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How does your map app on your phone know where a traffic jam is? How do we find patient zero in a medical epidemic? The purpose of this learning community is to provide an opportunity to learn how to develop systems that can be used to generate new knowledge that we can use to make important decisions that impact our lives on a daily basis. Uncover trends, patterns, or other information hidden in the big picture of big data. Learn the basics of working with data and the skills and knowledge to pursue multiple avenues in the continuum of data science: from management to analytics to applications related to engineering complex systems.

In the first semester, learn the fundamentals of data science: types of data, data lifecycle, transformation and visualization, and make evidence-based decisions in user-oriented engineering modeling and design problems. 

In the second semester, develop your skills to build and use analytical tools using MATLAB and Python to make new discoveries about how natural and built system work.   Learn how to gather, organize, and store big data sets and then build algorithms in a way that machines can autonomously process the data to generate information  we need when working on engineering projects. Discover how critical evaluation of information is used to make appropriate decisions and conclusions and, in the process, learn to know when the first question asked, isn’t the only question that needs to be answered. 

Join a cohort of first-year engineering students who will take four data-science themed courses together and participate in fun and educational co-curricular and extracurricular activities that are exclusive to our learning community.

Matt Painter


  • First-time beginning students admitted to the First-Year Engineering Program or to Pre-ABE in the College of Agriculture
  • This LC is not available to Honors College participants - Honors College students will participate in the Engineering Honors LC

Residential Component

  • Students from this learning community must reside in Harrison Hall
  • Information on this residence hall can be found here
  • Students who are required to reside in a different residence hall (e.g. due to the Honors College or athletics participation) or who do not sign a housing contract may not participate in this learning community
  • Your roommate in most cases will be a member of the learning community
  • Completing a housing contract is a separate process from applying for a learning community


Fall and Spring semesters

Associated Classes


ENGR 13100 - Transforming Ideas to Innovation 1

ENGR 10300 - Developing Your Data Mind

ENGL 10600 - First Year Composition – First Year Composition with Data Science Emphasis (optional)



ENGR 13200 - Transforming Ideas to Innovation 2 

ENGR 19500 - Computational Methods of Data Science for Engineers


Events and Activities Included:

Examples of community activities from last year:

  • Data science and sports: Moneyball with Coach Matt Painter
  • Learning Python with Pythons: programming boot camp with animal management data and snakes
  • Dawn or Doom conference: workshop on presenting data effectively and lunch with keynote speaker
  • Field trip to Cummins Technical Center: simulation and product testing data management and analytics

Information above is subject to change. If you are placed in the LC, the associated courses will be on your schedule prior to you registering for the rest of your courses.

Learning Communities ERHT 1275 1st Street, West Lafayette, IN 47906 - (765) 494-5785 or (765) 494-8571,

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