Penn Summer COVID-19 Update
Penn Summer staff are not onsite, but we are still available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. by phone and online in case you need support: (215) 898-7326 or Visit, the University's dedicated coronavirus COVID-19 web page, for the latest updates.
close alert box button

Introduction to Data Science

Course Number
PSCI 107 900
Course Code
Course Key
Secondary Program
Course Note
This course will primarily meet asynchronously
Course Description
This course introduces students to techniques for acquiring, analyzing, and visualizing “big data” using the free statistics program R. Although this is not a statistics course, students will learn basic principles of probability and statistics, such as hypothesis testing, simple linear regression, and experiments. Data science is best learned through practice, so this course focuses on real-world applications. In addition to weekly problem sets, students will complete two small research projects: one using publicly available data, and another in which students will design and run their own survey. Leaving this course, students will be able to obtain data in a wide variety of formats, test hypotheses using that data, and visualize and present their findings. This course uses examples and exercises from political science, but the techniques are applicable to many settings, including other social sciences, business, education, natural sciences, the humanities, and more. No background in statistics, computing, or political science is required. No textbook purchase is required for this course. Students must have access to a computer on which they can install R, RStudio, Zoom, and Slack (free downloads). This course fulfills the School of Arts & Sciences Quantitative Data Analysis requirement.
Subject Area Vocab