Foundations of Data Science (Honors)

  11-12 graders

  Credits awarded on transcript  

  Pre-Calculus completed with B- or better

  UC A-G approved for [D] Science credits

  90 minutes per class

  8-10 students per class

  Twice per week over 36 weeks

  1249 per student, per semester  

  Self paced instructor-guided  

  Online community

  Office hours on-demand

  879 per student, per semester  

Data is everywhere around us. We generate more data every 40 minutes than all of the data generated since the dawn of civilization until 2003. The ability to work with data, understand what it tells us, and use it in your communication has become an essential life and career skill.


of all the world's data was created in just the last two years


computing power in a smartphone vs. a 1970s mainframe computer


of all U.S. high school students complete any statistics coursework

Decisions that used to be straightforward are increasingly more complex and driven by data. Individuals across all disciplines need to constantly separate fact from friction. The need to analyze and interpret data has permeated every discipline — across engineering, business, finance, social sciences, humanities, and even journalism. Several leading academics now agree that the mathematics we teach in high school is rooted in the 1950s space race and needs to be updated to reflect the realities of the digital and information age of today.

2Sigma School takes an interactive approach to data exploration, rather than a lecture based approach. Our classes are hands-on and use several tools that are used by leading data scientists as well as higher education universities, as illustrated by the following video clip of a live session in a small cohort.

In order to maximize our time together during the live sessions, we use a flipped classroom model that includes pre-work for every class. This allows students to program with the support of an instructor during the class. The pre-work includes pre-recorded videos, online reading, and some programming practice.

  University of California A-G approved for recommended third year of [D] Science credits.

Course Outline

  1. Python and Jupyter Notebook Fundamentals
  2. Visualizations
  3. Iteration and Sampling
  4. Assessing Models
  5. Sample Means
  6. Regressions
  7. Conditional Probability

The Foundations of Data Science is equivalent to a 1-semester college level course, adapted for high school. It combines three perspectives: inferential thinking, computational thinking, and real-world relevance. Given data arising from some real-world phenomenon, how does one analyze that data so as to understand the phenomenon and draw conclusions? The course teaches critical concepts and skills in computer programming and statistical inference, in conjunction with hands-on analysis of real-world datasets, including economic data, document collections, geographical data, and social networks. It delves into social issues surrounding data analysis such as privacy and design.

This is an advanced course meant for students who have experience with Python programming or who have previously taken the AP Computer Science A class. At the end of the course, students will have a portfolio of their data science work to showcase their newly developed knowledge and understanding.

Our technology requirements are similar to that of most Online classes.

A desktop or laptop computer running Windows (PC), Mac OS (Mac), or Chrome OS (Chromebook).
Students must be able to run a Zoom Client.
A working microphone, speaker, and webcam.
A high-speed internet connection with at least 10mbps download speed (check your Internet speed).

Students must have a quiet place to study and participate in the class for the duration of the class. Some students may prefer a headset to isolate any background noise and help them focus in class.

Most course lectures and content may be viewed on mobile devices but programming assignments and certain quizzes require a desktop or laptop computer.

This course includes several timed tests where you will be asked to complete a given number of questions within a 1-3 hour time limit. These tests are designed to keep you competitively prepared but you can take them as often as you like. We do not proctor these exams, neither do we require that you install special lockdown browser.

In today's environment, when students have access to multiple devices, most attempts to avoid cheating in online exams are symbolic. Our exams are meant to encourage you to learn and push yourself using an honor system.

We do assign a grade at the end of the year based on a number of criteria which includes class participation, completion of assignments, and performance in the tests. We do not reveal the exact formula to minimize students' incentive to optimize for a higher grade.

We believe that your grade in the course should reflect how well you have learnt the skills, and a couple of timed-tests, while traditional, aren't the best way to evaluate your learning.