Big Data: Revolution and Reality
Talk of Big Data is ubiquitous, but what does this mean in practice? This seminar explores the impact that large scale data collection and analytics are having in academia and business. Web data collection is transforming marketing and economic production. Massive genomic databases are transforming medical research. And text mining is transforming the study of humanities. Meanwhile, merged databases of administrative records increase the potential for both greater social understanding and reduced privacy. New technological tools and approaches are required to handle massive data arrays in physics and astronomy. In business, large databases collect information in real-time and are mined for instant decision-making, such as credit card fraud detection, requiring speed and accuracy. What unique challenges in statistical methodology and computing does Big Data bring? What are the tools of this new trade and what are the traps and tricks of Big Data analytics? What kinds of jobs and careers are being created in Big Data fields, and what skills and degrees do they require? Readings and class discussions will explore the implications of Big Data in each of these areas, and student presentations will allow each student to explore a topic of interest in more detail. Students will emerge with an appreciation for the realities and potential of Big Data to transform our collective future.