‘I'm Excited about the Impact Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Have on Our Life’
HSE University’s online Master of Data Science programme trains specialists in contemporary data analysis, machine learning development, and research. The applications are accepted until July 19. Students of the programme hail from over 30 countries including Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, India, the USA, Canada, China, Japan, Germany, Great Britain, and Switzerland. Mehmet Namli (UAE) and Alexander Olekhnovich (Russia) spoke about how they decided to become part of the global data scientist community and shared their impressions of studying remotely at HSE University.
Mehmet Namli: Revolution of Machines
During the last 10 years I have been working in finance and specifically Forex trading. Before starting this programme, I had been studying a bunch of things to improve myself in what I am doing. I see that modern trading becomes more automatic and is focused on machine learning: many companies integrate ML in the working process and try to use artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms for financial trading.
I looked into many online programmes provided by some British and American universities and online-courses from my own country. I think the HSE programme is the most complete. It interested me because of its emphasis on hands-on, project-based training. I loved the deep focus on mathematics, programming, future professions, and projects. Most of the programme is devoted to machine learning, which is very important for me.
Unlike other programmes, MDS is flexible and provides you three tracks to give you options about what you want to do: Researcher in Data Science, Machine Learning Engineer, and Data Scientist
So, you can choose the most important specialization for you. Other programmes that I looked at had only a single track. The curriculum of the programme met all my expectations.
I also considered HSE’s credentials worldwide: the University’s performance in maths and sciences satisfied me. The global ranking of HSE is high – it played a role, too. I asked some Russian friends about the reputation of the University and they said that HSE University is a good place to do your Master’s.
I have a full work schedule and want to spend time with my family, so traditional on-campus programmes and relocation are not suitable for me. Master of Data Science students can enrol in the programme from anywhere in the world and complete the courses on their own schedule. Studying takes about 15 hours a week, so some days I just sleep less to catch up on everything. Not everything is like the campus programmes but I believe in life-long learning, and this online programme makes it possible without changing my location and life.
The entry requirements were fitting for my background because I have a degree in economics and some of the other programmes require you to have a degree in engineering. The admissions process is rather easy: students must have a Bachelor’s degree and fill out a brief application form. An online exam tested my understanding of mathematics. I studied a lot of maths in my university and afterwards, so I believe I'm really good at maths but it wasn’t enough to apply to some of the other universities just because my Bachelor degree was in Economics.
This Master's degree will be useful for me for the next 10-20 years
I believe I'll be working in the fintech industry or trading. We need to get insights from data and use them for these purposes. That's why I have chosen data science for my future. Last month I decided to start a company with friends where we will try to use machine learning and apply techniques for portfolio management and trading. And I want to use the final part of the programme which is the thesis in line with our business project and apply it to real life.
I'm excited about the impact machine learning and artificial intelligence are having on our life. These algorithms are already in use nearly everywhere, in every machine. We just need a bit more speed on the hardware. In the next 10 years, we will see big new corporations like Amazon or Facebook that utilize ML. Shortly, I want to call them the champions of the ML era. The ML-revolution is as bright as the Internet boom of the 90s.
We are at the beginning of the new era now. The new knowledge opens new doors for me, so I can run my own business now and hopefully not miss this revolution
Alexander Olekhnovich (Russia): ‘All the courses I had will be useful for my development in fintech’
I liked the fact that the MDS online Master’s programme is suitable for people from various fields: if you are interested in data science and are willing to push yourself in it, that is enough. A big advantage is that after you complete the programme you get a degree rather than a certificate, which is what most continuing education platforms offer.
One of the reasons I finally decided to apply to MDS was the idea that studies would be easily combined with work and family, but — spoiler alert! — it is not that easy. Time optimization proved to be the main problem. Sometimes, I plan every five minutes of my daily schedule, so that no one and nothing is left unattended. But if you stay enthusiastic, you can do it.
As for the most interesting courses, the data scraping project was great, big, and thrilling: we parsed data from IMDb and played the ‘Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon’ game, which is based on the six degrees of separation theory. The Natural Language Processing course was a cool one—we made chat bots. I also keep remembering all the mathematics courses. Actually, all the courses I had will be useful for my development in fintech.
The programme uses several types of communication: Coursera forums, Zoom, SLACK, Telegram. As of today, no one has invented anything better than these services. Communication runs as it should in an online programme. I think that everyone learned to better communicate online during the last lockdown year.
If we have any difficulties, the programme tutors quickly help sort out everything
While studying, I started working at a bank. I deal with big data and data engineering. I’m now starting on a course in “Large Scale Machine Learning". I hope it will be very helpful in my work. In the programme, I learned how to find approaches to solving various types of tasks and master the new knowledge faster.
HSE University’s online Master of Data Science programme curriculum consists of 21 courses divided into four blocks: mathematics, programming, future profession, and projects. The programme is offered on Coursera. Successful graduates will receive a Master’s degree in Data Science from HSE University. The curriculum is grounded in leading IT companies’ demands and expertise. The programme focuses on the best industry practices. Application deadline is July 19.
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