Catalog: Data Science Courses

Data Science courses are restricted to students enrolled in the MIDS degree program only.


This fast-paced course gives students fundamental Python knowledge necessary for advanced work in data science. Students gain frequent practice writing code, building to advanced skills focused on data science applications. We introduce a range of Python objects and control structures, then build on these with classes on object-oriented programming. A major programming project reinforces these concepts, giving students insight into how a large piece of software is built and experience managing a full-cycle development project. The last section covers two popular Python packages for data analysis, NumPy and pandas, and includes an exploratory data analysis.

Introduces the data sciences landscape, with a particular focus on learning data science techniques to uncover and answer the questions students will encounter in industry. Lectures, readings, discussions, and assignments will teach how to apply disciplined, creative methods to ask better questions, gather data, interpret results, and convey findings to various audiences. The emphasis throughout is on making practical contributions to real decisions that organizations will and should make.

An introduction to many different types of quantitative research methods and statistical techniques for analyzing data. We begin with a focus on measurement, inferential statistics and causal inference using the open-source statistics language, R. Topics in quantitative techniques include: descriptive and inferential statistics, sampling, experimental design, tests of difference, ordinary least squares regression, general linear models.

Storing, managing, and processing datasets are foundational processes in data science. This course introduces the fundamental knowledge and skills of data engineering that are required to be effective as a data scientist. This course focuses on the basics of data pipelines, data pipeline flows and associated business use cases, and how organizations derive value from data and data engineering. As these fundamentals of data engineering are introduced, learners will interact with data and data processes at various stages in the pipeline, understand key data engineering tools and platforms, and use and connect critical technologies through which one can construct storage and processing architectures that underpin data science applications.

Machine learning is a rapidly growing field at the intersection of computer science and statistics concerned with finding patterns in data. It is responsible for tremendous advances in technology, from personalized product recommendations to speech recognition in cell phones. This course provides a broad introduction to the key ideas in machine learning. The emphasis will be on intuition and practical examples rather than theoretical results, though some experience with probability, statistics, and linear algebra will be important.

Visualization enhances exploratory analysis as well as efficient communication of data results. This course focuses on the design of visual representations of data in order to discover patterns, answer questions, convey findings, drive decisions, and provide persuasive evidence. The goal is to give you the practical knowledge you need to create effective tools for both exploring and explaining your data. Exercises throughout the course provide a hands-on experience using relevant programming libraries and software tools to apply research and design concepts learned.

The capstone course will cement skills learned throughout the MIDS program — both core data science skills and “soft skills” like problem-solving, communication, influencing, and management — preparing students for success in the field. The centerpiece is a semester-long group project in which teams of students propose and select project ideas, conduct and communicate their work, receive and provide feedback (in informal group discussions and formal class presentations), and deliver compelling presentations along with a web-based final deliverable. Includes relevant readings, case discussions, and real-world examples and perspectives from panel discussions with leading data science experts and industry practitioners.

In the Capstone class, students combine technical, analytical, interpretive, problem-solving, and strategic thinking dimensions to design and execute a full end-to-end data science project. Students will develop their technical and non-technical skills as data scientists who focus on real-world and impactful applications and situations. The final project provides a learning opportunity and “sandbox” to integrate all skills and concepts learned throughout the MIDS program and provides experience and hands-on tools in formulating and implementing an impactful and compelling project. Students are evaluated on their ability to work in a dynamic team environment to collaborate, co-develop, and communicate their work.

This is a multidisciplinary graduate course that synthesizes data management, data economy, and machine learning & AI strategy and research, product innovation, business and enterprise technology strategy, industry analysis, organizational decision-making and data-driven leadership into one course offering. The course provides strategic thinking tools, analytical frameworks, and real-world case examples to help students explore and investigate modern data applications and opportunities in multiple domains and industries. Students are required to participate in weekly sessions and write response pieces as well as a final paper and presentation evaluating one defining application or emerging technology in machine learning/AI end-to-end.

Intro to the legal, policy, and ethical implications of data, including privacy, surveillance, security, classification, discrimination, decisional-autonomy, and duties to warn or act. Examines legal, policy, and ethical issues throughout the full data-science life cycle collection, storage, processing, analysis, and use with case studies from criminal justice, national security, health, marketing, politics, education, employment, athletics, and development. Includes legal and policy constraints and considerations for specific domains and data-types, collection methods, and institutions; technical, legal, and market approaches to mitigating and managing concerns; and the strengths and benefits of competing and complementary approaches.

This course surveys privacy mechanisms applicable to systems engineering, with a particular focus on the inference threat arising due to advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning. We will briefly discuss the history of privacy and compare two major examples of general legal frameworks for privacy from the United States and the European Union. We then survey three design frameworks of privacy that may be used to guide the design of privacy-aware information systems. Finally, we survey threat-specific technical privacy frameworks and discuss their applicability in different settings, including statistical privacy with randomized responses, anonymization techniques, semantic privacy models, and technical privacy mechanisms.

This course introduces students to experimentation in the social sciences. This topic has increased considerably in importance since 1995, as researchers have learned to think creatively about how to generate data in more scientific ways, and developments in information technology have facilitated the development of better data gathering. Key to this area of inquiry is the insight that correlation does not necessarily imply causality. In this course, we learn how to use experiments to establish causal effects and how to be appropriately skeptical of findings from observational data.

This course provides learners hands-on data management and systems engineering experience using containers, cloud, and Kubernetes ecosystems based on current industry practice. The course will be project-based with an emphasis on how production systems are used at leading technology-focused companies and organizations. During the course, learners will build a body of knowledge around data management, architectural design, developing batch and streaming data pipelines, scheduling, and security around data including access management and auditability. We’ll also cover how these tools are changing the technology landscape.

This course teaches the underlying principles required to develop scalable machine learning pipelines for structured and unstructured data at the petabyte scale. Students will gain hands-on experience in Apache Hadoop and Apache Spark.

Understanding language is fundamental to human interaction. Our brains have evolved language-specific circuitry that helps us learn it very quickly; however, this also means that we have great difficulty explaining how exactly meaning arises from sounds and symbols. This course is a broad introduction to linguistic phenomena and our attempts to analyze them with machine learning. We will cover a wide range of concepts with a focus on practical applications such as information extraction, machine translation, sentiment analysis, and summarization.

A continuation of Data Science 203 (Statistics for Data Science), this course trains data science students to apply more advanced methods from regression analysis and time series models. Central topics include linear regression, causal inference, identification strategies, and a wide-range of time series models that are frequently used by industry professionals. Throughout the course, we emphasize choosing, applying, and implementing statistical techniques to capture key patterns and generate insight from data. Students who successfully complete this course will be able to distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate techniques given the problem under consideration, the data available, and the given timeframe.

This course introduces the theoretical and practical aspects of computer vision, covering both classical and state of the art deep-learning based approaches. This course covers everything from the basics of the image formation process in digital cameras and biological systems, through a mathematical and practical treatment of basic image processing, space/frequency representations, classical computer vision techniques for making 3-D measurements from images, and modern deep-learning based techniques for image classification and recognition.

Specific topics, may vary from section to section, year to year. Course may be repeated for credit when topic changes. Students may enroll in multiple sections of this course within the same semester.

This course provides academic scaffolding for graduate students in data science who are engaged in internships, practicums, or relevant types of independent research while progressing toward a master’s degree. We focus on developing skills in project management, organizational navigation, and professional communication related to data science. In addition, the practicum explores various applications of data science methods in industrial, academic, governmental, and nonprofit settings. We discuss common challenges facing data scientists at work and possible approaches to addressing these challenges.