By: MIT xPRO on August 13th, 2019
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Ask a TA: Everything You Need to Know About MIT xPRO’s Online Data Science Course

Online Education | Professional Development | Data Science

Eric Bradford, a Teaching Assistant for MIT xPRO’s online data science course, Data Science and Big Data Analytics: Making Data-Driven Decisions, tells learners what to expect from this seven-week online course.

Bradford is a junior at MIT, majoring in computer science. He has also worked as a researcher at MIT Sloan School of Management, and has published his findings on job automation trends and machine learning techniques.

Eric Bradford _ DSx TA

What is your favorite thing about TA’ing an online data science course?
Being a TA for this course is really rewarding, because I’m able to help learners master an exciting and important topic that is affecting our lives immensely each and every day.

What is the most common feedback you get from your online learners?
We’re lucky to teach extremely enthusiastic learners from across the globe. The feedback I’ve gotten has been positive, overall, with learners tell us how much impact the course has had, and how excited they are to apply their knowledge to all parts of their life, whether that’s at work or in personal projects.

What makes this online data science course unique?
There’s really no other online course on the market with this caliber of faculty and course materials. As a TA, I can attest to the faculty’s dedication to keeping materials up-to-date and in-depth. Basically, anyone with the desire to learn about data science and big data can have MIT-level resources at the fingertips. To me, that’s invaluable.

What is the impact of delivering a course online, as opposed to in-person?
The online setting provides a sense of convenience and ease for the learners to work at their own pace. They’re able to ask questions whenever the get stuck, and will receive help no matter where they are in the course. This proves especially useful for working professionals, who are looking to up their skill set without taking too much time out of their busy schedules.

Has this course changed over time?
The MIT xPRO and Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS) teams have worked hard to improve this course over time. After each term, we consult learner feedback and examine developments in the field to create new iterations that include additional resources with enhanced, clarified, or expanded subject matter.

Who should take this course?
Anyone who is interested in data science and wants to apply it somewhere in their lives! It is a fantastic course that will teach you many new, innovative concepts that will allow you to understand how the world works a little bit better.

What advice would you give someone who is interested in taking Data Science and Big Data Analytics: Making Data-Driven Decisions?
Take your time as you work through the course to ensure that you fully learn the concepts that are taught. We have many resources to help you along your journey, and if you are ever confused, please reach out to the TAs or course staff. This course is designed to give our learners the best experience possible, so take advantage of everything that is provided!

MIT xPRO’s online course, Data Science and Big Data Analytics: Making Data-Driven Decisions explores the theory and practice behind recommendation engines, regressions, network and graphical modeling, anomaly detection, hypothesis testing, machine learning, and big data analytics.

Want a sneak peek at one of twenty case studies included in this course? Learn how companies like Amazon and Netflix develop recommendation engines. Access your free case study.

This piece was originally published by InsideBigData on January 17, 2019.