When and Where
Alter Hall 602
2:00 – 3:20pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays
We are all drowning in data, and so is your future employer. Data pours in from sources as diverse as social media, customer loyalty programs, weather stations, smartphones, and credit card purchases. How can you make sense of it all? Those that can turn raw data into insight will be tomorrow’s decision-makers; those that can solve problems and communicate using data will be tomorrow’s leaders. This course will teach you how to harness the power of data by mastering the ways it is stored, organized, and analyzed to enable better decisions. You will get hands-on experience by solving problems using a variety of powerful, computer-based data tools virtually every organization uses. You will also learn to make more impactful and persuasive presentations by learning the key principles of presenting data visually.
- Describe how advances in technology enable the field of data science
- Locate sources of data relevant to their field of study
- Identify and correct problems with data sets to facilitate analysis
- Combine data sets from different sources
- Assess the quality of a data source
- Convey meaningful insights from a data analysis through visualizations
- Analyze a data set using pivot tables
- Determine meaning in textual data using text mining
- Identify when advanced analytics techniques are appropriate
- Predict events that will occur together using association mining
There is no required textbook for this course. However, there are a set of required readings available for free either online or from the bookstore. Refer to the schedule and reading list for more detail.
Class Structure and Participation
You are expected to be an active part of the learning process. In the first part of each class session, we’ll discuss the readings. This will be followed by an in-class activity.
Preparation for class
Carefully read the assigned material prior to each class. You may find it helpful to take notes on the major points of each reading, noting how the readings for that session relate to each other.
Most weeks there will be a short pre-class quiz, taken online (check the course schedule). The quiz will cover all readings to be discussed that week. Your instructor will provide the link to the quiz through a post to the Community Site.
You must complete the quiz by yourself before the start of class. It is “open book” – you can use the readings to take the quiz.
Participation between classes
To keep you engaged and thinking about the material between classes, you will respond to a weekly discussion question posted to the class site. Leave an answer to the question as a comment. There will be two types of weekly discussion questions:
1. Questions where you reflect on the material and give your opinion or relate it to your own experiences. You can also respond to other students’ comments, as long as you also add your own insight to the discussion.
2. Questions where you share an interesting article with the rest of the class that ties into the course material with an explanation of why you found it interesting.
You are expected to contribute something to each week’s discussion.
Participation during class
We will typically start each session with “opening” questions about the assigned readings. Students called on to answer should be able to summarize the key issues, opportunities, and challenges in the reading. All students should be prepared to be answer these questions. While you’re not expected to say something in every single class meeting, simply showing up for class does not qualify as participation.
The environment you and your fellow students create in class directly impacts the value gained from the course. To that end, the following are my expectation of your conduct in this class:
- Arrive on time and stay until the end of class.
- Turn off cell phones and alarms while in class.
- Limit the use of electronic devices (e.g., laptop, tablet computer) to class-related usage such as taking notes. Restrict the use of an Internet connection (e.g., checking email, Internet browsing, sending instant messages) to before class, during class breaks, or after class.
- During class time speak to the entire class (or breakout group) and let each person “take their turn.”
- Be fully present and remain present for the entirety of each class meeting.
Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty
Plagiarism and academic dishonesty can take many forms. The most obvious is copying from another student’s exam, but the following are also forms of this:
- Copying material directly, word-for-word, from a source (including the Internet)
- Using material from a source without a proper citation
- Turning in an assignment from a previous semester as if it were your own
- Having someone else complete your homework or project and submitting it as if it were your own
- Using material from another student’s assignment in your own assignment
If you use text, figures, and data in reports that were created by someone other than yourself, you must identify the source and clearly differentiate your work from the material that you are referencing. There are many different acceptable formats that you can use to cite the work of others (see some of the resources below). You must clearly show the reader what is your work and what is a reference to somebody else’s work.
Plagiarism and cheating are serious offenses. Penalties for such actions are given at my discretion, and can range from a failing grade for the individual assignment, to a failing grade for the entire course, to expulsion from the program.
Student and Faculty Academic Rights and Responsibilities
The University has adopted a policy on Student and Faculty Academic Rights and Responsibilities (Policy # 03.70.02) which can be accessed through the following link: