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We asked our alumni in the data science industry,  

“What do you know now that would have made you a better researcher in grad school?”

…and then designed this course.



Lloyd Knox is a Fellow of the American Physical Society with over 25 years of experience with scientific data analysis, in both small and large collaborations, and over 20 years of experience training PhD students. He has kept contact with many alumni who are now in the data science industry. His goal with this class is to build physics graduate students’ capacities for data-driven scientific discovery. 

Michael Meiers is a sixth-year physics PhD student with interests in cosmology, data analysis, programming and teaching. He has recently taken over leadership of the code review group previously run by Azalee Bostroem.


Occasional guest instructors will include our alumni in the data science industry.

Testimonials in January 2022 from students who took the course in 2020

“The skill I learned in the course has been helping me with my research constantly during the past 2 years. I refer back to the canvas page for information even for now sometimes. I'm really glad I took that course 2 years ago!”      Yutan Zhang

“Frankly it is the best course I have taken at UC Davis.”     Sudheer Anand Sreedhar

"This class did a great job of filling in gaping holes in my knowledge of python and git. I am not sure I learned how to do things I absolutely couldn't do before so much as how to do them better, more efficiently and crucially... more sustainably. Notable takeaways include documentation with sphinx, MCMC methods, and an interesting panel with data science alumni. However, the most valuable lesson for me was about work-life balance. Every time I am still working past 7:00 PM I remember that resting, eating, and sleeping is just as critical to success as hard work. I mean, of course I knew this before the class... but it's hard to understate the importance of hearing it live and straight from the mouths of peers and researchers you respect. I'd recommend this class to anyone who isn't absolutely committed to doing things in the most painful way possible. 10/10"    Kyle Ray

PHY 250 Sec: 001  CRN:55621 Tu/Th 1:40 - 3 in Physics 185

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