Interdisciplinary, cross-college team at CU Boulder wins National Endowment for the Humanities Award
An interdisciplinary team from two colleges and the libraries at the University of Colorado Boulder has won a $150,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the organization announced today.
The project, called “Integrating Humanities and Data Science Education,” aims to provide an example of how the humanities can help equip 21st century learners with the intellectual resources they will need to inhabit a world being remade by data.
They’ll do this by designing eight courses that promote experiential learning, as well as opportunities to foster engagement with humanistic questions in the context of a quantitative inquiry. Additionally, they’ll work with CU Boulder’s Center for Teaching and Learning to cultivate local and national conversations about best practices for teaching data science and the humanities.
The winning team includes faculty from the College of Media, Communications & Information (CMCI) and from the Center for Research Data & Digital Scholarship (CRDDS), which is a collaboration between the libraries and Research Computing. Additionally, the team includes faculty affiliated with the ASSETT (Arts & Sciences Support of Education Through Technology) Innovation Incubator.
The winning team includes Project Director Jane Garrity (English), Project Co-Director Robin Burke (CMCI lead), Project Co-Director (STEM lead) Eric Vance (applied math), and co-PIs Rachael Deagman-Simonetta (English), Nickoal Eichmann-Kalwara (CRDDS), David Glimp (English), Vilja Hulden (history), Thea Lindquist (CRDDS), Henry Lovejoy (history), Brett Melbourne (ecology and evolutionary biology) and Nathan Pieplow (Program for Writing & Rhetoric).
This work builds off a previous grant, which created the introductory course Interdisciplinary Data Science for All (AHUM 1825), launched by Garrity, Vance, Glimp, Hulden, Melbourne and Pieplow in 2021. This course allowed students to learn how to analyze not just numbers, but also their human contexts and consequences; how to prevent intentional or unintentional misuse of data science; and how to communicate the findings of data analysis effectively.
That set of competencies is called “data acumen.”
The course provided majors in science, technology, engineering and math with qualitative reasoning skills that are traditionally taught in the humanities; future humanities majors with an on-ramp to further study of data science in courses developed via the newly funded NEH grant; and all students with critical, statistical and computational skills they can apply in future courses and in the workforce.