Learn something new every month

As human beings and students of knowledge it is important for us to keep learning new things constantly. Seeking knowledge is a lifelong journey. In my humble opinion, seeking knowledge be it through reading or through exploring or traveling or speaking with people or through any other means is necessary for a truly fulfilling life. Therefore, I think it is good to put a system around this thought and learn something new every month and keep track of it to give yourself the motivation needed to keep going.

Seeking knowledge doesn’t have to a boring exercise. In fact, in order to be successful it has to be something you enjoy so focus on the subject areas that interest you the most. But do not shy away from anything as you never know if you would enjoy something until you have tried it. Obviously this doesn’t mean trying everything because there are clearly things to avoid in this world. So avoid the bad and focus on what is good.

Last month, I was intrigued with Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Astronomy as I made my way through A Brief History of Time. The world of science is a fascinating experience and I truly enjoy learning more and more. There is so much to learn 🙂

This month I’m focusing on learning Python programming as much as I can. I find it intriguing and have been wondering why I didn’t explore Python before! It has become a very important programming language recently due to the demands from Data Science, Machine Learning, Big Data and AI.

Next month it might be something different. But the point is to keep acquiring knowledge (there is a sea of knowledge for every domain out there just waiting for us to embrace it), putting it into practice if possible (because what is knowledge if we don’t act upon it?) and propagating what is good to others (sharing the knowledge with fellow human beings to make this world a better place).

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Python & Data Science

A fair warning to the readers: this blog post reeks of geek so proceed at your own risk.

With the explosion of the ways human beings are creating, collecting data these days thanks to ease of storage (storage media has been becoming increasingly affordable (in other words, cheaper and cheaper). Additionally it has become increasingly easier to generate and collect data from so many devices (smart phones, satellite systems, cameras, social media etc. et.c). So with this incredible amount of data (literally in the tera-bytes) there is a need to utilize to make sense of the data and to utilize it in useful ways (to make better predictions, make more money, avoid more crimes, design better medicine, create better products, sell more services etc. etc.). Companies (as well as universities) have realized how important it is to do science with data. As a result, the discipline that has recently become very popular is Data Science. Just do a Google search for Data Science and you’ll be amazed at how much information there is out there.

Data Science usually requires skills such as Mathematics, Statistics, SQL, Data Analysis, Business Domain Knowledge and Programming in R or Python. Python and R are the two most popular programming languages with the Data Science discipline these days. So if you’ve a solid Math background and love to do programming, this might be something you might want to look into. It seems like a really interesting field with a lot of opportunities for really meaningful work.

A data scientist typically works in one dedicated domain area: it could be anywhere or anything. For instance, you could be working in marketing, medicine, product engineering, urban design, smart cities, transportation, astrophysics or whatever else you’re into or find opportunities in. There are sure to be a lot of opportunities in pretty much any discipline. Exciting careers for bright students. Study your Mathematics well!

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What’s up with this thing called Data Science

Data Science is the newest thing that has become popular for Math, Statistics & Computer Science geeks. This is a new area of study that has increasingly gained popularity over the last couple of years or more. This is evident from the many courses and numerous well paying jobs that turn up with a simple Google search. The courses available online for those who are interested in acquiring this new skillset. And there seem to be tons of jobs for Data Scientists as well. Mose of these jobs require an advanced degree (such as a Master’s or a Doctorate).

Data Science is a new discipline that includes various topics of interest such as Statistics, Data Analysis, R or Python Programming, Regression Models, Machine Learning and more. Usually, the courses demand that learners have Math/Stats & Comp. Sci backgrounds but there are people who have business degrees or humanities background that have ventured into this area because it is so attractive to people who crave creativity and challenge in their work.

A typical Data Scientist does a lot of different things, but primarily it has to do with making sense of data in a meaningful way that is useful for a purpose. That sounds vague actually. It really means extracting meaning from and interpreting data, analyzing it with tools (using pre-built software like Microsoft Excel or custom programming usually with R or Python). It requires the use of Mathematics and Statistics skills. First and foremost it requires acquiring the lots of data, cleaning, cleansing and formatting data and asking useful questions and getting really creative with the use of the data in some way that may be useful for medicine or policy making or urban development or whatever else might be the area you are interested in using Data Science for. In other words, Data Science has tons of applications.

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