Ruminations on Open Data from IODC: Introduction

Attending the Open Cities Summit and the International Open Data Conference has challenged me to think more critically about open data and the issues that surround the free release of information. My perspective on open data is simple: laws describe what should happen and data describes what did happen. We have open laws so the […]

Teaching Analytics to NYC Employees: Why Teach Analytics?

This blog post is part of a series of posts I’m doing outlining the experiences I’ve had in a year of teaching analytics classes to NYC employees. For more information on the courses I teach, see the Github repository of course outlines and other important information as well as the other posts in this series. The […]

Teaching with Intention

As a life-long student, I’ve been in many classes where the instructor approached a lecture like a monologue scripted beforehand and (attempted to be) delivered flawlessly. The experience was stale and uninteresting. Despite the best efforts of the instructor, I’m sure I retained little if any of the information he or she presented mostly because […]

The Rightful Use of Big Data

People often express concern about the role “big data” and predictive analytics will hold in the near and long term future of our society.  Some fear that critical decisions will be made automatically with little to no human intervention.  The reality is that computers are often able to make life-saving decisions much quicker than humans. […]

Landmarks on the Road of Progress

As I mention in my About section, I consider myself a data scientist in training.  I worked as a data analyst and did about as much as a non-programmer can do with Excel, including creating macros, writing in-cell formulas, and pushing Pivot Tables to their upward limit of functionality.  I applied to graduate school in order […]

The Teachers’ Charge

I was inspired to write a post about teaching after reading this very interesting post on the ACM blog about teaching programming to a highly motivated beginner coupled with my recent experiences as a graduate student. Teaching students in any situation is challenging. Depending on the subject, the challenge can be even greater when the topics […]