2019 - 2020
Many of the most pressing problems in the world can be addressed with data. We are awash in data and modern citizenship demands that we become literate in how to interpret data, what assumptions and processes are necessary to analyze data, as well as how we might participate in generating our own analyses and presentations of data. Consequently, data analytics is an emerging field with skills applicable to a wide variety of disciplines. This course introduces analysis, computation, and presentation concerns through the investigation of data driven puzzles in wide array of fields – political, economic, historical, social, biological, and others. No previous experience is required.
The Data Analytics colloquium involves three central learning components. 1) regular engagement with guest presentations and community activities in data analytics, 2) group discussion featuring critical analysis and connection of themes found in the guest presentations and in related data analytics topics, and 3) preparation and refinement of professional communication skills necessary for the required internship component of the data analytics major. This course provides an opportunity for students to connect on data analytics ideas and applications, using a range of perspectives that may or may not be normally encountered in a traditional course. Students will develop the knowledge, skills, and methods they need to progress to more advanced learning, while also creating bridges with members of the data analytics community within and outside of Denison. The course must be taken twice by majors: once as a sophomore, and again as either a junior or senior.
Prerequisite(s): DA 101 (may be taken concurrently).
This course provides a broad perspective on the access, structure, storage, and representation of data. It encompasses traditional database systems, but extends to other structured and unstructured repositories of data and their access/acquisition in a client-server model of Internet computing. Also developed are an understanding of data representations amenable to structured analysis, and the algorithms and techniques for transforming and restructuring data to allow such analysis.
Crosslisting: CS 181.
Statistics is the science of reasoning from data. This course will introduce the fundamental concepts and methods of statistics using calculus-based probability. Topics include a basic study of probability models, sampling distributions, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, categorical data analysis, ANOVA, multivariate regression analysis, logistic regression, and other statistical methods. Scopes of conclusion, model building and validation principles, and common methodological errors are stressed throughout.
Crosslisting: MATH 220.
Utilizing Denison as a model of society, this practicum will explore questions of collective import through the analysis of new and existing sources of data. A problem-driven approach will lead to the acquisition of new, appropriate data analytic skills, set in an ethical context that carefully considers the implications of data display and policy recommendations on community members. A significant component of the course is working in teams to collect and analyze new data to address a puzzle or problem for a real client. Groups or organizations that serve as clients may come from the campus community, local non-profits, or businesses and groups across the region or country. The practicum also develops exposure to policymaking, implementing data driven insights, program management theory, interacting with leaders and professionals, and developing presentation skills appropriate for professional communication with the public. Though a significant learning opportunity itself, this course should also be seen as a prelude to a community internship or research experience in the post-junior year summer. Students should be aware that some off-campus travel may be necessary to meet with specific clients as necessary. Final presentations to the client, in lieu of a scheduled exam, requires flexibility and scheduling outside of the exam schedule.
Prerequisite(s): DA 101, DA 210 and DA 220, or consent of instructor.
This course is designed to develop students' understanding of the cutting-edge methods and algorithms of data analytics and how they can be used to answer questions about real-world problems. These methods can learn from existing data to make and evaluate predictions. The course will examine both supervised and unsupervised methods and will include topics such as dimensionality reduction, machine learning techniques, handling missing data, and prescriptive analytics.
Prerequisite(s): DA 210 and DA 220 or consent of instructor.
This is a capstone seminar for the Data Analytics major in which students work on independent research projects in a collaborative seminar setting. Problems may derive from internship experiences, courses of study at Denison, or another source subject to instructor approval. Heavy emphasis will be placed on providing ongoing research reports and collective problem solving and review.
Prerequisite(s): DA 301, DA 350, a disciplinary research methods course, and senior status.