University News

Denison faculty publish new data science textbook

Computer Science Data Analytics Mathematics Provost's Office
April 7, 2021

Denison University announces Mathematics and Computer Science faculty Thomas Bressoud and David White have written a new data science textbook, titled “Introduction to Data Systems.” The textbook, which is being incorporated into classrooms at Denison and other universities, is published by international science publisher, Springer Publishing.

The book accompanies a new course designed by Associate Professor Bressoud, CS181: Introduction to Data Systems. The text provides an extensive exploration of data science from a systems perspective.

The major topics presented in the book include using the principles of tidy data to build a tabular data model to standardize data storage and manipulation, understanding the relational data model and how it is used to access and create databases, and investigating hierarchical data models expressed in modern standards like JSON and XML. In addition, the book explores the application of the client-server computing model in order to understand acquisition of data from sources over HTTP and from APIs to obtain data from online sources. Methods of authentication to allow secure clients are also addressed.

The accompanying course is a key experience for computer science majors in the first two years of their academic careers and also is required for data analytics majors. One of the novel aspects of the approach is that it allows students to gain experience and understanding of data systems early on, which gives them much better opportunities in projects, internships, and research projects later in their academic careers.

More about Associate Professor Thomas Bressoud and Associate Professor David White

Associate Professor Thomas Bressoud is a 20-year veteran of the Denison faculty who brings a wealth of industry experience and computer systems experience to the department. Bressoud worked outside of academia both before and after receiving his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1996. Bressoud spent seven years working for MIT Lincoln Laboratory in real-time radar systems and worked for a startup, Isis Distributed Systems, Lucent Technologies, and their research arm, Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, NJ.

Associate Professor David White is a seven-year joint member of Mathematics and Computer Science. White has a wide range of research expertise and is active in undergraduate statistics education. He has published twenty papers on topics in mathematics, applied statistics, computer science, economics, and data science. White’s recent research includes statistical approaches to the opioid epidemic in Ohio, to the treatment of wounds in diabetic individuals, and to the analysis of mass gun violence data.

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