Data science (DS) is a growing interdisciplinary set of analytical and inferential approaches that exerts influence in government, industry, law, medicine, the academy, and non-governmental organizations. DS seeks to construct or extract information and knowledge from large repositories of data and then to communicate that knowledge and any discoveries made using that knowledge for the purposes of implementing policies in scientific, economic, environmental, educational, legal, or medical domains. Most of the time, the reasons advanced to motivate the development of data science technologies include benefits to human and more than- human life within the broad structure of liberal democracy. Examples of data science technologies include applications in large-scale analysis of textual corpora; spatial information analysis using Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping; deep learning; chemical identification; biological systems modeling; bioinformatics; prediction of financial markets; shared personal e-vehicles such as scooters, bikes, and cars; political advocacy and online coalitions; public transportation monitoring; solar energy network monitoring; ecosystem and climate monitoring and prediction; personal location monitoring; autonomous vehicles; social media and social media monitoring; online retail and targeted advertisement; autonomous weapons and the war cloud; direct-to consumer genetic testing; digital identification via facial, postural, or movement data; medical discovery; policing; sentencing and probation decisions; and private and governmental security.
DS consists of five core areas:
1. domain knowledge/expertise;
2. domain-defined data and domain-informed data management and handling and cleaning
3. inferential probabilistic models
4. coding and algorithms; and
5. applied ethics and justice reasoning.
The DS Minor at Scripps College is designed to support students in existing Majors who have interests in developing computational capability, data skills, inferential reasoning from large repositories of data, and ethical reasoning in assessing the design, implementation, and auditing of data science technologies. The DS Minor opens up an increased range of research resources that serves students’ interests and inquiries. The DS Minor also aids students’ future applications for postgraduate education and/or employment in various sectors in society.