Data Analytics and Society

Eleanor Townsley, Nexus director

Valerie Barr, track chair

Overview and Contact Information

Data analytics and society offers an explicit focus on social and historical context, emphasizing critical literacies for data analysis and ethical decision-making. This Nexus focuses on acquiring concrete skills and data and visual literacies in hands-on research application. Students will link courses in data analysis across disciplines to engage with fundamental data literacies for citizenship, in particular visual, communicative and interpretive capabilities in social context. The Nexus in Data Analytics and Society can enhance a range of different majors by adding a concentration in social research and will help students represent their applied analytical skills in problem solving and data analysis.

See Also


This area of study is administered by the following Nexus track chairs:

Valerie Barr, Jean E. Sammet Professor of Computer Science, Teaching Spring Only

Eleanor Townsley, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Sociology; Director of Nexus, Teaching Fall Only

Dylan Shepardson, Robert L. Rooke Associate Professor of Mathematics

Requirements for the Nexus

A minimum of 18 credits:

Four 4-credit courses, of which:16
one must be in statistics at the 200 level or higher, from the list of courses approved for this Nexus
one must be in computer science at the 200 level or higher, from the list of courses approved for this Nexus
one must be in an application area (e.g., biology, economics, English, psychology, sociology) at the 200 level or higher, from the list of courses approved for this Nexus
one is an elective course that demonstrates an interest in data science and that may be taken at the 100 level and must be taken before the internship
Note: at least one of these four courses must be an approved 300-level capstone course that goes into depth in statistics, computer science, or a data science application area. Appropriate courses include: COMSC-335, ECON-320, SOCI-316NT, STAT-340 or STAT-344
Completion of the UAF application stages 1 and 2
A substantive internship
COLL-211Reflecting Back: Connecting Internship and Research to Your Liberal Arts Education2
A presentation at LEAP Symposium

Additional Specifications

  • In one of the four courses for this Nexus, students must work intimately with data to explore, visualize, contextualize, and present conclusions.
  • COLL-211 is taken after the internship or research project and culminates in a presentation at LEAP Symposium.

Courses Counting toward the Nexus

Courses other than those listed below may count toward the Nexus. Students should consult the Nexus track chair for consideration of courses not on the list.

ASTR-228Astrophysics I: Stars and Galaxies4
Biological Sciences
Computer Science
COMSC-100Computing and the Digital World4
COMSC-106Fundamentals of Applied Computing4
COMSC-151DSIntroduction to Computational Problem Solving: 'Big Data'4
COMSC-201Advanced Problem-Solving and Elementary Data Structures4
COMSC-205Data Structures4
COMSC-211Advanced Data Structures4
COMSC-243EMTopic: 'Embodied Interaction'4
COMSC-311Theory of Computation4
COMSC-334Artificial Intelligence4
COMSC-335Machine Learning4
COMSC-341NLTopics: 'Natural Language Processing'4
COMSC-343Programming Language Design and Implementation4
ECON-220Introduction to Econometrics4
Environmental Studies
ENVST-200Environmental Science4
GEOG-205Mapping and Spatial Analysis4
GEOG-210GIS for the Social Sciences and Humanities4
GEOG-320Research with Geospatial Technologies4
GEOL-131Introduction to Hydrology: A Data Perspective4
International Relations
IR-200Research Methods4
MATH-211Linear Algebra4
MATH-301Real Analysis4
MATH-339PTTopics in Applied Mathematics: 'Optimization'4
PHIL-180DETopics in Applied Philosophy: 'Data Ethics'4
PSYCH-204Research Methods in Psychology4
PSYCH-310APLaboratory in Social Psychology: 'Community-Based Participatory Action Research'4
PSYCH-310QRLaboratory in Social Psychology: 'Qualitative Research in Psychology'4
PSYCH-326BHLaboratory in Personality and Abnormal Psychology: 'Behavioral Methods for Social and Intergroup Psychology'4
PSYCH-330RDLab in Developmental Psychology: 'Laboratory in Romantic Development: Observational Coding Methodology'4
SOCI-225Social Science Research and Data Analysis4
STAT-240Elementary Data Analysis and Experimental Design4
STAT-241Methods in Data Science4
STAT-242Intermediate Statistics4
STAT-340Applied Regression Methods4
STAT-343Mathematical Statistics4
STAT-344SMSeminar in Statistics and Scientific Research: 'Survey Sampling'4