The Spring 2016 DH Fellows lecture series drew to a close Friday, April 29, with the respective presentations of Political Science PhD candidate Rochelle Terman and Associate Professor of History Cathryn Carson.

Terman, who will become a postdoctoral scholar at Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) at Stanford in the fall, shared her approach to designing Political Science 239T: Introduction to Computational Tools and and Techniques for Social Research, as well as her reflections on the problems and potential of such a course, the first of its kind for poli sci at Berkeley.

Noting that the ultimate goal of the course was to teach students to learn how to learn to consider and use diverse digital tools and resources, Terman shared her thoughts on emphasizing several analytical approaches, including webscraping, computational text analysis, geospatial data analysis, and qualitative data analysis, as a way to promote critical tool adoption and navigate the intellectual, technical, and ethnographic diversity of her students. As Terman noted "A lot of students want to learn these things, but feel overwhelmed getting started. PS239T offered that foundational knowledge so that students feel empowered to continue their exploration of computational tools on their own."

The materials for Political Science 239T can be found here:

Diversity and accessibility were also key aspects of Professor Carson's report on the Data Science Education Program (DSEP) at Berkeley. Focusing primarily on the motivations behind, and results of, the newly-created introductory course Foundations of Data Science, Carson highlighted students' desire for, and the university's urgent need to supply students with, the analytical tools of data science in an intellectual and professional context increasingly impacted by such information. Lest such training be too tightly bound to traditional notions of data as the prerogative of select empirical fields and exclusive identities (of gender and race), Carson underscored the importance of the Data Science Education Program's connector courses, including DH community member Teddy Roland's L&S 88-2 Literature and Data, as well as the program's hands-on, concept-based approach to data science itself. Carson also noted the importance of the diversity working group within the DSEP student team as a means to ensure that the transition to a more data-intensive curriculum is a broadly inclusive one.

For more on the Data Science Education Program, please see