Digital & Computational Studies
Data and computational methods play an increasing role in advancing knowledge within and across disciplines, and more occupations than ever before demand computational thinking. Bates was proud to announce, in 2016, the launch of a new program in Digital and Computational Studies, with $10 million raised to fund three new endowed faculty positions.
Crucial to the conceptualization of the new DCS program is the liberal arts context in which it is embedded. In one sense, DCS can be thought of as offering access to a new and powerful language for the classic goals of the liberal arts — careful reasoning, creative problem solving, and clear expression. As such, it becomes a prime site not only for equipping our students with new tools and knowledge, but also for encouraging them to engage critically with the processes of computation, digitalization, and automation flowing through every aspect of contemporary life.
Facilitating command of crucial tools, platforms, and infrastructures, our curriculum — in and beyond the major in DCS — will enable our students to understand how these systems reflect and reinforce social choices. Thus, in addition to producing competent programmers, data engineers, and digital architects, Bates will also produce innovators across fields equipped to examine and amend the silent presuppositions of an evolving digital world.
DCS at Bates is based on the understanding that social values and technical design are inextricably bound together. DCS is distinctive among computer science programs for the way it encourages students to apply integrative liberal arts sensibilities to their technical training.