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Upcoming formal coursework

Winter break is about midway through, and I thought it might be worthwhile (for myself, mostly) to list the courses I’ll be taking next semester and what I’d expect to cover. I’ve been on a data science course spree and that hasn’t only been digital: last semester I took two intro-level courses over at NYU’s Center for Data Science – Introduction to Data Science and Programming for Data Science.

I’m lucky to be able to take masters courses at the CDS as an undergraduate – I was hesitant on whether data science can be “taught”, but there’s definitely benefit to taking courses with an experienced professor. Data science courses at CDS also emphasize both practical and theoretical foundations of whatever topic is being studied, which proves very useful when you need to reference class notes at work 😅

This upcoming semester, I’ll be taking the following data-focused classes:

Big Data

Big Data is a course required for first-year masters students at the Center for Data Science, so it’s probably a big deal. I’m making steady progress in understanding the MapReduce paradigm, Hadoop, and Spark over the break, but it’ll be nice to have a formal understanding. I’m hoping to expand the size of data I can work with: it’s embarrassing, but I’m not quite sure how to analyze data that can’t easily fit on disk (e.g. 50 GB+). There are tons of interesting datasets that fall into that category, so it’ll be like a liberation. What a time.

Advanced Python for Data Science

Advanced Python for Data Science is actually not a required course, but an elective (!) over at the Center for Data Science. I consider Python my daily-driver, go-to general programming language and I’m always looking for ways to improve Python’s performance. In my heart of hearts, I know that I probably won’t need to write mission-critical, high-performance Python code in the future – that won’t stop my inner computer scientist from geeking out over Python code that rivals C/C++ code 😁

Speaking of high-performance languages, check out Julia if you haven’t already! It is right up there with Scala (in my opinion) for the future data science lingua franca.

Statistical Inference / Regression Analysis

I actually can’t find a link for this course! It’s not at the Center for Data Science – instead, it’s at the Stern School of Business. Regardless, I’ve taken solid data-focused courses at Stern and the more, the merrier. I’ll update this description once, uh, I figure out what this course should be covering 😅

Cheers to the spring semester!

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