Lecture 1 – Introduction

DSC 10, Winter 2023

Welcome to DSC 10! 👋


Course staff

Instructor: Dr. Janine Tiefenbruck (call me Janine) 👩‍🏫

TAs, Tutors, and Mascot

In addition, we have several other course staff members who are here to support you in discussion, office hours, and online.

Learn more about them at dsc10.com/staff.

What is "data science"? 🤔

Everyone seems to have their own definition of data science.

What is "data science"?

Data science is about drawing useful conclusions from data using computation. Throughout the quarter, we'll touch on several aspects of data science:

Data science is more relevant than ever 🤧

We've spent the last three years looking at graphs like this:

It can be fun, too!

From The Pudding's article on rapper vocabularies.

Course logistics

Course website

The course website is your one-stop-shop for all things related to the course.


This is where lectures, homeworks, labs, discussions, and all other content will be posted. Check it often, and read the syllabus!

Getting set up

In addition, you must also fill out a Beginning of Quarter Survey.


Concept Check ✅ – Answer at cc.dsc10.com

How many of the following food items qualify as a sandwich?

A. 0              B. 1              C. 2              D. 3              E. 4             

(We are always going to use the same link for Concept Checks, so you should bookmark it.)


Discussion Schedule

Every student is assigned to one particular discussion as follows. You can request a time change on the Beginning of Quarter Survey. 🚨 Ignore the discussion and lab time listed on your course schedule.


Homeworks and projects


We will have two exams this quarter.

Readings and resources

A typical week in DSC 10

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Nothing! 😎 Lecture Lecture Lecture
HW due Lab due

See the Syllabus for more details.

First assignment

Getting help

This is a tough, fast-paced course, but we're here to help you – here's how:

Opportunity: Python bootcamp

Diversity in Data Science, a student organization, is running a one-week Python bootcamp specifically for students in DSC 10 with no prior programming experience. The bootcamp is this week. Sign up here.

Advice from previous students

At the end of each quarter, we ask DSC 10 students to give advice to future students in the course. Here are some responses:

"Go to office hours! Get a partner for the project even if you don't want to. If you don't understand a topic try the following: go to office hours, ask on [EdStem], check the [readings], look at lecture notes. Start on the assignments early try and finish 2 days early to check your work."

"I would give the advice to attend the discussions and office hours whenever possible, as a lot of the times I found myself learning new things even when I didn't come with a question ready."

"Do NOT fall behind in lectures. It becomes very difficult to catch up on the concepts. Go to your discussion section! Hearing a concept explained once can be difficult to understand so discussion section was extremely helpful."

"GO TO OFFICE HOURS! It's very important to let your voice out. Talk to the professor after lectures, attend office hours, post your questions and ask a question."


Asking questions is highly encouraged!

The limits of collaboration:

We're here for you!

Regardless of your background, you can succeed in this course. No prior programming or statistics experience will be assumed!

Watch on YouTube: We’re All Data Scientists | Rebecca Nugent | TEDxCMU.

Campus resources

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is a campus unit that offers “short term counseling for academic, career, and personal issues and also offers psychiatry services for circumstances when medication can help with counseling.” If you or anyone you know is ever in need of mental health care, you should contact CAPS.



Little Women (1868)