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Sunday, 28 August 2016

Really proud of my students -- final projects

Over the next few weeks I'm going to do some short blog posts about each of the final projects my students did in their data science course.

One of the reasons this blog has been a bit quieter than usual these last few months is that I was teaching a Data Science class at General Assembly, which was rewarding but rather exhausting.

Some observations:
  • GA is busy and dynamic. I remember back in the late 1990s at HP when every company was deploying SAP on HP-UX to avoid Y2K problems: there were classes constantly; you might discover that the class you were teaching was going to be held in the boardroom using some workstations borrowed from another city. GA was like that: every room packed from early morning until late at night.
  • No-one in the class had a job as a data scientist at the beginning of the course, but there was a lot of movement within 10 weeks: job changes, promotions, new career directions. The only time in my teaching career where I saw the same wow-this-person-is-trained-now-let's-poach-them was in the early days of the Peregrine -> Service Manager transition.
  • The course is mainly about machine learning but there is flexibility for the instructor to add in a few other relevant topics based on what the students want. Right now, Natural Language Processing is white-hot. Several students did some serious NLP / NLU projects. The opportunities for people who have skills in this area are very, very good.
  • Computer vision is an area where there is a lot of interest as well.
I'll be teaching the first part of the Data Science immersive (a full-time course instead of a night-time part-time one) starting in September; please sign up with GA if you are interested.

I suspect by the time I've finished blogging about my past students' projects that there will be a new round of student projects to cover, so this might become a bit more of a feature on my blog.