The Data Science Education has evolved over the years and has broadly polarised itself into two categories. Upskilling Institutions that are focused on making students employable through providing relevant skills in Data Science. Research Institutions that focus on extending the boundaries of Data Science consistently by developing and publishing new algorithms and models.
In all this polarisation of the Data Science Education, over the past decade, there has been an emergence of another set of educational Institutions that have internalised application of research findings to business problems as the bedrock of their Value System. These institutions aim at synergising the product development, research and consulting experiences with Education to transform the way Data Science is being taught.
Analytics India Magazine has identified the top 5 institutions in this category as “Transformational Leaders”.
If you have the right discipline and passion for applied engineering, take a look at AIM’s Top 5 institutions in no particular order of merit, as the right place for you.
Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence
Widely known as AI2, Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence is an exciting AI-based research organisation founded in 2014 by Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft. AIM found their approach of combining cutting edge graduate research training and AI startup incubation truly transformational.
The mission of AI2 is to “Contribute to humanity through high-impact AI research and engineering.” Enthusiastic individuals from across the globe work on several ambitious projects in collaboration with the AI2 research teams and engineering experts.
The academic programs offered by AI2 are essentially research-centric at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. The research scholars are encouraged to collaborate with the AI2 researchers on various projects and establish themselves as co-authors for the papers that get published. AI2 nurtures innovative ideas from world-class talent and successful entrepreneurs. In line with their AI Vision, these technopreneurs are provided all the needed support. The organisation provides coaching to the talents on integrating AI, to transform their ideas into the products.
International School of Engineering (INSOFE)
What AIM found truly transformational about INSOFE is their collaborative, interdisciplinary programs in data science. INSOFE truly believes that baking data science in other verticals is the best way to transform those disciplines. They achieve this by being fanatically focused on data science related technologies and collaborating with global institutions that specialise in those verticals.
INSOFE and partner institutions used their research and consulting experience to design certificates and Masters programs in data science with specialisations in finance, marketing, supply chain, healthcare, robotics and environmental engineering. INSOFE has one of the most diverse set of programs with 2 marquee certificate programs, 9 Accredited Master’s Programmes across Europe, USA and Asia. INSOFE also conducts extensive research on how businesses can adopt AI systematically. This work culminated into executive education on AI adoption for CXOs and business leaders.
INSOFE faculty balances product development, R&D and consulting with education. With four products in the market and over 50 consulting clients across the globe, they have an enviable footprint for an 8-year-old education institute. A group of faculty is engaged in research in applications of data science in capital markets, healthcare, retail, education and supply chain. Another group is largely technocentric with focus on data science on IOT data, Blockchain data, Big Data. The algorithm teams are working on computer vision and NLP.
Institute for Advanced Analytics, North Carolina State University
The first Masters program in Analytics in USA was introduced by Institute for Advanced Analytics, NCSU. Perhaps, MSA was the first attempt by any university where analytics was projected as a new age MBA — a general problem solving technique and not just a super specialisation of computer science. AIM found this approach truly transformational.
A whole lot of research work at the institute is designed as sponsored practicum by the industry. The industry identifies their pressing problems and faculty and students at the institute work on them as part of the education.
The 10-months Analytics degree teaches mathematical foundations, programming and practicum sufficiently to create problem solvers in the industry. The Practicum spans over eight months and culminates with the executive-level reports and presentations to the sponsor. Students understand, clean and analyse the data using the industry-standard analytical software tools.
Deep Learning AI
Andrew Ng, the founder of Deeplearning.ai perhaps is the most widely attended faculty in data science. This institute truly democratised AI education. The deep learning.ai company – Sensei, plays an important role in assisting learners in developing their careers in AI. It provides skill-based self-assessment, career advice and job recommendation to learners.
Deeplearning.ai takes a learner driven learning strategy than a mentor-based approach. Given the objective with which it all started, deeplearning.ai has an approach that suits their vision “AI for everyone” which is transforming the perception of the world from Data Sciences, AI and allied disciplines being technology intensive to them going to affect individuals at every walk of their life.
Jeremy Howard and Rachel Thomas founded Fast.ai after being extremely successful at Kaggle and several AI startups.
AIM found them transformational for the engineering approach they take to solving AI problems. They test new models and ideas rapidly and whatever they find interesting they implement in their Fast.AI API and libraries and make them available for all developers as open source material.
On the academic front, fast.ai provides courses on Practical Deep Learning for Coders, Deep Learning from the foundations, Introduction to Machine Learning for Coders, Computational Linear Algebra and Code-First Introduction to Natural Language Processing. They integrate their research and studies effectively in the curriculum. Their students publish effective blogs and contribute to the code with these learnings.
As deep learning is transforming the world to a great extent, Fast.ai is making it easier for people to access all its deep learning data and information through its online courses for coders, software library, cutting-edge research and community forum.