Welcome to the class Modern Applied Data Analysis (MADA)! The course is listed as EPID8060E/BIOS8060E. It doesn’t matter if you are enrolled under the EPID or BIOS label. I will generally refer to the course as MADA.
The course is divided into modules. Each module is usually covered over 1-2 weeks. This first module provides a brief introduction to the course, the tools we will be using, and the topic.
The specific learning objectives for this unit are:
The main goal for this course is for you to learn the whole process of performing a data analysis project. The focus is on applied analysis of real world, messy data.
A second goal is to introduce you to some modern analysis approaches commonly referred to as Machine Learning.
A related goal is to introduce you to a set of tools that allow for a modern, reproducible workflow of your analysis.
For more detailed learning objectives, see the course syllabus.
Here are my goals, promises, and expectations for this course.
I expect you to be self-motivated and committed to learning the material by putting in the effort needed to succeed.
I will try to maximize the rewards you get by hopefully teaching methods that are useful to you, and I will try to provide as much help as needed to maximize your learning.
This class strives to be challenging but non-threatening. As such, I’ll make you work hard, and expect you to do the assigned tasks by the deadlines, but in the end, I usually don’t grade hard - unless you fail to keep up your end of the agreement and don’t put in the work.
This class is open everything. You can use the internet, ask your classmates, myself and others, get help from wherever you can. I trust you will find the right balance of getting help when you need it while still putting in enough effort to experience real learning.
I will not perform any policing to try to prevent you from taking shortcuts (i.e., not doing work yourself). The class contains graded assessments with deadlines, but those are meant to help you stay on track. If you somehow cheat - and cheating will be easy - you are mainly cheating yourself out of learning.
Overall, I hope this course is going to be useful, interesting, challenging and also interactive. Online courses are always a bit tricky with interaction/participation. I hope we can create something online that feels like a classroom. Please participate, ask questions, etc. The more you engage in the course, the more you’ll get out of it.
This is a brief overview of the tools we will be using for this class. The next module, which you can and should start right after finishing this one, describes all these tools in more detail and gives instructions on how to set them all up.
For details on assessments, see the Assessments page.
We’ll be drawing on a lot of different resources. I compiled a list with the ones we’ll use and others you might find helpful in the Resources section of the class website.
I do not expect you to figure it all out yourselves. You will get stuck and are encouraged to seek help. You can ask for help from your classmates or your instructor. Also, use the wider community online. For specific places to get help, see the Resources pages.