Teaching and Learning the Science of Data: Statistics Education at the University of Toronto during the Data Revolution

Alison Gibbs, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream – Department of Statistical Sciences, Faculty of Arts & Science

This project proposes a revolution of undergraduate statistics education at the University of Toronto. The Task Force on University Relations and Context described the University’s pedagogic challenges as: “We must prepare our students for jobs that do not yet exist, to make discoveries that we have not even imagined and to take on roles for which they cannot ready themselves ahead of time.” For statistics, the recent emergence of data science and big data has meant that jobs and research opportunities that were not imagined just a few years ago are now in dire need of people with the abilities to take on the resulting new challenges.

The goal of this project is to recreate undergraduate statistics courses and programs, combining courses with enhanced partnerships (in industry, research institutes, governmental and nongovernmental organizations) and experiential learning opportunities, to prepare students for this challenge and equip them to tackle the opportunities that students cannot yet imagine but are emerging in the workplace, as well as our own imagination.