Ten Weeks Down, Two Weeks To Go

The Data Science Immersive program has been a unique experience. It has been difficult, challenging, and at times overwhelming. I allowed myself a night out this past weekend to see old friends who have wondered where in the world I disappeared to.

In ten weeks, I have learned a great deal, about Python, about statistical modeling, and about myself.

Python is a great language, but it is a challenge to learn as well. I can see that in 12 weeks, I will have learned the basics, but will need months and even years to get my knowledge level where I want it. Whether or not knowing Python is part of whatever job I eventually take, I will continue to learn more and more about how to write good code.

Statistical models fascinate me as well. I have been reading about various approaches to technical analysis of the stock market for over 30 years, and many of the same tools I have been introduced to over the years are part of this course, and part of the toolkit today’s data scientists use.

Over the next two weeks, the primary goal of my classmates and I will be to complete our capstone projects. These projects will take all we have learned over the past nine weeks and apply them to a single topic. My topic is a fun one — attempting to design a model that can help predict the winner of baseball games. The topics chosen by the class range from fun topics like mine to serious topics like breast cancer or feeding people. I look forward to each and every presentation.

If there is one thing the last ten weeks have taught me, it is that this old dog can still learn a new trick or two. The friendships forged through the shared difficulties will last long after the class ends. So will the skills learned — both in terms of course content, but more importantly in terms of what we are capable of if we focus on a goal and give it everything we have. Surviving a difficult challenge strengthens those who survive it, and the Immersive program will strengthen all of us who complete it.

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