About this course: If you want to break into competitive data science, then this course is for you! Participating in predictive modelling competitions can help you gain practical experience, improve and harness your data modelling skills in various domains such as credit, insurance, marketing, natural language processing, sales' forecasting and computer vision to name a few. At the same time you get to do it in a competitive context against thousands of participants where each one tries to build the most predictive algorithm. Pushing each other to the limit can result in better performance and smaller prediction errors. Being able to achieve high ranks consistently can help you accelerate your career in data science.
Detecting anomalies is critical in conducting surveillance, countering credit-card fraud, protecting against network hacking, combating insurance fraud, and many more applications in government, business and healthcare. Sometimes, the analyst has a set of known anomalies, and identifying similar anomalies in the future can be handled as a supervised learning task (a classification model). More often, though, little or no such "training" data are available. In such cases, the goal is to identify cases that are very different from the norm. Some techniques (clustering, nearest neighbors) may be familiar to you, others less so (e.g. based on information theory or spectral techniques).
Studies on massive open online courses (MOOCs) users discuss the existence of typical profiles and their impact on the learning process of the students. However defining the typical behaviors as well as classifying the users accordingly is a difficult task. In this paper we suggest two methods to model MOOC users behaviour given their log data. We mold their behavior into a Markov Decision Process framework. We associate the user's intentions with the MDP reward and argue that this allows us to classify them.
About this course: In previous courses in the Specialization, we have discussed how to sequence and compare genomes. This course will cover advanced topics in finding mutations lurking within DNA and proteins. In the first half of the course, we would like to ask how an individual's genome differs from the "reference genome" of the species. Our goal is to take small fragments of DNA from the individual and "map" them to the reference genome. We will see that the combinatorial pattern matching algorithms solving this problem are elegant and extremely efficient, requiring a surprisingly small amount of runtime and memory.