At some point late last summer while in down-the-rabbit-hole mode, following links I’d found about some MOOC building tools Google had produced, I ended up on the Course Builder page. The list of courses available at that time was small, perhaps 6 – 8. They were on a wide variety of subjects for such a small population. My impression was they had all used various beta forms of Course Builder and were evidence for Google that their builder tools worked. Indeed they did.
I decided to try Data Mining with Weka, from Professor Ian Witten at New Zealand’s University of Waikato. What a great course! Only five weeks long and it gave me some basic abilities with Weka. I consider Weka as a sort of data workbench tool ready to get down to business on understanding what you’ve got in a dataset and then jump right in with analysis. Upon checking the Course Builder class list today I found the number of offerings has exploded since last year. And Data Mining with Weka will be running for a second time beginning in March. Don’t miss it this time. It is a very low-pain / high-gain course. Witten will follow this up in late April with the new MOOC More Data Mining with Weka and will cover huge datasets and neural nets among its topics. I will be there.
Another too-good-to-pass-up MOOC I found on the Course Builder site is Big Data Applications and Analytics by Professor Geoffrey Fox at Indiana University. The course syllabus shows case studies from many domains and the tech used for homework involves python, visualization, and cloud. It’s not on a hard calendar deadline schedule, but work at your own pace. This is great for me as I already have two other courses in progress.