Anna says she would recommend the class to students who are interested in artificial intelligence and eager to learn more about what is going on at the cutting edge of the data science industry right now. She notes that one of the aspects of the class that makes it advanced is that it’s very much self-directed and that getting an opportunity to apply these new skills and techniques hands-on is particularly helpful.
“Lectures cover what goes on in the world of data science and we’re given some examples of code,” she says. “But the projects are big. They’re hard. You have to work on them for several weeks. And the solutions are not easily found in a textbook. This is all really new stuff."
While challenges associated with data analysis have grown significantly since the era of big data began—from developing the infrastructure for holding data to modifying methods of analysis for working in distributed computational environments—the biggest challenge of all has involved learning to think differently in order to ask questions that could never have arisen when both data streams and technological infrastructure were less complex.
That’s why Advanced Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence is less focused on problem sets with well-formulated questions and answers than on developing the tools and approaches to problems that will give students the ability to start thinking and asking new questions on their own.
“It’s one of the most challenging classes that the program offers,” Anna says. “I really enjoyed it. It covered a lot of the brand new, cutting-edge topics in data science and artificial intelligence today. And I was given the opportunity to work on things that I'd only ever read about before.”