Undergraduate students at UBC Vancouver have two new options to pursue studies in data and computational science this fall with the launch of new minor and first-year cohort programs.
UBC Vancouver’s new Data Science Minor is an interdisciplinary program offered jointly via the departments of Computer Science and Statistics. Students in the program will gain an understanding of key data science concepts like implementing reproducible data science workflows, applying statistical methods, and using machine learning with data. The minor augments the skills students learn in their chosen major.
Meanwhile, the new First Year Focus: Computation program enables first-year UBC Science students to take a common set of five online computer science, math, data science and communications courses with a consistent group of fellow undergraduates. FYF helps students build a strong foundation in the computational sciences in a supportive, cohort-based program and gives them the opportunity to explore a wide range of disciplines as they advance to second year.
“Data and computational sciences are key to not only exploring a broad array of disciplines and careers, but also to addressing a range of societal challenges, from pandemic response to addressing the climate crisis,” said Dr. Sara Harris, Associate Dean, Academic with the Faculty of Science. “We’re very excited to be able to offer students two unique, inclusive new windows into data science at a very critical time.”
The first-year cohort-based program is specifically designed to help create sense of community, with students working working together in core online classes , and sharing a dedicated study space in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. Plans for next year’s First Year Focus could involve expanding the pilot to offer new streams in addition to the computational sciences, potentially in the earth or life sciences.
The Data Science minor is open to any UBC Vancouver undergraduate student majoring in anything from atmospheric sciences to zoology to linguistics, so long as they’re qualified to take a science minor. Students don’t need to be majoring in statistics or computer science to take the minor. Applications for the next academic year of the Data Science Minor will open in spring 2022.