Posts tagged with: Coursera

Review – R Programming

R Programming is the second class in the Data Science specialization at Coursera.

I really enjoyed this course.  When I completed the project for my Masters degree I used R to process and analyze the results.  At the time, I started all of my data processing in Python.  Then I need to implement a variety of statistical analyses.  A colleague of mine pointed me toward RPy which allowed me to use R for the statistical analysis directly from my Python code.  It was great, it saved me a considerable amount of time implementing the statistical processing on my own.

This course provides a great foundation for R.  The first 2 weeks of the course cover the basics of R like data types, variables, control structures, scoping, and more.  The third week covers some looping functions which are helpful for processing the data.  The final week covers debugging and profiling R programs

In summary, anyone that wants to understand and use R more should take this course.  It is a great foundation and the information is presented well.  The quizzes and course project are well designed to help reinforce the information that is learned.

If you pay for the course and complete it then you get a certificate.

Review – The Data Scientist’s Toolbox

The Data Scientist’s Toolbox is the first course in the “Data Science” specialization available from Coursera.  The specialization itself will be very interesting to complete.  The point of the specialization is to learn how to use R to perform statistical analyses in a professional environment.  You will learn how to use R and how to work with and prepare data in a professional manner.

Unfortunately to earn a certificate in the specialization you must take this class.  In reality, this class should be combined into the next class which is R Programming.  Basically the class provides an overview of the entire specialization and instructions on how to get setup with the various applications.  My guess is that the average person that is taking these courses will have no problem setting up the required software and getting up and going.  So that makes this class similar to a general education course at a university.  In other words, it is a class you are required to pay for that has some interesting information but in general isn’t worth the time.

In summary, if you don’t plan on completing the entire specialization then don’t bother paying for this class.  It will help you get up and running but beyond that it really doesn’t help much.

If you do pay for the course then you get a certificate.