Archive for September 10, 2012

Teaching intro CS and programming by way of scientific data analysis

This class sounds cool and similar to our “Computational Freakonomics” course, but at the data analysis stage rather than the statistics stage. I found that Allen Downey has taught another, also similar course “Think Stats” which dives into the algorithms behind the statistics. It’s an interesting set of classes that focus on relevance and introducing computing through a real-world data context.

The most unique feature of our class is that every assignment (after the first, which introduces Python basics) uses real-world data: DNA files straight out of a sequencer, measurements of ocean characteristics (salinity, chemical concentrations) and plankton biodiversity, social networking connections and messages, election returns, economic reports, etc. Whereas many classes explain that programming will be useful in the real world or give simplistic problems with a flavor of scientific analysis, we are not aware of other classes taught from a computer science perspective that use real-world datasets. (But, perhaps such exist; we would be happy to learn about them.)

via PATPAT: Program analysis, the practice and theory: Teaching intro CS and programming by way of scientific data analysis.

September 10, 2012 at 3:33 pm Leave a comment

Blogging and tweeting at #icer2012

I’m probably not going to blog much of ICER 2012 live. Nick Falkner is managing it, and I recommend that you visit his blog. I am trying to tweet some of what happens during the day with the tag #icer2012. (Probably I’m getting some details wrong, and certainly using horrible spelling and grammar, but it is Twitter.) More when I get the chance later this week.

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September 10, 2012 at 2:19 am 1 comment


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