This semester, the Department of Computer Science introduced an experimental class that is expected to fill a huge unmet need for businesses to pull together and analyze “Big Data” from their growing databases.
“If you understood some of these techniques and could do this, you would be invaluable, instantly employable, and have a ton of job security,” said Department of Computer Science Chair Jon Pearce.
CS185C: Introduction to Big Data takes a look at wrangling the giant amount of data generated by the explosive growth in online communications to address all sorts of issues including establishing business trends, tracking infection rates, fighting cyber crime, or even screening potential employees.
According to class instructor Peter Zadrozny, with the exception of a few master’s programs back East, no other universities are producing graduates that can read Big Data. The class is expected to turn into a four-course certificate program by next semester and hopefully increase interdisciplinary studies on campus.
“We have the tools, we have the techniques, we have the understanding of how to do big data analytics, but we need other departments to tell us what the problem is,” Zadronzy said.
The focus of the course is hands-on, designed with employers in mind. Students in CS185C work in a real-work environment and on a real network and real cloud, thanks to a collaboration with Cloudera, a data management company. Other sponsors for the class include Splunk and GoGrid.