Data Science MSc – 3rd Intensive Week @ Dundee
Just back from the third intensive week at Dundee. Wow – it certainly lives up to it’s name of intensive – it’s very draining, but very exhilarating at the same time. We cover an awful lot of ground in a very short time. Stats, Bayesian stats, probability, R, data mining, machine learning, neural nets & D3.js to mention but a few.
For those of you who don’t know, I’m dong a part-time MSc at Dundee in Data Science. It consists of 6 modules spread across two years, with two intensive weeks per year. The intensive weeks are run at the University and are basically 5 days of 9-5:30 lectures. It’s very intense and we cover a lot of ground in a very short time. It would be very easy to get overwhelmed by this – the amount of information that is thrown at you is very intense. For example, this week, we cover:
- Basic statistics
- chi2 tests
- Normal distributions
- SD & variance
- Probability Theory
- Nontransitive dice
- R Programming Language
- Data Mining
- Regression Analysis (Linear & Logical)
- Conditional Probability
- Bayesian Statistics
- Machine Learning
- Neural Nets
If your saying you can’t possibility teach that number of subjects in a mere week, your right. Each of them could easily have an entire week devoted to them exclusively. What we get is a surprisingly thorough grounding. The expectation is that we will explore the subjects in the remaining weeks of the semester while we’re studying remotely. This is the point of an MSc, you aren’t spoon-fed the material, your expected to discover and learn a lot of it for yourself.
So why isn’t this completely overwhelming? Two things, the lecturers and the students. Being a University run course, the organisers have access to all the lecturers from the different departments of the university. Meaning we had lectures & practicals from Professors and senior lecturers in Analytical Computing, Data Science, Statistics, Machine Learning & Computer Vision. You literally get taught by some of the foremost experts in the country.
The other thing that makes it great are the other people on the course, the students. There are 19 of us and, as you’d expect, they’re all really bright people – and I do mean really bright. But they’re also really nice people and that makes a huge difference. Just being able to chat with a bunch of like-minded people during the breaks and evenings helps you clarify your understanding.
If you haven’t tried it, you really should 😀
Rainer Maria Rilke