An Interdisciplinary Curriculum in Science Informatics


We are developing a curriculum in science informatics that cuts across disciplinary boundaries to educate students in the computational character of the scientific enterprise. We are designing courses that cover: the storage, retrieval, and analysis of scientific data; the representation of scientific models and their use for prediction and explanation; the forms of communication and interaction that support scientific communities; and the mechanisms that underlie scientific creativity and discovery. We maintain that science has always been an inherently computational endeavor, but that the advent of information technology offers opportunities for aiding or automating every aspect of research. Courses accessible to both undergraduate and graduate students will teach the general concepts and principals that underpin the scientific method, while exploring particular informatics tools in the context of specific problems. Students from different fields will participate in the same courses, which will also serve to encourage interdisciplinary thinking that cuts across domain boundaries. They may follow these with advanced classes that examine in more detail applications in specific scientific fields. In this paper, we motivate the need for a broad curriculum in science informatics and describe the content we are planning to incorporate in our courses.

Transform Science — Computational Education for Scientists (Vol. 2): What to Teach?