Data is being termed “the new gold,” and the most sought-after job in technology today is the data scientist / data engineer.

Penn is proud to provide many options to our students interested in this burgeoning field — including Penn Engineering’s MSE in Data Science, the Wharton School’s Concentration in Business Analytics, and the Computer and Information Science and Networked and Social Systems Engineering Bachelor degrees’ Concentration in Data Science. Additionally, data science courses are being developed for our MCIT Online program, which offers an Ivy League Master’s degree in computer science to students without a CS background. Nonetheless, at Penn we are limited in how many students we can teach (and reach)!

Thus it was with great enthusiasm that the Computer and Information Science Department at Penn, IBM, and the Linux Foundation (through its ODPi project) entered into a partnership to create curricular content on data science, suitable for use in classrooms across the world. The goal is to help others “bootstrap” their own data science courses and initiatives, with open-source content, the advice of others who have gone before, and a means of sharing best practices.

After many months of hard work (spearheaded by SEAS’ Co-Director of Data Science Susan Davidson and her students, in consultation with colleagues at IBM and the Linux Foundation) — we are pleased to announce the first release of the OpenDS4All project! For all of the core topics in data science — data wrangling, cloud technologies, big data, machine learning, data ethics, and much more — we provide Creative Commons-licensed slides, instructor notes, hands-on examples, homeworks, and lesson plans!

This initial release represents a first step towards a broader data science curriculum. We look forward to working with our colleagues on the OpenDS4All Technical Steering Committee and contributors from across the world, to expand and enrich it, and ideally to translate it into other languages and audiences!

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