Indian Institute of Technology Madras faculty are offering affordable courses on data science through their platform ‘PadhAI.’ They are launching an online self-paced course on foundations of data science, which covers from beginners’ level, the mathematical and programming skills required for a data scientist.
This five-month course is affordably priced at ₹1,000 for students and faculty members. ‘PadhAI’ is the online school of One Fourth Labs, an IIT Madras incubated start-up founded by Dr Mitesh Khapra and Dr Pratyush Kumar, assistant professors in the department of computer science and engineering, IIT Madras.
There is a rising demand for trained data scientists across most industries such as manufacturing, financial services, healthcare, education, and of course, IT. To step-up to this demand, an increasing number of professionals and students are looking for good quality data science courses. However, most courses are expensively priced, ranging from tens of thousands to even lakhs of rupees, thereby putting a heavy premium on acquiring skills towards this lucrative career path.
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Speaking about their goals behind this initiative, Dr Mitesh Khapra, Co-Founder, One Fourth Labs, said, “With PadhAI, for us, it is Nation first. One primary goal is to ensure that every college student in our country in engineering, science, or commerce disciplines receives an accessible and foundational understanding of data science. This is an essential skill for the future.”
Further, Dr Mitesh Khapra said, “Often data science is taught in isolation, and separated from the advanced and more popular topics of machine learning and deep learning. We are working towards bridging this gap with a unified series of courses across these topics.”
The courses in PadhAI are designed towards providing foundational insight. The PadhAI course on data science begins on 1st February 2020. The Professors are expecting to follow-up this course on data science with subsequent affordably priced courses on machine learning and deep learning.
Elaborating on the need for quality courses on data science, Dr Pratyush Kumar, Co-Founder, One Fourth Labs, said, “Often many learners and even trainers make the mistake of looking at data science as learning tools. This is the wrong choice. Today’s tools will likely be outdated or updated tomorrow. Instead, the focus should be to build on a solid understanding of mathematical and algorithmic skills. This is the only way to remain relevant in a fast-changing domain. Learners should avoid courses that promise any shortcuts.”
Every year, the top-performing students from courses on PadhAI will be invited to a ‘summer garage’ — an AI residency program at IIT Madras Research Park, where they can work on research, tackle problems of societal impact, and find solutions to commercial value.
Dr Mitesh Khapra and Dr Pratyush Kumar also launched a platform – ‘AI4Bharat’ – to build artificial intelligence solutions to address India’s problems and accelerate AI Innovation. It is a community of AI professionals, students, domain experts, policymakers and academicians collaborating on solving real-world challenges in agriculture, healthcare, smart cities, Digital India, and sustainability.