Twitter Teams with Berkeley to Offer Big Data Class

Author: Adi Gaskell
Published: May 08, 2012 at 6:29 am

college classI wrote a few weeks ago about suggestions made by McKinsey that big data could be hampered by the lack of available talent available to implement it.

So news released this week that the University of California at Berkeley is teaming up with social network Twitter to help train the data scientists of the future is welcome indeed.

The university will offer the class on big data to both undergraduate and postgraduate students this year.  The class will focus on analysis of data generated on Twitter.

They have chosen Twitter because of the constant stream of information published to the site, and it provides an easier flow to digest than more traditional big data topics that tend to revolve around improving customer service.

Twitter won't just be supplying the data though.  Engineers from the company will be advising students on the company itself, explaining how popular websites can be related to advanced computing in big data.

The course description states:

How to store, process, analyze and make sense of Big Data is of increasing interest and importance to technology companies, a wide range of industries, and academic institutions. In this course, UC Berkeley professors and Twitter engineers will lecture on the most cutting-edge algorithms and software tools for data analytics as applied to Twitter microblog data.

Topics will include applied natural language processing algorithms such as sentiment analysis, large scale anomaly detection, real-time search, information diffusion and outbreak detection, trend detection in social streams, recommendation algorithms, and advanced frameworks for distributed computing. Social science perspectives on analyzing social media will also be covered.

The new course offers students a fantastic opportunity to gain the skills needed to flourish in this rapidly growing area, with social media analysis set to be a crucial area.  IBM for instance included detailed social media analysis in its latest WebSphere product released this month, whilst Google have also released a Big Data product in the past few weeks called BigQuery.


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Article Author: Adi Gaskell

A writer on management issues for publications such as Professional Manager, CMI, HRM Today, Business Works and Technorati. I also cover social media for Social Media Today, DZone and Social Business News.

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