Friday, January 31, 2014

Data Science MOOC programs

 Data Science is a rapidly accelerating field that combines expertise in the management, analysis and visualization of large-scale and complex data. Data Scientist is called the sexiest job of 21st century. 1.5 million data-savvy managers and analysts will be needed in the next 5 years [1] , but  there is no major or school you go to learn to be a data scientist [2] . With new Coursera and Udacity Data Science tracks  things are about to change.

Coursera's  Data Science Specialization 
 "is primarily for anyone who wants to build competence in data science with a learning toward statistics," said  one of the instructors, Brian Caffo."What makes the specialization unique is that we cover the complete set of skills for data science from soup to nuts," added Roger Peng, "After taking  this course series, you'll have everything you need to start answering questions with data."[3]

The program instructors Brian Caffo,PhD, Jeff Leek,PhD, and Roger D. Peng,PhD of
The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health are not novices to MOOC teaching. Roger D. Peng taught Computing for Data Analysis, Brian Caffo - Mathematical Biostatistics BootCamp, and
Jeff's Data Analysis  was on the list of Top 10 Coursera Courses with Highest Enrollment.
The program consists of 9 courses from introduction to data scientist's tools to extracting, cleaning and exploring data using R, to modeling and developing data products.

Some programming experience and  prior knowledge of Algebra or Calculus will be helpful.

Each course costs $49  plus additional $49 for the final capstone project.  All courses are also available for free but no certificate will be given.

First 3 courses  start on April 7th, 2014. All 9 courses will be offered multiple times through August 4th, 2014.

Each course runs for 4 weeks . Final project will take additional 4 weeks.

Students enrolled into the program via Signature Track will receive Verified Certificate  upon completion of each course and Specialization Certificate authorized by Johns Hopkins University through coursera after completing all courses and  the final project.

In the end of the program students will develop a public data product that can be used to demonstrate acquired skills to potential employers.

Udacity's  Data Science Track 
is the first Data Science and Big Data curriculum built directly with industry pioneers. You can learn the latest techniques, tools, and concepts developed at the companies such as Cloudera, MongoDB or Facebook that made Big Data big. "Udacity’s mission is to educate people so they can live a better life. In an era of declining employment opportunities in many traditional areas, we are empowering our students to acquire the necessary skills to excel in the high-growth tech industry," said Udacity CEO Sebastian Thrun.[4]

Industry professionals Dave Holtz, Data Scientists at Yub; Sarah Sproehnle, VP of Educational Services at Cloudera; Dean Eckles, statistician at Facebook; Shannon Bradshaw, Director of Education at MongoDB are teaching the courses.

The program consists of 6 courses (including prerequisites) from introduction to data science, extracting and cleaning, exploring, summarizing and visualizing data, to processing big data using  MapReduce and Apache Hadoop. In addition you will learn how to program in Python and R.

Udacity's well-known  Intro to Computer Science with Dave Evans and Intro to Statistics with Sebastian Thrun  are prerequisites for following Data Science courses. Prerequisite courses and Introduction to MapReduce are already available. One can join any time. Remaining courses start in February.

While everybody can study udacity's free courseware, students who decide to enroll into the course will receive a personal coach who will provide code and project feedback,  and the opportunity to earn a Verified certificate endorsed by the Open Education Alliance. The price of each course varies from $0 to $140/month.

Outcome of each course is the working real-life product  you’ll be proud of and one that employers will value. You can also share your resume on Udacity and get a chance to get a job with Udacity's partners, prospective employers, and Udacity itself.[5]

To learn more about these and other Data Science courses please visit

Happy Learning!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Courses added to leading providers in the first weeks of January 2014

These are new MOOCs added 01/01-01/12 to several MOOC platforms. They are classes that appeal to a variety of people and can equip the students with great knowledge and information that can transform their lives and help change the even their thought processes. Below are reviews of the courses that should provide you with the basic information about the courses and links if you’re interested in enrolling and learning more.
Introduction to Computational Arts: Processing2014-01-27Art, Design, Music, FilmCoursera
EDIVET: Do you have what it takes to be a veterinarian?May 2014Biology and Life SciencesCoursera
Creative Problem Solving2014-02-26Education and TeachingCoursera
Applying to U.S. Universities2014-03-16Education and TeachingCoursera
University Teaching 1012014-03-17Education and TeachingCoursera
Engineering Systems in Motion: Dynamics of Particles and Bodies in 2D Motion2014-03-10Engineering Coursera
Configuring the World: a critical Political Economy approach2014-09-01Finance and EconomicsCoursera
史記 (Shi-Ji)March 2014Humanities and Social StudiesCoursera
DQ 101: Introduction to Decision Quality2014-02-06Business and ManagementNovoED
Basics of Digital Commerce2014-02-16Business and
Social Issues Through Comic Books2014-03-10Social
Google Ninja2014-03-10Business and
Teaching Online: Reflections on Practice2014-03-10Education and
Louv1.01x: Paradigms of Computer Programming2014-02-17Computer ScienceEdX
30240184x: Data Structures • 数据结构2014-02-25Computer ScienceEdX
CS101.1x: Introduction to Computer Programming, Part 12014-07-29Computer ScienceEdX
CS101.2x: Introduction to Computer Programming, Part 22014-09-23Computer ScienceEdX
HYPERS301x: Hypersonics – from Shock Waves to Scramjets2014-04-07Engineering EdX
WomensHealth: International Women's Health & Human Rights2014-01-24Health and MedicineStanford@openEdX
BIOIMG101x: Introduction to Biomedical Imaging2014-04-07Health and MedicineEdX
Louv2.01x: International Human Rights2014-02-17Humanities and Social StudiesEdX
Louv3.01x: Decouvrir la science politique2014-02-17Humanities and Social StudiesEdX
Louv4.01x: Ressources naturelles et developpement durable2014-02-10Physics and Earth StudiesEdX
TROPIC101x: Tropical Coastal Ecosystems2014-04-28Physics and Earth StudiesEdX
Moons2014-03-17Physics and Earth StudiesFutureLearn
COURSE: Applying to U.S. Universities
UNIVERSITY AFFLIATION: University of Pennsylvania
WHO SHOULD ENROLL: Internationals interested in attending an undergraduate program at an American university but not necessarily students already in the American education system or international baccalaureate programs
WHY IT LOOKS PROMISING: This course from Penn is perfect for anyone interested in attending a university in the U.S. It is a great opportunity to hear about the intricacies of applying for schools in the US, and helps streamline the process of application and acceptance into an American university program. The curriculum is very practical and covers the admission processes of schools, how to find schools that fit your educational needs, and preparing your applications for these schools. The course is materials are video clips with English subtitles and different readings from a variety of books and websites. The homework is meant to help get a foundation for the different steps in the application process. This class will be really helpful and could be the critical piece to your admission to an American school, so enrolling in the March 2014 session is just the first step!

COURSE: Configuring the World: a critical Political Economy approach 
WHO SHOULD ENROLL: Everyone, especially those interested in globalization and the changing global political and economic landscape
WHY IT LOOKS PROMISING: Understanding the world and the changes that globalization is bringing to the world is important for citizens of any country. Political economy studies will help you understand the configuration of the world and also understand how it has developed over time. This course is great for people interested in international relations, development studies, globalization, etc. but does not require any educational background. This ten week course has different topics each week like globalization, trust, inequality, fragmentation, governance, failed states, small states, and middle powers. Configuring the World: a critical Political Economy approach appeals to all sort of people and will be a fascinating look at the interconnectedness of politics and economy.

COURSE: Introduction to Computer Program, Part 1 & 2 
UNIVERSITY AFFLIATION: Indian Institute of Technology Bombay
WHO SHOULD ENROLL: Anyone who wants a good introduction to the basics of computer programming and be tech savvy
WHY IT LOOKS PROMISING: Computer programming is a relatively difficult topic, however the benefits of knowing even the basic of computer programming are multifold. There is an emphasis of this course is ability to write programs to solve practical computational problems. There are some prerequisites for this course, like knowledge of high school math, preferably pre-calculus in order to excel in this course. If the course seems intimidating there is the option to audit the course for free. Computer programming is a common core class for a variety of study programs, not just for computer programming majors, and the skills learned like computational thinking are highly beneficial. Computer literacy is important for everyone, especially those who are preparing to be in the business world and this course can help achieve those skills.
LINK: & 

COURSE: Social Issues through Comic Books 
MOOC PROVIDER: Canvas Network
WHO SHOULD ENROLL: Anyone who is interested in comic books or social issues, so everyone!
WHY IT LOOKS PROMISING: Using comic books to look at current social issues sounds like a fun new approach to a very traditional topic. It breaks down popular culture to examine our society in a fun and intriguing way, which will generate great discussions for those signed up for the course. Some of the social issues that will be addressed in this course are social inequality, the environment, government intervention, addiction, and information privacy. This is inspirational approach by instructor Christina Blanch that allows you to think outside the box about traditional topics and is sure to delight those who enroll by mixing fun and education.

COURSE: Creative Problem Solving 
UNIVERSITY AFFLIATION: University of Minnesota
WHO SHOULD ENROLL: Anyone who wants to flex their creative muscles and transform their problem solving abilities
WHY IT LOOKS PROMISING: Creativity is such an important skill and can be used in any discipline, so this course is great for people from a wide variety of backgrounds. The weeks’ topics are divergent and convergent thinking, creative methods, creativity and observation, creativity models and theories, and creativity and motivation. These lessons will help everyone from in their professional and daily problems to address them in new and unique ways, and let everyone branch out from their comfort zones. It looks very promising to transform the problem solving abilities of those who enroll and embark on the journey of creative problem solving.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Upcoming MOOC Events

Everyone is talking about MOOCs and as they continue to capture so much attention there is a growing number of conferences and meetings about MOOCs. The exploration of how MOOCs are changing education and educational institutions, and the growth into corporate training are bringing people together. Since MOOCs are not bound to a physical location because of their virtual nature, the conferences often are offered virtually as well, but there are MOOC events happening in all parts of the world.

In the US, there are many different conferences and one of the most exciting is Colorado University at Boulder’s spring conference about MOOCs and Academic Job talks. This conference takes place on January 10th from 3-4:15pm. There are no registration fees to attend, and anyone is welcome to attend whether you a just an interested participant, a student, a faculty member, or staff member. Another conference that is taking place in the US is the OCLC Americas Member Meeting and Symposium: The Hype and Hope of MOOCs. This symposium takes place in Philadelphia on Friday, January 24th from 11am to 4pm and explores some important changes that MOOCs bring for libraries and librarians. At this symposium there the discussion is not limited to libraries but will feature debates from MOOC practitioners, promoters, and skeptics of topics like developing accreditation schemes and business models for MOOCs, which are topics that have been hotly debated. It is possible to attend this symposium virtually because it will be available to stream live online, so there is no excuse to miss this event!

If you’re not in the US, there are many other places around the globe that are holding conferences about MOOCs. For example, EMOOCs, European MOOCs Stakeholders Summit, will be held in Lausanne, Switzerland from February 10-12th as a follow-up to last years summit.  This year’s two-day summit has several tracks meetings depending on your interest, which are policy, experience, research, and business. Also if you’re new to the idea of MOOCs there is a tutorial titled All you need to know about MOOCs. Registration for the summit is already open, and there is a call for papers if you’re an academic or practitioner who may be interested. Also in Europe, is the Edge Hill University’s Digital University MOOCs and Humanities Conference in May. The man behind the conference is Dr. Ben Brabon, who was the first convener of the first undergraduate credit-bearing MOOC in the UK. There are several keynote speakers like Professor Andrew Ng, a co-founder of Coursera, that are very exciting.  Registration details are still pending, but the website has much more information for those interested.

These conferences are just a few in the many exciting upcoming MOOC events. They are a great chance to hear and participate in important discourse about MOOCs and their future as they grow and develop further. There are many different significant changes that are coming for MOOCs, and adding to the discussion of these topics is exhilarating at many of these upcoming MOOC conferences. Please visit for the latest updates, and share your experience of MOOCs.