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Five courses are required to fulfill the minor. Students can choose data science electives from more than 20 departments both inside and outside the College.

New data science minor launched this fall

A multidisciplinary data science minor, based in the College but open to all undergraduates, will introduce students to methods and applications that are used in basic and applied sciences, the humanities, social sciences and other disciplines.

The department of statistics and operations research, better known as STOR, introduced the minor this fall. It is an important component of the soon-to-launch data science initiative, a pan-University effort.

When people hear “data science,” they might think of tech jobs: programming the algorithms that generate the ads that pop up on social media or the statistical analysis used to predict online behavior. But data science is applicable to a wide variety of social science and humanistic fields where numbers-crunching, analysis and data interpretation are required.

“So many jobs these days involve working with data of some form, and new hires are increasingly expected to know how to draw insights from it,” said Mariana Olvera-Cravioto, associate professor in STOR who is leading the new minor.

To minor in data science, a student will take five courses in all. Three of the courses fulfill core requirements: Data and Computational Thinking; Data and Statistical Thinking; and Data, Culture and Society. Students will also take two elective courses, selecting among dozens of offerings from more than 20 departments. Most of the electives are in College departments, but the Gillings School of Global Public Health, the Hussman School of Journalism and Media, and Kenan-Flagler Business School also have elective courses in the minor.

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