FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FROM PROSPECTIVE HOSTS
The full course targets undergraduate tech students (e.g., computer science, information technology, mathematics) with 1-2 programming courses but no specialized courses in data, or undergraduate or post-graduate students in any field with some exposure to computer programming. Many instructors, lecturers, and faculty in a variety of fields have also participated. A few of the course modules do not require any programming background, although comfort with logic and basic mathematics is helpful. Some hosts are using the Big Data short-course as a means to foster collaborations across departments and institutions. Note that some modules may be too basic for advanced undergraduate or post-graduate computer science or other technical students who have already taken courses in data management, data mining, or machine learning.
Anyone! From high school students and undergraduates to post-graduates, instructors, and professors, in any field. All that's required is an open mind and willingness to communicate.
Women at any level, from high school students and undergraduates to post-graduates, instructors, and professors, generally in tech fields. The format is a roundtable discussion; active participation is expected.
Teaching is the primary purpose. However, Prof. Widom is happy to deliver a one-hour research talk in a conference or department-seminar setting, and meet with faculty and students briefly about their research. Research-focused activities should be limited to a small portion of the visit, to leave plenty of time for teaching and interacting with students.
Hosts are welcome to invite working professionals to participate, bearing in mind that the instruction is academically oriented. Corporate training or consulting on business challenges is not on offer.
Hosts are encouraged to provide a small number of course assistants for the topics in Big Data that include student hands-on learning. (Course assistants are not needed for other topics.) Assistants can be faculty, lecturers, post-graduate, or advanced undergraduate students in computer science or related fields – anyone strong in English and comfortable with the concepts and tools (or a quick learner).
The courses are meant to be educational and fun. Some of them include exercises and projects, but the work is not graded, there are no exams, and formal credit is not awarded.
There is no minimum, although 1-2 days would need to be combined with other locations nearby. Due to high demand and a desire to reach as many students as possible, stays in one location are limited to one week (about 5 days of teaching), and stays in one country but multiple locations are limited to two weeks (about 10 days of teaching).
No! The intention is of the instructional odyssey is to offer free instruction. If you are having difficulty covering local expenses, see next question.
Yes! Thanks to a generous sponsorship from the VLDB Endowment, funds are available by application to cover local costs, though it's preferable if the local hosts can make some contribution. Please see the Local Support page.
Yes! See answer to previous question.
Yes. I hope to teach twice a year for up to a week in each location.