Big Data : Revisited

April 7, 2012 at 10:24 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Easily the most popular unit in the entire course at this point I can confidently say that every single student enjoys Big Data. Here is an illustration. One of my girls did not enjoy programming.  In fact she had decided computer science was not her career choice but she was going to become a nurse. While the class was making the Big Data presentations I asked her what she thought of the unit. Her words were “interesting, fun and practical!” It had caught her interest and made her think a little more about computer science and its relevance!  This student has one more year before she goes to college and maybe she will change her mind?

Another one of my Seniors who had taken the class because it was an elective credit that he needed to graduate and had chosen to turn in mediocre work throughout all topics came to me after the Big Data unit and told me that this was the most interesting topic he had done all year in all his classes!

So… what did we do in these classes? The class split into groups of three. Each group picked an industry of choice: movies, music, video games, retail industry
(toothbrushes (!), shoes, retail stores). For each industry they were required to find a problem they had. The problem had to relate with improving business. The next step was to then create a set of questions which would help them understand the problem and analyze the problem better. And the final step was data modeling and charting out the results. Part of the grade was to present the results to the class, which of course for my set of students is the most exciting and fun part: they love to show-off their results.

I am taking these projects and making them into case studies. The idea is for it to be available for the next year’s students to read, analyze and then come with their own projects for data mining.


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. This sounds like a real good unit of work, will it be available online? These are the type of examples I would love my students to develop and build upon for there knowledge of computer science principles.

    • I am hoping to have all of the material ready by just before the week of the finals: 3rd week of May.
      I will have them on my moodle site ( and will also be on the website.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: