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University of Colorado Boulder

Data Science as a Field

University of Colorado Boulder via Coursera


This course provides a general introduction to the field of Data Science. It has been designed for aspiring data scientists, content experts who work with data scientists, or anyone interested in learning about what Data Science is and what it’s used for. Weekly topics include an overview of the skills needed to be a data scientist; the process and pitfalls involved in data science; and the practice of data science in the professional and academic world. This course is part of CU Boulder’s Master’s of Science in Data Science and was collaboratively designed by both academics and industry professionals to provide learners with an insider’s perspective on this exciting, evolving, and increasingly vital discipline.

Data Science as a Field can be taken for academic credit as part of CU Boulder’s Master of Science in Data Science (MS-DS) degree offered on the Coursera platform. The MS-DS is an interdisciplinary degree that brings together faculty from CU Boulder’s departments of Applied Mathematics, Computer Science, Information Science, and others. With performance-based admissions and no application process, the MS-DS is ideal for individuals with a broad range of undergraduate education and/or professional experience in computer science, information science, mathematics, and statistics. Learn more about the MS-DS program at


  • Introduction to Data Science: the Past, Present, and Future of a New Discipline
    • This week we will talk about the past, present and future of data science. The growth of data science has been fueled by the growth of the internet, social media and online shopping as well as by the rapid increases in data storage capabilities. You will watch several short videos and participate in discussions about the future of data science.
  • Data Science in Industry, Government, and Academia
    • This week you will watch videos and have a reading on some applications of data science in industry and academia. You will hear from data scientists in different fields to find out how they use data science.
  • Data Science Process and Pitfalls
    • This week you will learn about the importance of reproducibility and how to achieve it, learn the steps in a data analysis process and learn about the possible pitfalls in data science. You will watch demonstrating the various steps in the data science process and try out these processes for yourself on a different dataset.
  • Communicating Your Results
    • This week you will learn about important ways of communicating your results. We will discuss the important things to know about presentations and reports. You will also learn about the importance of networking and try it out.

Taught by

Jane Wall


4.4 rating at Coursera based on 18 ratings

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