In February of 2018, NSS partnered with the Office of Biomedical Research Education and Training (BRET) at the Vanderbilt University Medical School to begin shaping an Introduction to Data Science for post-doctoral students. This program, Data Science Essentials, was funded by a grant from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund and consists of three parts.
The first part, called Introduction to Data Science consists of eight 2-hour classroom sessions to help students learn and practice coding skills and the data science process. It began on September 5 and continues weekly through October 31. The second part (which runs from December to February) will cover communication and networking strategies, while the third part (Spring 2019) will expose students to a series of case studies by Nashville area data scientists.
NSS involvement in the project is primarily with teaching the Introduction to Data Science classes. At the end of three weeks, students are working to clean and explore three datasets using Python in Jupyter Notebooks. The datasets – cancer mortality rates by county for Tennessee, hospice facility locations, and census bureau population data – will be used to explore the relationship between cancer death rates, hospice availability, and county aging statistics and give participants an idea of what data science work is like. At the end of Data Science Essentials, students should have a better idea of whether data science is a good career fit for them.