Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Engineering Classes - IE 330:Engineering Analytics

IE 330 is an engineering analytics class. I learned all about databases, relational algebra, clustering and forecasting, and big data. I can say this class was unlike any class I've taken at Penn State because of the breadth of material covered and the usefulness of the class. I give the class a 9/10. This was my second favorite class - right behind Dr. Miller's class. It think this was due to the instructor, Seifu Chonde. Seifu is a PhD level graduate student in my department and he is a great teacher. He really made us think and he's young so he knows how to decently catch our attention. He was great at holding office hours and answering emails. I hope that one day after he does everything awesome that he will do, that he ends up teaching again. Students would be lucky to have a sassy and smart professor. 

The main idea behind this course is to teach us how to analyze lots of data and use that data to predict things that are useful. It is used in engineering and basically everywhere in your daily life. Everything we do generates data (big data) and analyzing this data will allow us predict what people want as well as what companies should be making. It also allows us to understand more about people as a whole due to having all of this info. It also allows us to tie things together in networks or for people to have Bacon Numbers or Erdos Numbers. (Google a celebrity's name and Bacon Number - so fun!) IBM is one of the leaders in this and their website has some cool info. Check it out!

In my daily life, I see this being used everywhere I shop. Amazon, Google and even most companies are using these ideas. What Amazon does is sick - check it out! What I really use from this class is all the excel tips and the tools we learned when looking at data for my job as well as my organization. VLOOKUP is your best friend - scratch that - VLOOKUP will make your boss love you in any organization. I use moving averages to help figure out what the attendance at the next NSBE meeting will be. I also bought a book on this called Fifth Principle. I will review sometime this summer after I finish my supply chain textbook. (yay.)

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