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Fording the Stream to Big Data Education

Social Media Strategist, Information & Analytics Group

The biggest service a university can do for its students is to prepare them for a career. That seems pretty self-evident, but too often the courses are too narrow or too focused on “book learning.”

An innovative new course at the University of Montana is casting that old model aside, thanks to the vision of a local business leader, the initiative of university staff, and a strong collaboration of public and private organizations.

Eric Tangedahl, IT Director for the School of Business Administration at The University of Montana, and Alex Philp, Founder and Chief Technology Officer at TerraEchos, recently talked with me on a Google Hangout about “Introduction to Streams,” an interdisciplinary class that teaches development and applications of stream computing, a key element of many big data solutions. According to the course description, “Stream computing allows applications to rapidly ingest, analyze and correlate information as it arrives from thousands of real-time sources. Knowledge gained from this course will give you an advantage in the rapidly growing sector of big data. Government, health care, energy and financial markets are a few of the industries that will be looking for employees with these skills.

Watch the video to learn how this course came to be, how it has been received by students and what advantages it will give not only the students, but also the organizations that are looking to hire people skilled in big data applications.


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