Digital and Computational Studies

Bates College

Professors Corrie (Art and Visual Culture) and Schlax (Chemistry and Biochemisty); Associate Professors Engel (Politics), Imber (Classical and Medieval Studies), Jadud (Digital and Computational Studies, chair), and Tefft (Economics); Assistant Professors Boateng (Mathematics) and Castro (Neuroscience) Data and computers are transforming virtually every facet of our professional and personal lives. Increasingly, they are the dominant media for how we generate, apply, and share knowledge. The digital and computational studies program endeavors to prepare students for lives of work and study that require proficiency in using constructed electronic platforms, software, and large, complex datasets. The program is also deliberately problem-oriented and reflective. Instructors in the program assume that by paying attention to the values and motivations underlying the development and use of computers – and the consequences of computers and computation for society – students are more likely to understand what goes on beyond the user interface. The faculty established a new interdisciplinary program in digital and computational studies in 2015-16. The program's goals are to advance learning and scholarship across multiple disciplines informed by concepts, methods, and tools of computer science and digital studies. Specifically the program aims to interrogate the values and assumptions of a digitized world; increase understanding of the power and limitations of computers in solving problems; advance understanding of the theory and logic of computation; promote proficiency in the assessment, analysis, and visualization of data; build competency in the analysis of complex relationships among data sources; promote creative and competent use of algorithms in problem solving; and foster connections across disciplines.

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