One aspect of my New Year’s resolution for this year was to hop on the Coursera (and other MOOCs) bandwagon. I started a course last year called Probabilistic Graphical Models, which was fascinating for the one week I stuck with it. But, it required about 15 hours (too many) per week. This time around, I decided to start with baby steps. Take a few short refreshers to get into the habit and then expand from there. But there’s just too many awesome courses available right now!

Right now, I’m signed up for about 10 courses. Some are related to my field and my interests while others are just refreshers. I chose from 4 broad (and self-defined) categories: Data Science, Innovation, Algorithms, and Financial Engineering. I decided as I go through the courses I’ll filter through and stay enrolled in those I find most interesting and manageable. So I’m sharing my list here in the hopes that you can either join in (follow links below or just go here), hold me accountable, or even quiz me later. If any of these look inspiring, sign up and give me a holler.

Data Science

  1. Computing for Data Analysis – Almost done with this quick refresher
    This course is about learning the fundamental computing skills necessary for effective data analysis. You will learn to program in R and to use R for reading data, writing functions, making informative graphs, and applying modern statistical methods.
    Jan 2nd 2013 (4 weeks long)
  2. Data Analysis – With Nikhil Kumar!
    Learn about the most effective data analysis methods to solve problems and achieve insight.
    Jan 22nd 2013 (8 weeks long)
  3. Model Thinking
    In this class, you will learn how to think with models and use them to make sense of the complex world around us.
    Mar 4th 2013 (10 weeks long)
  4. Introduction to Data Science
    Join the data revolution. Companies are searching for data scientists. This specialized field demands multiple skills not easy to obtain through conventional curricula. Introduce yourself to the basics of data science and leave armed with practical experience programming massive databases.
    April 2013 (10 weeks long)


  1. Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies – With Robert Goker!
    Explore how to identify and develop great ideas into great companies. Learn how to identify opportunities based on real customer needs. Develop solid business models. Create successful companies.
    Jan 28th 2013 (6 weeks long)
  2. Startup Engineering
    Learn the engineering skills needed to build a technology startup from the ground up.
    April 2013 (10 weeks long)


  1. Analytic Combinatorics, Part I
    This course teaches a calculus that enables precise quantitative predictions of large combinatorial structures. Part I covers generating functions and real asymptotics and then introduces the symbolic method in the context of applications in the analysis of algorithms and basic structures such as permutations, trees, strings, words, and mappings.
    Feb 8th 2013 (5 weeks long)
  2. Analytic Combinatorics, Part II
    This course teaches a calculus that enables precise quantitative predictions of large combinatorial structures. Part II introduces the symbolic method to derive functional relations among ordinary, exponential, and multivariate generating functions, and methods in complex analysis for deriving accurate asymptotics from the GF equations.
    March 2013 (5 weeks long)

Financial Engineering

  1. Computational Investing, Part I
    Find out how modern electronic markets work, why stock prices change in the ways they do, and how computation can help our understanding of them.  Build algorithms and visualizations to inform investing practice.
    Feb 8th 2013 (8 weeks long)
  2. Financial Engineering and Risk Management
    This course is an introduction to the theory and practice of financial engineering and risk management. We consider the pricing of derivatives, portfolio optimization and risk management and cast a critical eye on how these are used in practice.
    Feb 11th 2013 (10 weeks long)

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