Data science meets the liberal arts.

By Sasha Nyary

Mount Holyoke College’s latest data science initiatives are part of a larger trend among liberal arts colleges, which are exploring interdisciplinary connections to computer science, according to an Inside Higher Ed article.

The College will offer a Nexus concentration in data science beginning in the fall. It also is partnering with Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and Smith College to form the Women in Data Science initiative. The four-year program includes funding for five professors to work with students interested in data science.

Mount Holyoke is one of three colleges mentioned that are increasing their focus on technology and computer science.

“Interdisciplinary computing is seen as one way to connect the department to other disciplines on campus,” Inside Higher Ed wrote, noting that it is a “way to help faculty members in other departments introduce computing in their own courses.” 

Programs such as Mount Holyoke’s need to reinforce the idea that students who come from liberal arts institutions are broad thinkers, said Jodi L. Tims, a professor of computer science at Baldwin Wallace University who is quoted in the article.

“Tech skills get you in the door,” Tims said in the story. “Your ability to communicate, to see the bigger picture and work together with others really help people develop more quickly in the career space.”

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