As a Computer Science/Business Admin major, I get to take a lot of classes outside of Viterbi in Marshall, the school of business at USC. Usually, most people think of business classes as teaching only soft skills and a little bit of economics (and they would be 100% correct), but for one class, the statistics requirement, I’ve been able to take a very interesting class about data science.
The class, BUAD 312, is one of the 4 classes available for CSBA students to take in order to learn statistics in college; there’s also MATH 407, stats from the math department, EE 364, stats for electrical engineers and CS students, and BUAD 310, normal stats for business. 312 is a newer class called “Data Science and Statistics for Business” (cool title right!) that teaches the basics of statistics using the R coding language. I was interested in going above and beyond the normal stats class because I self-studied AP stats in high school and wanted to learn a little more and add an extra language to my resume.
So far, BUAD 312 has been interesting. I’ve been able to flex some of my CS knowledge by being able to pick up a new language faster than most (only my fellow CSBA classmates are fast at coding), understanding probability and combinatorics (thanks discrete math) while learning some key foundations of how data scientists clean up data sets, manipulate them, and draw conclusions from their analysis. One of our current projects is to do some simple analysis of our own data set, so I’ve been crunching the numbers to find trends in the data from the Chicago Bulls’ last season before COVID (once a Chicago fan, always a Chicago fan).
Data science is such a hot field and I even considered my master’s in it through the Viterbi Progressive Degree Program, so this class has been perfect to gain an introduction to what it’s like to analyze data. After 10 weeks, I’m not so sure I love data science more than software engineering since I love to build things and see concrete final projects from software, but it has been cool to learn what all the hype is about with data science and learn that it’s cool and could be a potential career path by just taking an intro class that is built into my major.