Computer Sciences


At the August 2017 ACM Education Council meeting, a task force was formed to explore a process to add to the broad, interdisciplinary conversation on data science, with an articulation of the role of computing discipline-specific contributions to this emerging field. Specifically, the task force would seek to define what the computing/computational contributions are to this new field, and provide guidance on computing-specific competencies in data science for departments offering such programs of study at the undergraduate level.

There are many stakeholders in the discussion of data science – these include colleges and universities that (hope to) offer data science programs, employers who hope to hire a workforce with knowledge and experience in data science, as well as individuals and professional societies representing the fields of computing, statistics, machine learning, computational biology, computational social sciences, digital humanities, and others. There is a shared desire to form a broad interdisciplinary definition of data science and to develop curriculum guidance for degree programs in data science.

This volume builds upon the important work of other groups who have published guidelines for data science education. There is a need to acknowledge the definition and description of the individual contributions to this interdisciplinary field. For instance, those interested in the business context for these concepts generally use the term “analytics”; in some cases, the abbreviation DSA appears, meaning Data Science and Analytics.

This volume is the third draft articulation of computing-focused competencies for data science. It recognizes the inherent interdisciplinarity of data science and situates computing-specific competencies within the broader interdisciplinary space.