Active learning: going mobile in India

I’ve been using “clickers” since 2002 in all my courses. Clickers are polling devices that students use during class to answer multiple-choice questions that I include in my slides. They encourage students to participate (even the shy ones), they give the teacher immediate feedback about students’ knowledge, and are a great ice-breaker for generating interesting discussions. Of course, clickers are also fun. Most students love this active learning technology (statistically speaking, around 90% love it and 10% don’t). Clicker technology has greatly evolved since 2002. Back then, my students would watch me (in astonishment) climbing on chairs before class to … Continue reading Active learning: going mobile in India

Where computer science and business meet

Data mining is taught very differently at engineering schools and at business schools. At engineering schools, data mining is taught more technically, deciphering how different algorithms work. In business schools the focus is on how to use algorithms in a business context. Business students with a computer science background can now enjoy both worlds: take a data mining course with a business focus, and supplement it with the free course materials from Stanford Engineering school’s Machine Learning course (including videos of lectures and handouts by Prof Andrew Ng). There are a bunch of other courses with free materials as part of the Stanford … Continue reading Where computer science and business meet

The potential of being good

Yesterday I happened to hear talks by two excellent speakers, both on major data mining applications in industry. One common theme was that both speakers gave compelling and easy to grasp examples of what data mining algorithms and statistics can do beyond human intelligence, and how the two relate. The first talk, by IBM’s Global Services Christer Johnson, was given at the 2011 INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics and Operations Research (see video). Christer Johnson described the idea behind Watson, the artificial intelligence computer system developed by IBM that beat two champions of the Jeopardy quiz show. Two main points in the talk … Continue reading The potential of being good