DaVinci Data Detectives


It all started last December with Richard Hackathorn’s post to the discussion boards of the Boulder/Denver BigData and Data Science and Business Analytics Meetups proposing a study group for an upcoming online data analysis class.

Are you a data detective? Love to discover the secrets hidden deep within data? …Do something useful with it? Starting January 22 for 8 weeks, Coursera is offering “Data Analysis” taught by Jeff Leek. Using the R statistical language, this course is a practical hands-dirty introduction to crucial statistics, like linear regression, principal components analysis, cross-validation, and p-values. Further it’s FREE! Watch the one-minute video at http://www.coursera.o….

Taking a Coursera course is a lonely venture! Join this local study group, where the goal is for all of us to earn that certificate, becoming certified data detectives! Starting on January 24, we will meet on Thursdays over lunch, 11:30 to 1:00, at the Vault of the DaVinci Institute http://www.davinciins… 511 E South Boulder Road, Louisville, CO 80027. Pack a brown bag, stop at Subway, or pre-order from Ralphie’s Tavern (next door). Join us for the fun (and a bit of hard work)!

Richard is right, online courses can be very lonely places. Course discussion forums and wiki pages help, but are no substitute for meeting your classmates in the real world. The study group has been a great success. I learned of Roger Peng’s Computing for Data Analysis course through the group — it was a great way to learn programming in R. The weekly study sessions have helped to clear up confusions and stay motivated. One of our members is now using R and some of the techniques from this class in their day job for a task formerly done with Excel.

Data Detectives ends on 3/14 with our 8th session and final week of the Data Analysis class.  For many of us the data science learning won’t stop there though.  We have Andrew Ng’s Machine Learning and Bill Howe’s Introduction to Data Science coming up soon.

Cowabunga! Data Science Power! (can we get a pizza?)

One thought on “DaVinci Data Detectives

  1. This has migrated to the “Data Detectives of Boulder” interest group on http://www.linkedin.com. The focus for late 2013 has been Andrew Ng’s Machine Learning class which wraps up at the end of the year. Group members have been meeting weekly during the class. New members are welcome and it is not necessary to be enrolled in any particular course. No experience necessary either, only an interest in data analysis, statistics, machine learning, and/or related topics.

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