When people talk about data science programs, what do you think of? Artificial intelligence, machine learning, or coding is probably the most popular answer for those outside the discipline. What if we told you there is more to that than what meets the eye. At iSchool, we continue to empower students in understanding the implications of using such a powerful tool. With our unique approach, we have designed a program that incorporates data science through a human-centered lens, promoting solutions that are socially responsible and understanding where the potential solutions get implemented. We strive to embody students to focus on human values such as privacy, human rights, and ethics while working on data problems. This means asking not just what technology could do, but also what it should do. And this means acknowledging and addressing the individuals, organizations, and communities behind the production and consumption of data and technology. At iSchool, a small group of iSchool faculty- the iSchool Data Science Curriculum Committee (iDSCC) continues to create a more cohesive and comprehensive program. In doing so, the iSchools are paving a path for DS that can create informative, insightful, and impactful solutions for the whole of humanity for generations to come. We believe foregrounding human needs and business understanding in this way not only will lead to more ethical data science practices but also a more successful (and profitable) outcome.
Our lab director Dr. Shah wrote an article with his international collaborators on what it is to do and teach data science in an iSchool.
Shah, C., Anderson, T., Hagen, L., & Zhang, Y. An iSchool approach to data science: Human-centered, socially responsible, and context-driven. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST).
Read the full article here.