I’m quite taken with the Software Carpentry approach to teaching scientists computer skills, especially since I saw it in action in UW a few months ago. One aspect that I’ve been trying out for my own course is the “mastery table” approach that the Software Carpentry Instructor Study Groups use. Here is a mastery table for teaching version control. I have made a few of my own, but I don’t think I said enough for any novice to leave competent, according to my ambitions. I will keep trying.
Category Archives: education
What is the difference between machine learning and statistics? Can it be captured in a tweet?
I had a fun time on Monday talking to area high school students at the UW Math Department’s annual Math Day event. My slides and some others are now on the web.
I’m spending yesterday and today helping out with a two day software carpentry workshop at UW.
Software Carpentry helps researchers be more productive by teaching them basic computing skills. We run boot camps at dozens of sites around the world, and also provide open access material online for self-paced instruction. The benefits are more reliable results and higher productivity: a day a week is common, and a ten-fold improvement isn’t rare.
I am impressed by the curriculum and by the attention to evaluation, not an easy task in any educational setting. The 20% productivity increase is an interesting claim. From what I observed yesterday, I would expect huge heterogeneity based on past experience, and I would expect this heterogeneity to be hard to predict.
Calling recent college grads:
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington offers a Post-Bachelor Fellowship program that combines a full-time professional position, academic research, and education with progressive on-the-job training and mentoring from a renowned group of professors. This program provides Post-Bachelor Fellows the option to pursue for a fully-funded Master of Public Health at the University of Washington. The program description and instructions on how to apply are attached.
Further information about the Post-Bachelor Fellowship program and how to apply can be found at: IHME Post-Bachelor Fellowship.
Post-Graduate Fellowship Program
Advancing the Science of Health Measurement through Innovation, Education, and Collaboration
The Post-Graduate Fellowship program is for recent PhD and MD researchers and combines academic research, education and training, and professional work with progressive, on-the-job training and mentoring from an illustrious group of professors and researchers. We are now accepting applications for our 2013 cohort. The program description and instructions on how to apply are attached and linked below. Our application deadline is November 1, 2012.
For more information on how to apply, please visit our Web page:
PhD in Global Health
A Measurable Difference
The new PhD program in Global Health builds on the expertise of our faculty in the areas of Metrics and Implementation Science. This unique, interdisciplinary program is comprised of a core curriculum in advanced quantitative methods, epidemiology, population health measurement, impact evaluations, and implementation science methods. Students develop skills through a combination of didactic courses, seminars, and research activities including primary data collection and analysis. This program trains global health researchers for careers in academic institutions, international organizations, ministries of health, foundations, and the private sector. Our application deadline is December 1, 2012.
For more information on how to apply, please visit our Web page: http://globalhealth.washington.edu/phd
I was looking for a quote that was the topic of my last post, and I found it in the resources list for this very interesting organization, The Public Science Project. They have a 14 minutes video about their work which I recommend:
Cool project for teaching programming through web games: Play My Code
How to embed the game in the blog?
I’ve heard about this Khan Academy, and it seems like more and more course material is appearing as tiny web videos.
Also I recently found out that there is a free, online version of the Stanford Intro AI Class taught by Peter Norvig and Sebastian Thrun, for which 56,000 students signed up. I think I accidentally did their homework.
Ben Birnbaum stood for his general exam last week, on a topic that I’m very interested in:
Surveys are one of the principal means of gathering critical data from low-income regions. However, interviewer fabrication, or curbstoning, can threaten data quality. The existing literature lacks a set of general-purpose techniques to detect curbstoning; it does not capitalize on the potential of mobile data collection tools to help detect the phenomenon; and it provides few rigorous validations of the techniques that are developed. In this talk, I propose an anomaly detection framework to develop several general-purpose algorithms that identify curbstoning.
These algorithms can take advantage of the information in user traces from mobile data collection, a potential that I will evaluate rigorously. I also propose two studies to obtain high-quality labeled data sets with which I will validate my algorithms, thus partially filling the need for more rigorous evaluations.
Good job, Ben! Also in attendance was Aram Harrow, who was reminded of this great story of the lying professor. I wonder, could I could pull that off?