Course Description

This is the class website for FYOS 1001: Data Science – The Practice of Turning Numbers into Knowledge

Description. The contemporary world is flooded by data. The acquisition of data and use of analytics for decision-making are increasingly important in areas of society ranging from science and health care to government policy to business. Data science is the emerging discipline at the nexus of three primary disciplines – computer programming, machine learning, and statistics – that aims to make sense of these data. Students will engage data science through the lens of their instructor’s research in ecology and epidemiology. Students will be introduced to the three primary disciplines that constitute data science and learn about applications of data science to research at UGA and across a range of careers. Students will think critically about evidence, numerical arguments, and the use of data in personal life; consider how the acquisition of data can lead to bias; and use Tufte’s principles to identify intentionally misleading elements in graphical displays of data.

Instructor. Dr. Drake is a Professor in the Odum School of Ecology. He received his PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of Notre Dame for work on the ecology of aquatic invasive species. Dr. Drake’s research tackles a wide range of questions in ecology and population dynamics, united by a common focus on data-driven analysis, quantitative methods, and computer-assisted modeling. For more information, see his website at