Category Data Journalism

Infographics Tell Stories

Hi Students, I will start with… a map! The map above shows the distribution of slavery in the south, and it’s been making its way around the web. I love this map for a number of different reasons, and if you’re a data nerd you probably do too. First, it’s an old thing that resembles lots of new things. Maps […]

Ongoing Struggles with Data Science

Dear Students, Yesterday Gil Press featured our class in his Forbes column, Big Data News of the Week. I’d like to take the opportunity to briefly discuss the ideas discussed in his article, as well my broader struggles with the celebrification of data scientists. Our class in the press I call this to your attention […]

Week 9: Morningside Analytics, Network analysis, Data Journalism

Each week Cathy O’Neil blogs about the class. Cross-posted from Our first speaker this week in Rachel Schutt‘s Columbia Data Science course was John Kelly from Morningside Analytics, who came to talk to us about network analysis. John Kelly Kelly has four diplomas from Columbia, starting with a BA in 1990 from Columbia College, […]

“Big Data on Campus”

For the final project, you’re working on developing a story or hypothesis around the theme of Data Science and Education. This article, “Big Data on Campus”, appeared in the New York Times (in cooperation with the Chronicle of Higher Education) over the summer and explores ways in which universities are starting to use technology that […]

Weekly Data Viz #4

Each Tuesday,  Eurry Kim, a student in our class, will pick one example of data visualization to share with us. Eurry wrote:
Hi Rachel,
For this week’s viz, I decided on the following New York Times graphic:

Source: Jason Deparle and Matthew Ericson/The New York Times 05/09/09

New York Times again?? Yes, I have a good reason. Wait for it.[...]

The Case for Data Science

Dear Students, Data Science is an emerging field in industry, yet not well-defined as an academic subject. This is the first course at Columbia that has the term “Data Science” in the title. So recently, Allen Bernard, a freelance journalist working on an article for about the emerging role of the data scientist asked […]

Tow Teas, Thursdays, 5-7pm

Kaushik, a student in our class, who is also taking a class at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at the Columbia Journalism School, “Frontiers of Computational Journalism” (which sounds interesting!) sends along the following: Dear Rachel, In response to Phillips’s post about the talk in the Sociology department on Thursday, I thought I might […]

After-class announcements (Wednesday 9/19)

– Thanks Jake! You were awesome. – Room update: We have a new bigger room going forward! On Mondays and Wednesdays (labs and lectures) we’ll be in  313 Fayerweather starting next week. – Homework #2 is now posted. Due in two weeks. – Data scientists are the sexiest job of the 21st century, according to Harvard Business Review, […]

They don’t have to settle for models at all

Dear Students, Check out this piece “The End of Theory: The Data Deluge Makes the Scientific Method Obsolete“, published in Wired magazine four years ago by Chris Anderson, the editor-in-chief. In the data science world, four years is a long time (if you go by how long the term “data science” has even existed). In […]

Big Data in My Blood

Dear Students, Check out this story in this week’s NYT  Big Data in Your Blood  I want to use it to explore a couple things and ideas I was struggling with before the class started this semester, and that I wasn’t sure how to communicate with you about on our first day together: Semantics again […]


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