Google Applied Computing Series Comes to Hollins


April 8, 2019

single-paper-background Dana Classroom

Google has selected Hollins University as a partner institution to implement its Applied Computing Series, an initiative focusing on computer science education.

Associate Professors of Mathematics Julie Clark and Steve Wassell, and Vice President for Academic Affairs Patricia Hammer, spearheaded the effort to bring the Applied Computing Series to Hollins, one of only 11 colleges and universities nationally that have been accepted into the program this year.  Semester-long Applied Computing courses will be offered to students who haven’t previously had the opportunity to study computer science or data science.

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“Google and we see these courses as appropriate for students of all majors who are interested in applying data science techniques to their fields of study,” says Clark.

Google administers the course content and platform for free, and Clark and Wassell will take part in faculty training this summer. Google’s Applied Computing I, which will be offered beginning in the fall of 2019, introduces students to computer science through an easy-to-learn programming language called Python. The course emphasizes such skills as problem solving; data analysis; design, implementation, testing, and analysis of algorithms and programs; formulating problems; thinking creatively about solutions; and expressing solutions clearly. There are no prerequisite courses necessary to enroll in Applied Computing I.

Google’s Applied Computing II, which will be launched in Spring 2020, explores the topic, “How to Think Like a Data Scientist.” The course is designed to help students make informed, data-based decisions with machine learning in combination with tools such as spreadsheets, Structured Query Language (SQL), and Python. Applied Computing I is a prerequisite for this course.

“These intro courses foster hands-on learning complemented by faculty-supported, collaborative project work,” Clark explains. “Our goal is to have students complete these courses with practical know-how in programming languages and the ability to make data-informed decisions in many disciplines.”