SPHS Introduction to Data Science Class Challenges Students | SPUSD Snapshot

PHOTO: SPUSD | South Pasadenan.com News | SPHS students apply statistical methods for data analysis to project-based problems during the new Introduction to Data Science course.

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Does the amount of sleep a person gets influence whether someone is depressed? Does the time of day affect a person’s calorie consumption? Does the cost of a snack affect how healthy the snack is?

These questions and more like them have been posed during the new SPHS Introduction to Data Science (IDS) class. Students develop questions based on real life experiences and then learn how to apply statistical methods to find the answers. Developed by UCLA, this IDS class is an opportunity for students to engage with math, statistics, and computational thinking.

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“The best part of the new Introduction to Data Science class is that students calculate real data and work collaboratively to ask and answer questions of their own choosing,” said IDS teacher Diana Shen. “They use modern tools like the RStudio interface and blend a bit of coding and statistics to make sense of the world around them.”

IDS offers an option for students who may be interested in the practical applications of statistics and probability. Students dig for answers in the data—a skill highly sought after in many high-demand fields. They learn to generate hypotheses, fit statistical and mathematical models to data, implement these models algorithmically, evaluate how well these models fit reality, and to think computationally while learning to program with data.

Students who have completed Math II are eligible to enroll in this University of California approved “C” course and will earn credit towards a third year of mathematics at SPHS.