Lecture 1 – Introduction

DSC 10, Fall 2023

Welcome to DSC 10! 👋


Course staff

Instructor: Rod Albuyeh (call me Rod)

Instructor: Janine Tiefenbruck (call me Janine)

Instructor: Suraj Rampure (call me Suraj, pronounced "sooh-rudge")

Course staff

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, and come say hi at the Meet the Professors mixer from 11:30AM-12:30PM in the patio of the HDSI building.

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 relevant 🤧

We spent years looking at graphs like this:

It can be fun, too!

The site The Pudding is home to several interactive data-rich articles.


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

First tasks

  1. Fill out the required Welcome Survey as soon as possible.
  2. Take the pretest, which is recommended to help you gauge your preparedness, brush up on prerequisite knowledge, and learn test-taking skills. We'll release the solutions on Monday.


Concept Check ✅ – Answer at cc.dsc10.com

Is it acceptable to recline your seat on an airplane?

A. Yes, you paid for the seat!

B. Only if the person in front of you reclined their seat first.

C. Only if you ask the person behind you and they're fine with it.

D. No, it's rude.

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


Discussion schedule

There are three discussion sections:

Students in Sections A, B, and C must attend the discussion section that corresponds to the lecture section they are enrolled in.

In the Schedule of Classes, this course is listed as having both a discussion section (DI) and a lab section (LA), but we will only have one weekly meeting outside of lecture, which we'll refer to as a discussion section, scheduled at the time listed above. You should ignore what you see as DI or LA on WebReg and just use the schedule above instead.


Homeworks and projects


We will have two exams this quarter.

Both exams will be conducted in person and on paper. Let us know if you have a conflict on the Welcome Survey.

Readings and resources

Weekly schedule for the first half of the quarter

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Lecture Lecture Lecture
Lab due HW due

The deadlines in the second half are significantly different. Always refer to the course website for the schedule.

First assignment

Getting help

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

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 from last year's students:

Start the assignments early, every time that I started an assignment the day or even night of, I always struggled and the added pressure of not getting it in on time didn't help me one bit. The times that I started a day or two in advance, even if it was just completing a couple problems in advance, I felt way more relaxed and in turn I learned and retained a lot more.

Pay attention in lectures and to begin both labs and homework early because they will pile up. The lectures are very helpful references to use if you’re stuck during labs and homework’s and office hours are incredibly useful so go!!!

Use TA's and office hours as much as possible, also the reference sheet was crucial.

Office hours are really helpful, all the tutors knew what they were doing and could were able to help me work through any of the problems I got stuck on

Academic Integrity policies


Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI)

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)