Data: Past, Present, and Future

A collaboration between Columbia College & Columbia Engineering

The science requirement of the Columbia Core, like its humanistic components, proposes to enable students “to understand the civilization of their own day and to participate effectively in it.” The civilization of our day is one saturated, improved, manipulated, and transformed through the accumulation and analysis of data.

This course allows students both from SEAS and from Columbia College to understand our civilization of data and to be critical and effective participants in it. The course will introduce students to both the science of data and impact of data on the world around them; it assumes no prerequisites and will be open to students at all levels, including first year students. Materials will combine traditional ‘functional literacy’ materials, those needed to explore and model data, with material sharpening critical and rhetorical literacy: understanding the context and assumptions underlying data-driven experiences and narratives, and understanding how to integrate analysis and modeling of data as part of contemporary discourse.

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