A series of undergraduate data science laboratories that relate to courses taken by all students in the College of Engineering are being developed by faculty in ECE.
Each lab will be a 1-credit course that Engineering students can take, either in parallel with, or subsequently to, an existing required/elective STEM course. The labs will link material already covered in the curriculum with applications in data science. They will also teach students how to program in Python as well as how to use Arduino to acquire data. By carefully grafting the laboratory experiments onto existing courses in a cohesive fashion, the series of labs will provide a lean and effective way for Engineering students to develop a practical data science expertise while gaining valuable coding experience and developing a familiarity with the use of embedded systems.
Each lab will consist of a weekly, 150-minute, in-person session. The lab material will be presented within an interactive notebook written in Jupyter. This will allow students to read summaries of the relevant theoretical material, run demonstration experiments, and receive instructions before writing their own code to acquire and analyze data. The use of Arduino sensors and embedded systems will provide an easy “plug-and-play” way for students to construct the hardware needed for data acquisition.
Each section will be capped at 20 students and supervised by undergraduate teaching assistants (TAs). The grade will be based entirely on the Jupyter lab reports, which will be completed in class with the TAs’ assistance. Honors credit will be available. Students successfully completing a lab will be eligible to apply for an undergraduate teaching position in subsequent semesters.
The first lab, associated with Calculus 2, is currently being offered as an experimental course. The second lab, associated with Calculus 3, will be offered for the first time in Fall 2022. Development of future labs on Signals and Systems (ECE301) and Probability (ECE302) is ongoing.