Study Data Science
Data Science is the fastest growing major at UW-Madison, and students across campus are interested in increasing their data literacy. Whether you are interested in a data science career or course, opportunities abound at UW-Madison. Learn more about majors, courses, and professional degrees and certificates
Explore Campus Resources
Data science has applications in all disciplines, and data science @ uw is your connection to data science institutes, centers, and programs across the UW-Madison campus. It’s also the place to find research funding, training, coding meetups, news, events and seminars, student orgs, communities of practice, and other resources.
Collaborate With Us
Data science innovation at UW-Madison furthers the Wisconsin Idea by fueling discovery and economic development. Our research and talent development benefit communities and businesses in all corners of the state, and beyond. We are committed to fostering an inclusive culture in data science. Learn about collaboration opportunities
Faces of Data Science
“If we don’t think about data analytics with a grounded perspective, we absolutely know that we will reinforce every bias in a systemically racist society. If we just look at the data and we’re not informed by an understanding of the people who generated it, all we’ll do is perpetuate existing inequalities.”
David Williamson Shaffer
Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of Learning Sciences, Department of Educational Psychology; Data Philosopher, Wisconsin Center for Education Research
David Williamson Shaffer is pioneering the emerging field of quantitative ethnography, which provides tools for researchers to embrace the human side of big data. While data analytics can identify patterns in the numbers, quantitative ethnography also gets at the stories behind those patterns. David’s research is breaking down the walls between quantitative and qualitative research, blending statistical and ethnographic techniques to derive meaning from data.
As director of the Epistemic Analytics lab, located in the Wisconsin Center for Education Research, David develops innovative approaches to both research methodology and data analytics to enhance our understanding of how people learn. Traditionally, educational research has emphasized data about outcomes for students, such as growth in test scores. David is working to change that by grounding data in observations of how educational interventions affect the learning process, not just results.
David began his career as a K-12 teacher, both in the US and in Nepal as a Peace Corps volunteer. His desire to give students more authentic learning experiences led him to the MIT Media Laboratory, where he completed his Ph.D. Throughout his teaching and research career, he has aimed to develop a compelling vision for what needs to change in education and how to model those processes.
Data science is an emerging field that is roughly defined as the study, development, and application of methods that reveal new insights from data, which include numbers, text, images, graphs, sounds, code, and metadata. This website is an inclusive portal to resources and activities related to data science at UW-Madison.
As data reshapes our world, UW–Madison brings the power of data science to every field of study. The future path of data science will be shaped by insights from all disciplines.