The University of Waikato is offering its data mining with Weka MOOC for a second time.
“We received such a positive response when we ran the MOOC last year that we’ve decided to offer it again,” says computer scientist Professor Ian Witten. The open source software, Weka, was developed at Waikato University and is already widely used around the world having been downloaded nearly 5 million times since 2000.
“I have no idea who downloads it but I do know that anyone with data needs to know about data mining,” says Professor Witten. “People need to understand the principles, but they don’t need the ‘dirty details’ and I think that’s what makes Weka so appealing.”
Five week MOOC course
The MOOC starts in March and will run for five weeks. Lessons include a short YouTube video and activities to reinforce learning. Students who completed the course received a digital statement of completion. “Last year we had 6500 who registered with 1050 successful completions, which I understand is pretty usual with MOOCs,” says Professor Witten. Students signed up from all over the world, but the majority came from USA, India, Brazil and New Zealand.
“In the MOOC we look at statistics, the principles of algorithms, different representations for data and its evaluation – it’s all the right stuff on how to apply data mining to answer a specific question. But you do need to know what question you’re trying to answer.”
The video component of “Data Mining with Weka” is also offered on Youku, the Chinese version of YouTube, captioned in Chinese. China is the largest country for Weka downloads.
Go to https://weka.waikato.ac.nz for more information.
Professor Witten is also planning a more advanced data mining MOOC for April this year.