iSchool's Freeman and Ross publish textbook for Informatics classes

Michael Freeman and Joel Ross
Michael Freeman (left) and Joel Ross

Michael Freeman and Joel Ross, both senior lecturers at the University of Washington Information School, have published a new textbook, “Programming Skills for Data Science.”

The book originated from the lecturers’ experience teaching an Informatics course, INFO 201: Technical Foundations for Informatics. They wanted a single textbook suited for students who were beginning to write code to wrangle, analyze and visualize data. In their book, Freeman and Ross teach how to work with datasets to build interactive visualizations, web applications and data reports.

A website promoting the book describes it as a “comprehensive primer for people seeking data science skills that can be applied across a variety of domains.” It notes that no coding background is required.

Programming Skills for Data Science“We’re ecstatic to have our new book published and ready to integrate into our courses,” Freeman said. “Publishing the book challenged us to develop clearer explanations, more expressive diagrams, and more interesting real-world examples for our students.”

Nearly 1,000 students will be using the book each year in the iSchool’s INFO 201 course. They’ll also have free access to the book online.

“We believe that the student experience will be improved,” Freeman said. “This new textbook provides clearer guidance for students navigating the challenges of writing code to work with data.”

“Programming Skills for Data Science” is available now at Pearson, Amazon, InformIT and some local bookstores. Students may have access through their university’s subscription to Safari Books Online.