PARSE Health

Fun with Data

Collecting and analyzing data is a great way to learn about the world around us. Thanks to the internet, there are many freely available datasets anyone can analyze. This summer we will learn how to gain insights from data using statistical techniques. Our goal will be to enable all participants to seek out data and analyze it to gain new insights. We will learn how to load data in R, visualize it by making graphs, summarize and compare with techniques like regression and classification.


  1. Install R and RStudio on a laptop and bring it to class.
  2. Email the instructor ( with some brief information about yourself and list at least one thing you are interested in that we could learn about with data (for example, see the below list).
  3. Positive attitude, curiosity and willingness to learn something new.

Example of questions we could explore:

  • Which are the most popular bike routes in the Boston area?
  • Is there a relationship between an animal’s size and its lifespan?
  • What are some trends in baby names over the past 50 years?
  • Are sumo wrestlers getting bigger over time?
  • Which cities have the fastest increasing prices for houses?