The Applied Computing Series gets college students into computer science

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What do fighting wildfires, searching for dogs in photos and using portrait mode on your phone have in common? Data science and machine learning. Experts across a range of businesses and industries are using data to give machines the ability to “learn” and complete tasks.

But as the field of data science is rapidly growing, workforce projections show that there isn’t enough new talent to meet increasing demand for these roles, especially in machine learning. Given the nationwide scarcity of computer science faculty, we’ve been thinking about how to give students a hands-on computer science education, without CS PHD educators.

At a handful of colleges across the country, we’re piloting the Applied Computing Series (ACS): two college-level introductory computer science and data science courses and a machine learning intensive. The Series will help students understand how to use the best available tools to manipulate and understand data and then solve critical business problems.

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Students at Bay Path University learning Python programming as part of our first ACS cohort of universities.

The machine learning intensive is meant for students who have already taken introductory computer science classes and who want to pursue more advanced coursework. The intensive will ultimately prepare them for opportunities as data engineers, technical program managers, or data analysts in industries ranging from healthcare to insurance to entertainment and media. Through partnerships with colleges and universities, we provide industry-relevant content and projects; and colleges and universities provide experienced faculty to lead in-class project work and provide coaching for students.

The Applied Computing courses are currently available to students at eight colleges and universities: Adrian College, Agnes Scott College, Bay Path University, Heidelberg University, Holy Names University, Lasell College, SUNY Buffalo State, and Sweet Briar College. If you’re a university and want to apply to be a site for the Applied Computing courses in the fall of 2019, find out more on our website.

The machine learning intensive will start in February 2019 at Mills College and again during the summer session at Agnes Scott College, Bay Path University, Heidelberg University and Scripps College and is open for applications from all U.S. students. If you’re a student who has already completed college-level computer and/or data science coursework and want to apply for the machine learning intensive, learn more at our website.