All posts by Ryan Swanstrom

Data Science Links from Recent Days

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Data and Innovation Video

Jeff Hammerbacher, founder and Chief Scientist of Cloudera, gives a nice talk about data science. He explains what he has done in the past, and what he plans to do in the future.

It is the second video, I have posted recently, emphasizing the importance of data science for more than just advertising. Jeff is getting involved in a Medical School to see how data can help.

Note: The video is about 45 minutes, but it contains some really good information.

Big Data Education

I recently read, Big Data Education: 3 Steps Universities must take

Here are the 3 steps listed:

  1. Data Science cannot be an undergraduate degree
  2. A graduate degree should contain math, stats and computer science
  3. Research

Step 2 seems obvious. Math, stats, and computer science are some of the key areas for data science. I would add communication and presentation skills to the list because people with just math, stats, and CS skills are not known to be naturally good communicators. I agree with step 3. More research needs to be done, but most of the research will need to be interdisiplinary. Universities need to put more effort into interdisiplinary research.

Step 1 confused me a bit. The argument was data science has too many necessary skills and an applied focus area. Of course a person cannot learn everything about data science in an undergraduate degree. Earning a computer science degree does not mean you will know everything about computer science. It just means you know the fundamentals about algorithms, architecture, and operating systems. You know enough about computer science to understand the field and learn more as you go. I think 4 years should be enough time to do the same for data science.

What are your thoughts?

About the Human Face of Big Data

To start, here is a nice quote from the video. The quote is from Eric Schmidt of Google.

From the dawn of civilization until 2003, humankind generated 5 exabytes of data.
Now we produce 5 exabytes of data every two days.
…and the pace is accelerating

Rick Smolan provides a good talk. He is behind The Human Face of Big Data project. I don’t have a copy of the book, but it looks really intriguing. The talk briefly explains what the book/project is all about.

Interactive Data Visualization for the Web – Free Online Textbook

Interactive Data Visualization for the Web – OFPS – O'Reilly Media is an open textbook for using D3, a javascript library, to merge the following practices.

  1. Data Visualization
  2. Interactive Design
  3. Web Development

The book is in early release and all the sections are available. You are also welcome to comment on any part of the book to help make it better.