Integrating Data Science in the Digital Humanities at CSUF
A UC Davis student noticed that some of his peers were struggling with the idea of learning to code. To help, he and other students began a group to produce educational materials that make STEM subjects accessible to other students, and Bit Project and their boot camps were born. At Twitter BitCamp, students learn to call the search endpoint of the Twitter API through the Python library Tweepy.
In Collaboration with
Dr. Jamila Moore Pewu from California State University, Fullerton knew that learning during COVID-19 would present numerous challenges both for her and her Digital History class. She needed support for the Fall Quarter 2020 to ensure that her students could still learn meaningfully in an online environment.
Dr. Pewu also saw a need to incorporate data science into her digital humanities courses. These technical skills are crucial for liberal arts students outside of STEM who conduct research and studies in their respective fields. That’s why it is vital for her students to learn and practice these skills, all of which prepares them to use multiple disciplines in their future work.
Bit Project and Dr. Pewu collaborated to create a curriculum that not only taught humanities topics through a digital lens, but valuable data science concepts too. As some of Dr. Pewu’s classes include minority and first-generation students, we were mindful of the need to create quality tech resources for those from typically underserved communities.
Members from our organization will act both as assistant professors and teaching assistants through Zoom lectures over the course of our 13 week curriculum. By starting with the fundamentals of data science, Dr. Pewu’s students will get to understand these concepts before applying them to more complex statistical analysis and data visualizations. Building the blocks of their data science knowledge will help them truly comprehend what they are learning.
By the end of the quarter, students will feel more confident and comfortable using data science within the realm of humanities. They will create a final research report, combining all that they’ve learned from Dr. Pewu and Bit Project in one capstone project.
Results & Future Plans#
Bit Project was inspired to create Bit University after building this data science curriculum for this Digital History class. In light of this success with Dr. Pewu, we plan to expand this project to other campuses in the future, bringing the importance of data science to other humanities courses.
By reaching more students from other disciplines, we will help other fields understand the value of data and apply these concepts to their own projects and future careers.