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UC San Diego Extension and San Diego Supercomputer Center Launch Modern Data Science Academy


Big data is now big business with companies of every size and sector. They are using it to improve performance and boost their bottom line. Because of that, there is a huge demand for those who can collect, crunch and curate the mountains of data available. In response, the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) and UC San Diego Extension have teamed up to create the Modern Data Science Academy to provide cutting-edge, hands-on training in data mining and data analytics.

The partnership is designed to leverage the technical skills of SDSC’s staff and couple them with UC San Diego Extension’s expertise in developing practical training and education programs. The classes will be held at SDSC and will offer credit toward Extension’s Data Mining Advanced Analysis certificate.

“We like to say that the Modern Data Science Academy is where education meets application,” said Karen Flammer, director of education, outreach and training at SDSC. “The goal is for participants to be able to make an instant impact on their companies and organizations by leveraging data to make better business decisions.”

An experienced team of researchers and leading practitioners from SDSC will teach workshops on a variety of topics to help individuals and companies acquire the skills needed to make better data-driven decisions. The first two workshops are scheduled for this October and will cover the essentials of data mining and database systems.

The two-day intensive workshops are designed to provide information quickly and effectively so participants can put their newly acquired skills to use immediately.

Hugo Villar, director of science and technology at UC San Diego Extension, said the Modern Data Science Academy is part of his organization’s mission to ensure that people have the advanced skills they need to fuel our region’s economy. For instance, Accenture, a consulting firm, found that 90 percent of its clients planned to hire people with data science skills, but 41 percent of those companies said that lack of talent was a challenge in implementing big data initiatives.

“We work very closely with companies throughout the region and they keep telling us that they need more people who can collect, store and analyze data,” he said. “This initiative will train the talent our companies need to be competitive in the global marketplace.”

The first workshop is Data Mining Essentials 1 and is scheduled for Oct. 12-13 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The second workshop is NoSQL Databases and is scheduled for Oct. 25-26 from 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.