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Berkeley Launches Big Data MOOCs

Berkeley has teamed with a private partner to launch two new MOOCs focused on big data analysis using Apache Spark, an open-source big data processing engine.

The five-week-long courses, created with partner Databricks, will be made available via BerkeleyX on the edX platform and are part of an attempt "to grow the Spark community, enabling students to gain hands-on experience with Spark's combination of sophisticated analytics and real-time capabilities to deliver deeper insights, faster," according to a news release. "The launch of these courses comes at the heels of a series of Apache Spark training offerings from Databricks, including the Spark Certification Program for System Integrators and the Spark Certification Program for Developers."

The courses will use Spark's Python interface to make them accessible to data scientists and developers.

The first course, Introduction to Big Data with Apache Spark, will cover the application of data science techniques using parallel programming for big and small data. The course will run February 23-March 27.

The second course, Scalable Machine Learning, "will present the underlying statistical and algorithmic principles required to develop scalable machine learning pipelines and provide hands-on experience using Apache Spark," according to information released by Berkeley and Databricks. "Students will use Spark to implement scalable algorithms for fundamental statistical models while tackling key real-world problems from various domains." The course will begin April 14 and end May 18.

Both courses are free with the ability to earn an Honor Code Certificate after meeting course requirements. A Verified Certificate of Achievement is also available to students who meet course requirements and pay "a minimum fee" according to information on the course pages.

"Spark is the most active open source project in the big data ecosystem, and continues to be deployed by enterprises across multiple verticals due to its speed and efficiency, ease of use, and single unified system for the complete data analytics pipelines," said Matei Zaharia, co-founder and CTO at Databricks, in a prepared statement. "As we continue to foster and grow the Spark community to meet that demand, we are excited to launch these two MOOCs, making hands-on, practical courses available to a community that will advance Spark's adoption with greater ease."

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].

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