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Let's Come Together on Data Science
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Partnerships
  • 10/29/2012 9:49:35 AM
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@ Jennifer

Very useful suggestion about companies offering partnerships with universities. This will be a win-win situation for both. Companies will get future data scientists from the universities which will help them reduce data scientist shortages and universities will get both structured and unstructured big data to play with and executives who could come and share their experiences with data in practical life. Whats needed is a forum where universities can meet such companies so that both can discuss their needs.

Lack of course offerings
  • 10/29/2012 9:42:39 AM
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I wont speak about US but certainly in many countries, Asian countries esp, we dont have universities offering such courses which help us become data scientists even if we want to. A tech geek college student who is doing majors in applied statistics may go towards that path however it is not yet close enough. May be the universities need to not only introduce the course but also increase the awareness that such a course exists. It wont be easy.

Re: Interdisciplinarianism!
  • 10/25/2012 5:41:39 PM
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" The fact is that analytics, like technology, does not exist in a vaccuum.  It is a powerful tool for all disciplines."

@mnorth Excellent point and I couldn't agree more !  I sometimes feel the focus is too narrowly focused on business needs, but as you mention analytics is used in every area of society. 

And thank you Jennifer for exposing some issues that stand in the way of effective training of future Data Scientist, I am not sure where to start - I am sure there will be much fine tuning of curriculum and approach for years to come.

Re: Welcome!
  • 10/25/2012 4:26:15 PM
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@Cordell, somebody sure pulled the wool over your eyes!

But seriously, you raise an interesting point about developing something that was practically meaningful but not statistically meaningful. If something is not statistically meaningful is it OK to put it to practical use?

Re: Interdisciplinarianism!
  • 10/25/2012 4:19:40 PM
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That makes a lot of sense, I know I also spread myself thin at times, but working for a company and not an university I think it is easier to reach into other departments and pool skill sets.

Re: Interdisciplinarianism!
  • 10/25/2012 4:07:27 PM
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@bulk:  Unfortunately, I tend to spread myself too thin a lot, I think it's in my nature.  You really can't do too much tower crossing without compromising quality, so I try to pick one or two interdisciplinay projects to participate in each year, depending on the amount of work expected for each project.  It has to be an intentional and planned approach or you can find yourself with way too many irons in the fire.

Re: Interdisciplinarianism!
  • 10/25/2012 4:02:02 PM
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@mnorth,

how much of that can you do with a one-on-one basis before you have spread yourself too thin?

Interdisciplinarianism!
  • 10/25/2012 3:03:44 PM
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I just made up a word: interdisciplinarianism!

As an academician, I completely agree that crossing towers is needed.  Who needs analytics more: a biologist or a sociologist?  A psychologist or an economist?  The fact is that analytics, like technology, does not exist in a vaccuum.  It is a powerful tool for all disciplines.  We ought to be stretching out across fields of study, across the boundaries of colleges or departments, and helping one another accomplish real, valuable work using the tools at our disposal.  Where I teach, the only way that's happened has been for me to take the initiative to work one-on-one with colleagues in other departments.  When they have projects on a health epidemic, urban sprawl, poverty, teen pregnancy, etc., their projects almost always generate data, both structured and unstructured.  If I'm willing, there is no end to the opportunities to offer my analytics expertise to their work, but I must be willing to embrace interdisciplinarianism!

Crossing Towers
  • 10/25/2012 2:54:38 PM
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It really can be a pain to cross between colleges, my first attempt at college left me feeling locked out when I tried to grab a minor to go with my computer science major. There was just no way I could make it work and no one in either college was very helpful. 15 years removed from that situation I can say it worked out for the best, but at the time it did seem so.

Re: Welcome!
  • 10/25/2012 2:40:30 PM
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Universities need massive, complex, unstructured, messy data with missing and (mis)coded values for use in the classroom.

Certainly there's not shortage of that out there! There must be a way of getting it to you.

 

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