and Analytics.  The course will be offered for the first time in the Summer and Fall 2021 semesters and will provide a unique focus on applied data science and using visualizations to improve the analysis of datasets and communicating the results.

Students will work with open data sets and research based datasets in multiple fields.  While studying the data, they will learn how to communicate data results to various audiences and to make figures that effectively communicate their data.  Visualization techniques like scatter, line, bar, interactive, and map-based visualizations will be covered, as will differences in sparse and large data sets. 

Focuses of the course will include identifying problems in data with visualizations; the impact of visualizing data on modeling; types of visualizations to use for different types of data; and data visualizations for different audiences.  Bruckman considers communication of science one of the most important aspects and appropriate visualizations to tell those stories a key aspect.  Scientists need to communicate results to their team, the scientific community, the general population, business individuals and investors, and government for policy implementation, and each of these groups visualizes data in a different way.

Prerequisites for DSCI 354/454 are DSCI 351/451 and DSCI 353/453.