Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE)

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded UC Berkeley a $3 million grant to evaluate and expand its data science curriculum to ensure it is accessible to a broad range of students. David Harding, Faculty Director of the Social Sciences D-Lab(link is external), will oversee the Improving Undergraduate Stem Education (IUSE)(link is external) project, titled “Undergraduate Data Science at Scale.” The grant will be used to implement, scale, and propagate a new model for undergraduate data science education through a collaboration between UC Berkeley’s Data Science Education Program (DSEP) and two partner institutions with diverse student bodies, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County(link is external) (UMBC) and Mills College(link is external).

A multidisciplinary group of seven faculty will lead the project. The group includes Harding; Cathryn Carson, Co-Principal Investigator and DSEP faculty lead; Cathy Koshland, Vice Chancellor of Undergraduate Education; Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton, Associate Executive Dean for Diversity and Inclusion in the College of Letters and Science; David Culler, Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences; Elizabeth Wade, Associate Provost for Curriculum Development at Mills College; and Vandana Janjea, Professor of Information Systems at UMBC. A team from UC Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science led by Dr. Lynn Tran will provide an external evaluation of the project’s outcomes at all three institutions.

The project will draw on and contribute to contemporary research on best practices in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education, as well as strategies for promoting the success of underrepresented minorities (URMs), first-generation, and women students in STEM. The project faculty will build on the findings to design curricula and develop educational practices that engage, motivate, and promote learning among all students.

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