You never really know whether Halloween is going to bring tricks or treats until it’s over and done. This year Halloween was a day of treats! Part 1 of Data Science Essentials, Introduction to Data Science, an 8-week course in Python aimed at helping doctoral students and postdocs explore whether data science might be a good career fit, ended on 10/31 with student presentations to share findings, practice data storytelling, and celebrate their hard work.
Students analyzed three provided datasets (population, cancer death rates, and hospice facility locations), and added data from countyhealthrankings.org in an effort to build a well-performing linear model to predict cancer death rates in Tennessee counties. Presentations showcased the results of exploratory data analysis and led the audience through each team’s diverse approach to selecting predictor variables. Students connected statistical techniques they already knew with new python skills in order to talk about the data, their analyses, and resulting predictive models.
Data Science Essentials is a year-long program through the Office of Biomedical Research Education and Training (BRET) at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Next up, these students will be developing soft skills and learning about the importance of networking and building professional community. In the spring, Data Science Essentials Part 3 will expose them to several case studies from different organizations doing data science in Nashville. We had a lot of fun working with this group and hope for future collaborations.