Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Data Science Club Description

Title: “The Data Knights”
Subject: “How computer science looks at 'Big Data' and why understanding 'Big Data' is important.”
Instructor: Ryan Ferris (Isabel's Dad!)
Blog: http://www.teachingdatascience.blogspot.com
Requirements: 5th - 8th grade; high schoolers at SPA; A willingness to work with data, statistics, programming languages, symbolic math. There is no official workload, however suggested assignments will provide an opportunity for introductions to programming, statistics  mathematics, database theory. At home PC, MAC, Unix important to get the most out of this club. A tablet reader/browser may also be helpful.

Dates and Time:  3:30 - 5:00 PM on the following Tuesdays in the Computer Lab:

“The Data Knights” Club will take place once a week for 1.5 hours in the Upper School computer lab. A possible format will be 45 minutes of lecture; 45 minutes of lab work. A reading list, blog or website will provide updated links, information, and some suggested assignments. 'Data Science' is rapidly becoming one of the most important fields of computer science. The field of 'data science' is seen as critical to help manage, marketize, analyze, and understand large volumes of data in an increasingly interconnected world. An introduction to 'data science' gives a parent or instructor an important opportunity to talk about how 'real world' computing uses 'big data' and 'data science' in diverse fields.  'Data Science' also gives us an opening to inject algorithms and approaches to understanding data with mathematics and statistics.

 'Data Science' revolves around skillsets in a number of fields including statistics, mathematics, network analysis, database theory, software engineering and modeling. 'Data Science' is being used to understand and explore fields as diverse as energy supplies, the human genome, habitable planets, climate change, financial markets, the propagation of disease, population demographics and many others.  It is almost a surety that the abilities to think broadly and flexibly about 'big data' will be an important trait of the next generation of engineers, scientists, technologists and political leaders. It may also be important for all young students to understand the breadth and complexity of a world that may contain 10 billion of us by the end of this century.

Software (possible list):

  • R Statistics
  • PostGreSQL
  • Python
  • Scilab
  • Spreadsheets(Excel, Scalc)
  • Octave
  • AWK
  • Graphic Presentation Software

Notes: I can extend the Tuesday sessions in February and March to help with data analysis on your science project if your sponsor or parent finds that useful. There are 14 desks in the SPA Computer lab only.