We live in an era of unprecedented access to data. To make sense of all the information at our disposal, we have to be able to organize it and succinctly describe its salient features. That is what you will learn to do in this course.
To work with large amounts of data, you need computational power. This course teaches you basic programming skills for manipulating data. You will learn how to use Python to organize and manipulate data in tables, and to visualize data effectively. No prior experience with programming or Python is needed.
The examples given in the course involve real world data from diverse settings. Not all data is numerical – you will work with textual data and with maps. Though the term “data science” is relatively new, the fundamental ideas of data science are not. The course includes powerful examples that span the centuries from the Napoleonic era to the present day.
Throughout, the underlying thread is that data science is a way of thinking, not just an assortment of methods. The course also emphasizes interpretation and communication, which are essential skills for all data scientists.