</Summer Schools by the University of Exeter>
In 2018, the University of Exeter hosted the first Institute of Coding Summer School offering undergraduate and postgraduate social science and humanities students the opportunity to learn digital programming skills.
The school brings together world-leading experts from Computer Science, the Graduate School of Education, the Q-Step Centre and the University’s new Institute for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (IDSAI) to support students in the development of their computer thinking and social data analytics skills.
Utilising the Q-Step Centre’s brand new computational lab for classes, the summer school was comprised of three 2-week learning blocks. Block 1 was a Coding Boot Camp teaching students how to formulate and solve problems through the use of Python. Block 2, Social Data Analytics, explored statistical concepts, data visualisation and social research methods. This was taught using R. Finally, block 3 offered a series of lectures and workshops on Artificial Intelligence.
By the end of the six weeks participants gained a number of new skills, including being able to understand new programming languages and use these to implement basic algorithms.
Students expressed that obtaining an understanding of programming to be able to communicate effectively with industry professionals was a particular benefit. They also increased their individual employability skills through gaining experience working with data, and enhanced their confidence in using these popular programming languages.
The summer school is a great opportunity for social science and humanities students to work on their problem-solving skills whilst also learning how to approach social issues in a logical and analytical fashion.
Exeter’s Institute of Coding Summer School will be running again in 2019 consisting of three 1-week blocks, 24th June – 12th July. www.iocsummerschool.org