Harvard Summer Program in Nafplio and Crete, Greece (Data Science)

June 3, 2019 to July 26, 2019
Apply by: 
January 31, 2019

An introduction to data science amidst the beauty of Greece

Greece has traditionally been a place for cultural and historical studies. This eight-week-long program "Introduction to Data Science with Applications" is a new Harvard study abroad program (based on CS109a) which combines science studies with immersion in Greek culture.

Program structure

The program, which is supported by the Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies in Greece, begins with a week-long orientation in Nafpliothe first capital of the modern Greek state—and Athens, the current capital. During this week, you will receive an immersive introduction to your coursework and to the culture, history, and society of Greece through scheduled activities and visits to local institutions and points of interest. You will then travel to Rethymno, on the island of Crete, for seven weeks of coursework and projects. Rethymno is home to the University of Crete School of Humanities and Social Sciences, as well as to the Institute for Mediterranean Studies, and has a vibrant academic community. Your coursework will be 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.


CSCI S-109AR counts as one full-year course (8 credits) of degree credit; it is the equivalent of CSCI 109a plus 4 credits of elective course credit.

CSCI S-109AR Study Abroad in Nafplio and Crete, Greece: Introduction to Data Science with Applications (34517)

Efthimios Kaxiras
Pavlos Protopapas
Kevin A. Rader
8 credits
UN, GR Limited enrollment.

During the first part of the course students delve into data science through lectures, quizzes, and hands-on labs all done in Python. We focus on the analysis of data to perform predictions using statistical and machine learning methods. Topics include mathematics for data science, data scraping, data management, data visualization, regression and classification methods, and deep neural networks. Students get ample practice through weekly homework assignments. The second part of the course gives students the opportunity to work in teams and apply the skills and knowledge acquired in the first part towards the completion of an open-ended project. Projects originate from industrial or municipal partners, with whom students meet throughout the course. Topics are drawn from the life and culture of the city of Rethymno, the island of Crete, and Greece in general, and touch upon archaeology, tourism, agriculture, and wildfire prevention. Biweekly class meetings consist of discussions, talks by the students on their project progress, tutorials, and guest lectures. Progress evaluations are conducted through weekly milestone assignments.

Prerequisite: One year of prior programming coursework and an introductory-level course in statistics.

Where you live and study

During your orientation week at the start of the program, you will participate in activities at the state-of-the-art facilities in the Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies in Nafplio, and will explore the renowned historical and cultural landmarks of Athens. During your seven weeks of study in Rethymno, Crete, you will attend classes at the hotel in which you will be staying.


In Nafplio, you will stay at the well-equipped, recently renovated Park Hotel in the heart of the old town center and just a few minutes’ walk from the Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies, where orientation activities will be held.

In Athens, you will stay in the Divani Acropolis Hotel in the heart of the city, affording convenient access to the city’s celebrated archeological sites, museums, and other points of interest.

In Rethymno, you will stay in the Theartemis Palace within walking distance of the heart of the historic district. The hotel provides 24/7 concierge service and spacious, well-equipped rooms. The classes will conveniently take place in a conference room inside the hotel.

Breakfast is included in all the hotels as well several dinners each week at local restaurants together with your teachers. For lunch and other dinners, you will have the opportunity to explore the local cuisine.


Early application is strongly encouraged. Each program has unique requirements included in the online application. Beginning your application early is the best way to ensure that you have sufficient time to review and complete the application requirements by the deadline.

A complete online application includes:

  • Basic personal information
  • A statement of interest
  • Your most recent transcript
  • Program-specific requirements (if applicable; may include letters of recommendation, audio or video submissions, etc.)
  • A $75 application fee (per program)

Interviews may be requested at the discretion of the program.

Apply Now 

Applications are due by 11:59 pm ET on January 31, 2019. You may apply to up to two programs; each program requires a separate application and fee. Harvard College students applying for funding from the Office of Career Services (OCS): Please note that the OCS funding application is separate.

If you have questions about the application, please contact the Harvard Summer School Study Abroad Office by email at summerabroad@summer.harvard.edu, or by telephone at (617) 998-9602.

Cost & Expenses

The program fee includes:

  • Tuition
  • Accommodations
  • Scheduled program activities
  • Some meals (the program will provide further details)

You will also need to budget for a number of expenses not covered by the program fee. The amounts listed below for these out-of-pocket expenses are approximate, and you may incur additional expenses not noted here. Your actual expenses will depend on a number of factors, including personal spending habits and currency exchange rates.

  • International airfare ($1,300 - $1,600)
  • Ground transportation ($150)
  • Meals ($1,100)
  • Personal expenditures, communications, course materials, and miscellaneous ($300)

If you have specific questions about personal budgeting, please contact the program directly. See Funding and Payment for information on how to submit payments and funding options.

Additional information

Program directors

Efthimios Kaxiras 
Pavlos Protopapas

Program Coordinator

Eleni Angelaki Kaxiras


  • Efthimios Kaxiras, PhD, John Hasbrouck Van Vleck Professor of Pure And Applied Physics, Harvard University
  • Pavlos Protopapas, PhD, Scientific Program Director and Lecturer, Institute for Applied Computational Science, Harvard University
  • Kevin A. Rader, PhD, Senior Preceptor in Statistics, Harvard University