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BC to offer new minor in data science

Program will emphasize human-centered applications of data analysis and modeling for the common good

Boston College will launch a new minor in data science this fall that—reflecting the University’s Jesuit, Catholic liberal arts tradition—emphasizes human-centered applications of data analysis and modeling for the common good.

George Mohler

George Mohler

“Contemporary technologies have made data so plentiful and ubiquitous that many jobs of the 21st century require familiarity with concepts in data, computing, statistics, and machine learning,” said George Mohler, the Daniel J. Fitzgerald Professor in the BC Computer Science Department. “The minor in data science will prepare Boston College graduates to make sound arguments based on data, to think critically to interpret such arguments, and be versed in ethics and the responsible use of data to evaluate potential benefits and risks of new data-driven technologies.”

Each student in the minor will construct a “pathway” plan tailored to their major and career interests, Mohler explained. In the pathway, students take two electives in their chosen data science focus area, followed by a required capstone project in the sixth and final course of the minor. The electives are chosen from a list of data science courses offered by a wide range of departments in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences—including Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, Mathematics, Political Science, and Psychology—as well as by the Global Public Health and the Common Good program, the Carroll School of Management, and the Lynch School of Education and Human Development.

Three foundational courses, offered through the Computer Science and Mathematics departments, will be required for the minor. Students must take Data Science Principles and Mathematical Foundations of Data Science, then apply for the minor by the end of sophomore year before taking the core integrative course Data Science: Methods and Applications.

The minor is open to all Boston College undergraduate students.