The Computer Science Department at Old Dominion University (ODU) is hosting this 2-week long summer camp program for high school students to introduce and promote enthusiasm in data science and the subfield of machine learning. Students will learn the fundamentals of this rapidly growing STEM field of study while also gaining an exposure to the university setting. The course will engage students by allowing them to create and keep their own applications that will be focused on solving practical problems. While performing these guided hands-on exercises, students will learn how these same techniques are being used by the leading technology focused public and private organizations (e.g. Google, Facebook, Amazon, Boeing, NASA, U.S. Department of Energy, etc.). This will occur through the instructors affiliations with NASA Langley research center and two guest speakers who can provide an overview in how they use data science in their day to day lives.

The Camp will build confidence in students with little or no coding experience by giving them an introduction to two programming languages (Python and R). Then, after learning how to develop and program in these languages, students will learn about the most widely used algorithms and methodologies in machine learning, with the opportunity to use these programming languages to solve real-world problems – for instance, a step by step walkthrough of how to develop an artificial neural network. The Camp will culminate in students having the opportunity to choose a publicly available NASA dataset to apply the techniques they have learned, with one-on-one support from the course instructor. The students will also receive additional learning materials so they may continue to work on advanced research projects after the Camp.

Program Schedule:

  • Day 1 (Monday, June 25): Introduction to data science and machine learning
  • Day 2 (Tuesday, June 26): Introduction to coding languages, how to download and install software
  • Day 3 (Wednesday, June 27): Introduction to Python
  • Day 4 (Thursday, June 28): Introduction to R
  • Day 5 (Friday, June 29): Introduction to data cleansing methods, manipulating datasets in Python and R
  • Day 6 (Monday, July 2): Overview of machine learning algorithms and purposes for using each
  • Day 7 (Tuesday, July 3): Programming popular machine learning algorithms in Python
  • Day 8 (Wednesday, July 4): No class
  • Day 9 (Thursday, July 5): Programming popular machine learning algorithms in R
  • Day 10 (Friday, July 6): Student final project, download public dataset and apply ML to investigate

The course will run everyday from 9am to 5pm, with a 1 hour lunch period at noon.


The Machine Learning and Data Science Camp at ODU is funded by the Virginia Space Grant Consortium. For more information about the VSGC, please visit: