New CIS course exposes students to data science

Imagine a list containing every single Wawa location on the planet. Such an enormous amount of information seems impossible to conceive — but soon, computer science students at Penn will begin to make some sense of it.  This semester, the Computer and Information Sciences Department introduced a new course called “Special Topics: Foundations of Data Science.” The course is seminar-style, meeting only once a week on Thursday for a three-hour block. Prerequisites for interested students are Math 240 or above and some significant exposure to probability. CIS 399 covers the basics of manipulating data and analyzing patterns using today’s technology. Topics covered in the class include “machine learning,” or understanding how computers “think” and behave when tasked with performing certain tasks. In an email to current CIS majors, the department chair of computer and information sciences professor Sampath Kannan,…

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