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Data Science

Coursera · Johns Hopkins University · 27 HN points · 18 HN citations

Ask the right questions, manipulate data sets, and create visualizations to communicate results. This Specialization covers the concepts and tools you'll need throughout the entire data science ...

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Hacker News Comments about Data Science

All the comments and stories posted to Hacker News that reference this course.
Aug 25, 2017 myth_drannon on “Learning How to Learn,” the most popular course on Coursera
I like Johns Hopkins Data Science Specialization on coursera
Dec 22, 2016 mindcrime on Ask HN: Probability and Statistics online courses

I've taken the first 3 classes in this specialization and would say it's been invaluable. There's an associated textbook available online for free at:


I've taken the first 6 classes in this specialization as well, and have found them to be pretty valuable. These, so far, have been more about the mechanics of programming in R, and less about the math. The Duke one above is more math, less R. But both are an intermingling of both mathematical concepts and R coding. I find that these two tracks complement each other very well.


A set of videos on Statistics from "Professor Leonard". This is just recordings of all the lectures from a standard college Stats 101 class. But the guy is a good lecturer, explains things well, and has a sense of humor which keeps things interesting.

He also has videos on other topics as well, if you're interested.


I believe Kahn Academy also has a section on Statistics and Probability.

You might also find some of the stuff linked here useful:


Nov 23, 2016 kejaed on Ask HN: [Data Science] What would make you hire a guy who self studied?
Here is the path I'm following:

I'm doing the Data Science Specialization from Johns Hopkins University / Coursera, with verified certificates that I hope will help me create a portfolio to showcase as I look at this type of work.

I feel like having a portfolio to point to, as well as code on a site like GitHub, should be a good basis for a conversation with a potential employer.

Oct 20, 2016 aasar on Ask HN: How to get started with machine learning? If you wish to go deep and learn R as well as data science and machine learning fundamentals, then this is a great specialization course on Coursera.
Aug 25, 2015 wolfgke on As Coursera Evolves, Colleges Stay On and Investors Buy In
I personally don't like that Coursera dropped free certificates of accomplishments for many courses. While this might not be such a problem in the US, I (living in Germany) see this as a serious problem in countries as Germany, Austria or Brazil, where it is essential that you have some certificate to prove that you really took the course.

What I'm particularly angry about is that in former days you could get a free certificate of accomplishment for the courses from the Data Science specification


A few weeks ago Coursera changed the policy even for these existing courses. That's why I completely lost any trust that I had in Coursera and will actively avoid taking courses from Coursera (and instead look what edX has to offer).

Jul 09, 2015 el_shambler on Ask HN: Masters in Data Science Worth It?
I've been seeing a lot of different ads recently about different Masters in Data Science programs (MIDS), most notably for UC - Berkeley and SMU.

I did find a few older threads in regards to the field itself, and then one from a year ago with a lot of good comments on it [0]. The general consensus seemed to be that a masters does carry some weight but for $60k, that's too steep. With SMU's price tag at $53k, it's not much different.

Some of the arguments for a MIDS is it gives exposure and experience that online courses could not give. While you might learn the same knowledge, the MIDS gives additional experience and overall better mastery of the material.

I'm wondering if there are jobs out there that can justify the $50-$60k price tag, or if an online certificate like the one on Coursera from John Hopkins [1] would be sufficient to a) land a job, and b) give me the experience needed (maybe with using kaggle along the way)?


[0] - [1] -

*edit - grammar

Apr 09, 2015 strictnein on LinkedIn to Buy Online Education Site for $1.5B
Some certs mean nothing, but some of the MOOCs do apparently earn you some credence.

I know the NSA, for instance, regards completing Coursera's Data Science specialization [0] as at least noteworthy enough to mention it in their Data Science job listings.


Feb 13, 2015 strictnein on Ask HN: I have $2k for books, training and confs. What should I spend it on?
I've started taking a couple of Coursera specialization tracts:

Data Science - Johns Hopkins

Data Mining - UIUC (edit: was Johns Hopkins - bad copy/paste)

There are more specializations that you can get here:

It's kind of a layer on top of the free courses. I've been pleased so far. They'll also look nice in the education section of your resume, if you care about that.

Dec 29, 2014 dopplesoldner on Machine learning and data science advices
Hi, I was in a similar situation to you last year. I was working as backend developer and took the online course on Machine Learning on Coursera and realised that I want to work on Machine Learning in the future.

One of the myths is that you can learn to use toolkits and programming languages (R, Python) and become eligible for Machine Learning jobs (I certainly couldn't). It's only when you begin to understand the underlying maths behind the algorithms, you can be successful in interviews.

I would say getting another degree is the best way to go about it since it is very much an academic field. However, if that is not an option, I'd recommend looking at some online courses such as:

- -

In addition, I would supplement the courses with a good Machine Learning textbook such as [Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning by Bishop].

Also, see

Nov 06, 2014 jedmeyers on The Reddit Front Page Is Not a Meritocracy
By the way, there is an awesome course track on Data Science from Johns Hopkins on Coursera right now, which includes introduction to R.

Oct 11, 2014 brudgers on Ask HN: Retraining into data science?
Coursera offers a data science specialization:

It's cheap [if you want the certificate, free if you don't] and provided through John's Hopkins.

Aug 21, 2014 dhawalhs on Earn a Master of Information and Data Science Online
As other people have pointed out that even though its an online degree it has the same price as an offline one. Though it doesn't have the same credential as Berkeley (or maybe the rigorousness), Coursera's Data Science specialization [1] from John Hopkins costs $500. Recently they announced that they have partnered with SwiftKey [2] for the final capstone project.



Jul 21, 2014 riffraff on Level-Up Your Machine Learning
I think coursera actually started tackling the issue by offering "specializations", i.e. the "Data Science" specialization[0] is a set of 9 small classes which should in the end provide the student with the tools needed to be a "junior number hacker" or something like that.

It's not a full CS curriculum, but I'd think vertical narrow "mini curricula" may be good enough.


May 29, 2014 krrishd on A Data Analysis Curriculum
Interesting. I wonder how this compares to Coursera's Data Science specialization[0], from what it looks like they both have very similar curriculum.


May 14, 2014 rmb177 on Review of the First Three Johns Hopkins Coursera Data Science Courses
The $50 is an optional fee for the Signature Track. If you pay for this track, Coursera adds some extra checks to validate your identity and issues you a "Verified" certificate.

You can still take all of the courses for free and get a certificate, but Coursera won't validate that you actually did the coursework.

I'm guessing you could pick and choose to pay for only certain classes, but you have to pay for all of them to earn the overall "Specialization" certificate.

See the following url for details:

Mar 13, 2014 craigching on Making Sense of Data – Course
Think I'll do this while I wait for [1] to start. Might be a good introduction for the class as well!

[1] --

Mar 07, 2014 ludicast on General Assembly raises $35M Series C
Don't want to be "that guy" but compare these offerings:

GA Data Science (4000$ and taught by MBAs):

Johns Hopkins Data Science via Coursera (490$, taught by Professors of Biostatistics, and granting a cert with Hopkins' name on it):

Now I'm not taking either class, but going to be very hard for GA to compete with things like this (and not to mention the outrageous quality pumps out). Let alone the rent they must pay for their awesome spaces.

Spanish, Chemistry, EE, Woodworking, Gross Anatomy and other classes with a serious lab component need an offline element for sure. But they are teaching things that most people usually pick up better from blogs, coursera, etc. (IMHO).

Jan 31, 2014 amerkhalid on Ask HN: What journals and blogs should I be reading to become a data scientist?
You can also take MOOC courses for example:
Jan 23, 2014 noelwelsh submitted Coursera / JHU Certificate in Data Science (2 points, 0 comments)
Jan 22, 2014 houshuang submitted Data Science Specialization on Coursera (1 points, 0 comments)
Jan 21, 2014 skadamat submitted Coursera Data Science Certificate (24 points, 5 comments)

Open source lecture material

"These are the course materials for the Johns Hopkins Data Science Specialization on Coursera"

Interesting, but I'm not sure about investing $150 for the first round of three classes.
Jeff here - one of the creators of the classes. The great thing we like about this is that you can take the classes for free if you want. You only have to pay if you want the specialization. More info here:

Jeff, I'm signed up for the entire set at the moment. It's just a matter of deciding if I want to pay for it and focus on it or take other classes (MIT is doing a data course as well this spring over with edx). If I can get my employer to pay that'd be better, not because it's expensive but because I perceive that it would be better material to add to my resume if I can say it was work sponsored.

I'd like to know your thoughts on the value of the final capstone project respective to career development?

I can vouch for the value of the material. I took yours last year and it definitely helped with both work as well as my personal projects. In particular the components on functional knowledge are things that other courses tend to ignore.
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