Data Science

Degree Type
Department
Academic Division The College
Offerings Minor
We live in a world increasingly driven by data. Data science is a rapidly expanding, multidisciplinary field that draws on statistics, computer science and math, with applications in a wide variety of academic disciplines and industries. We extract meaning from data to learn more about the world and society.

Why Study Data Science at W&L?

The overarching goal of the minor is to allow students to complement their discipline-specific skills and knowledge with a deeper understanding of how to analyze and extract meaning from data to learn more about the world, society and their discipline. We wish to prepare students to be excellent data analysts in their major disciplines and to be prepared to effectively work with data after graduation.

We have identified a set of pedagogical goals for the minor, reflected in the following set of core competencies:

  • Collect and analyze data in a reproducible and ethically responsible manner
  • Obtain data through searching, scraping, mining or experimental methods
  • Parse, transform and generate wide-ranging data sets for analysis
  • Statistically analyze data to summarize, draw inferences and make predictions
  • Identify patterns and relationships in datasets using visualization and algorithms
  • Communicate data methods and conclusions to diverse audiences

Opportunities for Students

Join the Data Science Program to become part of a community that loves data. For example, every year W&L hosts DataCon, where people from all corners of industry come to discuss the impacts of data science on industry and the world. Students from all over the university, from biology to sociology to business, participate in the Data Science Program to learn from each other and discover how to ethically learn from data.  

After W&L

Students trained in data science can apply their skills in a wide variety of ways. Examples include serving as central operations manager at Uber (Holley Beasley ’15), working as executive vice president at Microstrategy (Rich Cober ’96), and serving as head of industry at Google (Ames McArdle ’02).   

Dan Johnson

Program Head

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