Harvard Summer Program in Nafplio and Crete (Greece) – Introduction to Data Science with Applications

Please Note: this program is not currently available.

This eight-week-long program "Introduction to Data Science with Applications" is a new Harvard study-abroad program, supported by CHS GR, which combines science studies with immersion in Greek culture. Amidst the beauty of Greece, students focus on the analysis of messy, real-life data to perform predictions and inference using statistical and machine learning methods. Led by Harvard Faculty Efthimios Kaxiras, Pavlos Protopapas, and Kevin Rader, the program allows students to delve into data science through lectures, hands-on labs in python, and innovative projects.

"Introduction to Data Science with Applications" begins with a week-long orientation in Nafplio and Athens. During this week, students participate in activities at the facilities in the Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies in Nafplio, and explore the renowned historical and cultural landmarks of Athens.

Students then travel to Rethymno, on the island of Crete, for seven weeks of coursework and projects.

Course topics include mathematics for data science, data scraping, data management, data visualization, regression and classification methods, and deep neural networks. Projects are drawn from the life and culture of the city, the island, and the country in general, and include subjects such as archaeology, tourism, agriculture, and wildfire prevention. Coursework is complemented by immersion in the local culture of Crete through activities and excursions to archeological, scientific, and other sites of interest, as well as exploration of the island's extraordinary natural beauty.

CHS GR Data Science 2019 1


Students are expected to have one year of prior programming coursework and an introductory-level course in statistics.

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, students should:

  • Have a mathematical foundation for studying data science.
  • Perform exploratory data analysis and visualization on datasets.
  • Solve problems involving datasets using machine learning algorithms.
  • Get a taste of deep learning with an introduction to neural networks.
  • Work on real-life datasets and practice what they learned.


Efthimios Kaxiras, phD, John Hasbrouck Van Vleck Professor of Pure and Applied Physics, Harvard University

Pavlos Protopapas, phD, Scientific Program Director and Lecturer, Harvard Institute for Applied Computational Science, Harvard University

Kevin Rader, phD, Senior Preceptor in Statistics, Harvard University

Eleni Angelaki Kaxiras, Assistant Director for Data Science and Computation, Harvard University

Teaching Assistants from the region of Crete

2019 Application

Please visit the website of the Harvard Summer Program in Nafplio and Crete (Greece) for the application form and learn more.


For additional information please contact Mr. Evangelos Katsarelis, CHS GR Programs and Events Manager, through telephone (+30 27520 47030, Nafplio, Greece) and/or email summergreece(at)chs.harvard.edu.