The academic mission of the proposed undergraduate minor in Urban Informatics is to expose undergraduate students from across the University to the emergent field of data-driven urban studies. This includes the application of data acquisition and analytics to understanding the urban environment, infrastructure, operations, management, policy, design, planning, and population health. The goal is to offer students the necessary foundation to acquire and analyze information to solve critical challenges facing cities in the 21st century. Students will develop skills in data acquisition, data management, analysis, and visualization, as well as in data structure and privacy standards.
The minor is open to students across the University, including those in STEM fields, the humanities, the social sciences, and the arts. Given the cross-disciplinary nature of studies of cities, this minor will be of particular interest to students in disciplines such as sociology, public policy, public health, architecture/urban design, business, economics, and politics. Non-engineering students will gain quantitative skills for deeper understanding of cities in disciplinary areas of interest, while engineering students will benefit from specialized technical electives in data analytics. For both groups, the minor provides skills that are needed for data-driven analysis and critical thinking. This course of study will help prepare students for graduate study in a range of fields, as well as for work in government, the private sector, and nongovernmental organizations that focus on cities and urban living.
Learning Objectives of the Urban Informatics Minor:
- Introduce students to the emerging fields of urban informatics and data science in the context of urban studies.
- Build foundational skills in data modeling, data manipulation, analysis, and visualization.
- Introduce students the applicable data standards for data representation and reasoning.
- Develop computing skills to enable future advanced studies in data applications to engineering.
- Enhance data-driven problem-solving capabilities and analytical reasoning skills.
- Understand how sensing technologies can be applied to better understand urban challenges, including city management and planning, and emergency response.
In consultation and approval of the designated minor advisor, students will select from the following options: