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When the Integrative Data Science Initiative (IDSI) was announced, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies (PULSIS) Associate Professor Clarence Maybee saw the initiative as an opportunity to create a sustainable and scalable course-development process for integrating data science into undergraduate courses.

Yixuan Sun (left), data scientist and Ph.D. candidate in mechanical engineering, and Dr. Clarence Maybee, associate professor in the Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies, look at a data project on the visualization wall in the Data Visualization Experience Lab of Purdue (D-VELoP), a part of the Library of Engineering and Science in the Wilmeth Active Learning Center.

In Fall 2019, such a process was supported when Maybee’s and his team’s project proposal, “IMPACT Data Science Education: Preparing Undergraduates to Lead into the Future,” was funded through the IDSI’s second round of research funding.

“Knowing that Purdue is interested in graduating undergraduate students with data science skills, which will enable them to lead into the future, we brought together the programs on campus already doing this type of work. Many of us leading the Instruction Matters: Purdue Academic Course Transformation program, commonly known as IMPACT, have been working with Purdue instructors since 2011 to make courses more engaging and student-centered. The Data Science Consulting Service works with instructors specifically to help them integrate data science into Purdue courses,” Maybee explained. “IMPACT and the Data Science Consulting Service are the right partners to develop a program that works with Purdue instructors to integrate data science into undergraduate courses,” he added.

Clarence Maybee, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies

Dr. Clarence Maybee

For the project, Maybee, who is the principal investigator, and his team are looking for six Purdue University faculty members to design innovative and engaging data science coursework. This is a rolling application process and will be open until the six participants are selected, Maybee added.

“These faculty members will participate in the IMPACT program and additional activities during spring 2020. The coursework they design will enable their students to use data science methods and techniques in their fields,” he explained. “In addition to receiving the IMPACT funding, participants will receive $2,500 each for participating in IMPACT Data Science Education.”

According to Maybee, in addition to taking part in IMPACT, the participants will:

  • attend four working meetings to learn about data science tools and campus resources;
  • learn from other Purdue faculty who have successfully integrated data science into courses during the working meetings;
  • complete a plan outlining the goals, assessment, and learning activities for integrating data science into their courses; and
  • attend a half-day IMPACT Data Science Education Summit in spring 2020, in which they share and present assignments/modules for integrating data science into undergraduate courses with the Purdue community.

Faculty interested in applying to participate in IMPACT Data Science Education will need to complete the form for the project and the application to participate in IMPACT. Both application forms can be accessed at http://sites.lib.purdue.edu/dse/.

For more information, contact Maybee at cmaybee@purdue.edu or Yixuan Sun, grad assistant, at yixuan-sun@purdue.edu.