One third of the way..

I’m keeping this a bit brief because there is a lot to do. Good week and busy as usual. Lots of Naive Bayes. Best part was my team won the simulated Kaggle competition about Stumbleupon.

Below is a summarization of concepts and tools covered this week.

  • Web Scraping
  • ReST APIs
  • Tolkenization
  • Natural Language Processing (NLP)
  • Vectorization (Count, Tf-idf)
  • Ngrams
  • Feature Engineering
  • Classification – Naive Bayes (Mulitnomial, Bernoulli, Gaussian)
  • Confusion Matrix
  • ROC Plots & Area Under the Curve
  • Deep Learning

New Tools:

  • MongoDB
  • SQL
  • SQLite3
  • Regex
  • Beautiful Soup
  • NLTK

It really struck me this week what makes Zipfian different from Hackbright beyond the focus of the programs.

In my post last week, I summarized the format which seems similar to Hackbright. Still I don’t think I really got across nor appreciated the difference which is the pace (e.g. work load outside of class and amount of topics covered in even just a day).

Hackbright had exercises but we actually did some tutorials in class on key tools we would use. We weren’t able to deep dive very much because of time constraints. Still we would take time to learn the main tools we needed for web dev.  And we really weren’t asked to study too much outside of class (even though many of us did anyway) because we were covering enough in school. Note, this may have changed some since I went.

At Hackbright, we spent 1 1/2 days doing a SQL tutorial. In Zipfian, we spent 1 1/2 days using SQL as part of a web scraping exercise, and we were asked to do the tutorials for it outside of class. Plus, we were learning several of the concepts and corresponding tools I mentioned above at the same time. MongoDB is a great example where we didn’t talk about it in any lectures, but it was mentioned in an exercise as a tool we should use and we had to learn it on the fly as we worked if we didn’t get to the tutorial on our own.

The program is not about hand holding you through a tutorial to learn how to use a package. Hackbright really isn’t either, but the expectations at Zipfian are definitely higher that you are able to ramp up quickly on multiple things at once. It’s setting the stage to expose us to as much as possible so we have a sense of the broad picture and become independent enough to seek out how to find support and solutions. They want you to do tutorials and readings mostly on your own and come to class ready to apply as much as possible. Granted finding time outside of class is a bit of a challenge, but I get the value of using the classroom for focused application as well as to make us savvy about quickly picking up new tools. And the classroom is still a place to ask for support if concepts don’t make sense to you on how to even apply them. The teachers and the students have all been extremely valuable resources in this process. This environment is why we are able to learn as much as we are in such a short amount of time.

Its not a huge ah-ha above, but something I saw worth mentioning. Now back to studying.

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