Data Science Minor

Students using classroom technologyDelving into the study of data science at Illinois Wesleyan helps you ask insightful questions and uncover hidden solutions.

Data is central to the natural and social sciences, to business, and to economics, and it is increasingly used in the humanities.

As information technology grows in power and ubiquity, the amount of data collected is growing tremendously. Data science is a field that focuses on the specific problems of acquiring, curating, and exploring data, via visualization and statistical analysis, to aid decision making.

Acquiring data science skills and techniques would be of great value to students in physical sciences, social sciences, nursing, business, economics, and anywhere else that data collection and analysis plays a role. 

Science students with a firm grasp of programming and visualization are able to generate effective visualizations of their experimental results. Business students with these skills are prepared to collect and handle raw data, convert it into a useful format, and generate analyses to summarize and communicate trends and correlations.

Students pursuing the data science minor at Illinois Wesleyan also gain a more general understanding of programming that could translate into solving other types of problems. For example, not only would a physics major become skilled in gathering, cleaning, and analyzing data collected from an experiment, they would also be prepared to write a program to automate aspects of running the experiment itself, via computer control of an experimental apparatus.

Students in the minor are exposed to core topics such as:

  • Algorithmic / computational thinking
  • Communication (written and verbal)
  • Data curation / management
  • Ethics (privacy, data access, control)
  • Machine learning
  • Process / reproducibility
  • Programming
  • Statistics / statistical inference
  • Visualization

Our graduates will be well prepared to handle many different types of data-driven projects, making them attractive to a wide array of graduate programs and employers.