UC Berkeley should expand data science education

I took Statistics 133 on a whim the semester before UC Berkeley rolled out Data 8: Foundations of Data Science, the university’s first attempt at an accessible, interdisciplinary course that “combines three perspectives: inferential thinking, computational thinking, and real-world relevance.” While Statistics 133 was initially intended for statistics majors and is frequently plagued with overcrowding, Data 8 was designed from the ground up to be interdisciplinary and accessible. The course, and the larger data science initiative it spearheaded, emerged out of the realization that data science transcends more than just the field of statistics or computer science. This is because data science has already proven its potential to powerfully transform a wide range of disciplines. In a 2015 Bloomberg article titled “Econ 101: Chicago? M.I.T.? Nope, Berkeley’s on Top” columnist…


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