In 2018, UC Berkeley launched a new major in data science, anchored by two core courses—Foundations of Data Science and Principles and Techniques of Data Science—powered by Jupyter infrastructure: all materials are delivered as Jupyter notebooks, with cloud hosting provided by JupyterHub instances available to all (students and faculty) at Berkeley. These courses are the fastest-growing in the history of the university: the two core courses now reach roughly 40% of the campus population. The courses, which combine statistical inference and computation on real-world data, provide a backbone on which a large collection of other courses and modular pedagogical units have grown, extending these foundational ideas into specific domains that cover virtually all disciplinary areas of the campus.
In addition to complex pedagogical and logistical challenges, this is opening up a fascinating process: the transition of an entire campus into a pervasive data-literate, computationally savvy environment, where most undergraduates use Jupyter and the open data ecosystem as naturally as they use email. We don’t know yet what this will produce in the next few years, but it’s a remarkable process. We’re delighted to be a part of this process with Jupyter, and we hope it will lead to a wide range of new developments in education, research, and technology.
Fernando Pérez is a staff scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a founding investigator of the Berkeley Institute for Data Science at UC Berkeley, created in 2013. His research focuses on creating tools for modern computational research and data science across domain disciplines, with an emphasis on high-level languages, interactive and literate computing, and reproducible research. He created IPython while a graduate student in 2001 and continues to lead its evolution into Project Jupyter, now as a collaborative effort with a talented team that does all the hard work. Fernando regularly lectures about scientific computing and data science and is a member of the Python Software Foundation, a founding member of NumFOCUS, and a National Academy of Science Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellow. He is also the recipient of the 2012 Award for the Advancement of Free Software from the Free Software Foundation. Fernando holds a PhD in particle physics from the University of Colorado at Boulder, which he followed with postdoctoral research in applied mathematics and developing numerical algorithms.
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