MIT Professional Education and MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS) Address Data Science Challenges in New Online Course

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New Course: “Data Science: Data to Insights” Launches Fall 2016

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“The onset of massive amounts of data (big data) has left professionals struggling to make sense of what is relevant and vital to their company’s decision-making process and success."

MIT Professional Education announced today the latest addition to its Digital Programs offerings, Data Science: Data to Insights, taking place October 4, 2016. Presented in partnership with the newly launched MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS), the new online course is designed for professionals, from data scientists at startups to data analysts at larger corporations, looking to enhance their ability to understand and analyze large data sets.

In a world where data sets grow at an exponential rate due to new tracking mechanisms applied to everything from smartphones and televisions to online shopping and social media, this six-week program will help professionals translate immense amounts of raw data into actionable insights. Participants will review a broad spectrum of topics including recommendation engines, regressions, network and graphical modeling, anomaly detection, hypothesis testing, machine learning and big data analytics.

Bhaskar Pant, Executive Director of MIT Professional Education, said, “The onset of massive amounts of data (big data) has left professionals struggling to make sense of what is relevant and vital to their company’s decision-making process and success. At MIT Professional Education, we’re excited to partner with the newest department in the School of Engineering, IDSS, to address a key challenge facing industry today.”

“With its emphasis on using data to gain the insights needed to make key decisions—ultimately, to address real-world challenges—IDSS is well-positioned to lead this exciting education effort,” said Munther Dahleh, IDSS Director and William A. Coolidge Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.    

Course co-leaders are IDSS faculty members Devavrat Shah, Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Philippe Rigollet, Associate Professor, Mathematics. Through lectures taught by them and other faculty colleagues at IDSS, participants will learn theories, strategies and tools to solve some of the top data management challenges. Topics addressed in the course will include clustering and when it should be used, best practices for experiment design and hypothesis testing using data, model selection to avoid over-fitting, machine learning trends and the differences between graphical and network models. Following completion of the course, participants will be prepared to analyze their big data, increase organizational efficiency and address their company’s most pressing data challenges.

"Data scientists within modern organizations need to build three things: (1) a sensing platform that gathers or collects the right data, (2) infrastructure that stores the data and provides ability to do computation at scale and (3) an information extraction and decision-making system that uses statistical and machine-learning approaches to extract information from data to make meaningful decisions," said Devavrat Shah, Professor at MIT and co-leader of the course. "These three components are fundamentally intertwined. This course looks primarily at the third component, and also provides guidelines as to what is the right data to collect for the given set of decisions."

Data Science: Data to Insights will be delivered globally via the open-sourced online education platform, edX. MIT Professional Education Digital Programs provide companies and professionals the ability to undertake training in vital areas virtually from anywhere in the world. Upon successful completion of the course, participants will receive an MIT Professional Education Certificate of Completion and Continuing Education Units (CEUs). The course will be offered at an introductory price of $575 USD.

Registration is now open. Individuals across all industries or large groups of employees from the same organization can register for the course.

About MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society
MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS) is committed to addressing complex societal challenges by advancing education and research at the intersection of statistics, data science, information and decision systems, and social sciences. Spanning all five schools at MIT, IDSS embraces approaches and methods from disciplines including statistics, data science, information theory and inference, systems and control theory, optimization, economics, human and social behavior, and network science. These disciplines are relevant both for understanding complex systems, and for presenting design principles and architectures that allow for the systems’ quantification and management. IDSS seeks to integrate these areas—fostering new collaborations, introducing new paradigms and abstractions, and utilizing the power of data to address societal challenges. Read more about IDSS at

About MIT Professional Education
For more than 65 years, MIT Professional Education has been providing a gateway to renowned MIT research, knowledge and expertise through advanced education programs designed specifically for working professionals worldwide who are engaged in the fields of technology and technology management. In addition to its Digital Programs, MIT Professional Education offers professionals the capability to take industry-focused one to five-day sessions on-campus through Short Programs, courses abroad through International Programs, enroll in regular MIT academic courses through the Advanced Study Program or attend Custom Programs designed specifically for corporate clients. Participants are drawn from across the U.S. and around the world, with about 50 percent coming from outside the U.S. Upon successful completion of a program, participants receive an MIT Professional Education Certificate of Completion and access to MIT Professional Education’s expansive, private professional alumni network, along with other program specific benefits. For more information visit:

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