Jun 12, 2024  
2024-2025 Catalog 
2024-2025 Catalog

Data Science

The Data Science Interdisciplinary Minor is open to students from all academic divisions who wish to develop skills in using and analyzing data.  For students from the humanities, the interdisciplinary minor can provide technical skills that can powerfully complement the writing, creativity, and critical analysis encouraged in humanities courses.  For social science majors, facility with data will supplement their ability to analyze and understand societal questions and problems.  Majors from the natural sciences and mathematics can use the interdisciplinary minor to deepen their data management skills and improve quantitative analysis in their major fields.  For all these majors, the data science interdisciplinary minor can also provide transferable skills that prepare students for further work in data science after Davidson, such as a masters or Ph.D. degree and subsequent employment.  Overall, the data science interdisciplinary minor strengthens and expands the liberal arts education that students currently receive at Davidson.  While providing more technical training in statistics, programming, and other areas, the minor also guides students to use these skills creatively in fields and applications across the three divisions of the College.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Understand data and its different forms
  2. Collect and transform data
    • Obtain data through scraping and mining
    • Parse and transform data into structures designed for analysis
  3. Draw meaning from data
    • Visualize data to improve or shape understanding
    • Statistically analyze data to summarize, draw inference, and make predictions
    • Discover and characterize patterns in large datasets
  4. Collect, analyze, and present data in an ethically responsible manner (and submit any required documentation for IRB approval)
  5. Communicate effectively about data, methods, and conclusions


Interdisciplinary Minor Requirements

The data science minor consists of six courses, as described below.  Students desiring an introduction to data science can take an elective course denoted (with an “*”) as introductory.  Only one introductory course can count toward the six required for the minor.  To encourage broad exposure to methods and applications of data science, the six courses used for a data science minor must come from at least three different academic prefixes.  Only two courses can jointly count for a student’s major and the data science minor. 

At most one non-Davidson course can be applied to the minor.  Retroactive Pass/Fail for Davidson courses may not be used for courses satisfying the requirements of the minor.  The advisory committee for the Data Science minor may make exceptions upon written appeal from a student.


Students must complete 4 courses from this list.  
“*” denotes an introductory course.

Application Process

Students wishing to declare a data science interdisciplinary minor should complete an application form in discussion with the coordinator, Dr. Laurie Heyer (MAT/CSC) as early as possible, and no later than fall semester of the senior year.