Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Aneesh Chopra and Big Data Resources

Much to my family's annoyance I listen to A LOT of podcasts. We have two pre-teen girls and they mostly want to listen to "Call me Maybe" right now rather that chit chat.

Heavy in rotation for the past two weeks has been the Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Podcast from Stanford University.

This talk by Aneesh Chopra, the United States Chief Technology Officer, is a great overview of some of the ways the US government is trying to keep up with technological changes. I was lucky enough to hear him speak at one of the UVA Tapestry Workshops a few years back when he was still serving as Secretary of Technology here in Virginia. He is always very interesting and I end up walking away with a huge list of thing to look up.

In this talk he includes several sources particularly relevant to teaching the CS Principles Data topic.

  • - free clearing house of data collected by the government. In the talk he mentions several entrepreneurs using this data to start companies.
  • Healthcare - there is some good discussion here on privacy and how large data sets can be used to help develop treatments. This was one of the topics my students really responded to this year.
  • Education - This gives a great example of high school students using data to save money for their school district by looking at electricity usage.
There is a lot more, these were the highlights. The advantage is Stanford breaks the podcast down into small snippets of video making it very usable in a classroom.

While I am on the subject, if you have the chance to get to one of the Tapestry Workshops you need to go. Great information on expanding computer science to a broader group of students. They have expanded to several universities - so there is sure to be one near you. (I am speaking at UVA briefly this Thursday, but don't let that scare you away, the rest of the presenters are amazing.)

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