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Online course

Big Data: Statistical Inference and Machine Learning

Learn how to apply selected statistical and machine learning techniques and tools to analyse big data.

What’s the difference between a free course and an upgraded course?

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Big Data: Statistical Inference and Machine Learning

Why join the course?

Many people have big data but only some people know what to do with it. Why? Well, the big problem is that the data is big—the size, complexity and diversity of datasets increases every day. This means we need new solutions for analysing data.

This course equips you for working with these solutions by introducing you to selected statistical and machine learning techniques used for analysing large datasets and extracting information. We also expose you to three software packages so you can develop your coding skills by completing practical exercises.

Skip to 0 minutes and 6 secondsHi everyone and welcome to our Big Data Analytics collection of courses. My name is Kerrie Mengersen. Why is statistical inference and machine learning approaches important for analysing Big Data? To answer this question, I want to draw your attention to the world’s largest coral reef system, and one of Australia’s biggest natural wonders, the Great Barrier Reef. The Great Barrier Reef is composed of over 2900 reefs and 900 islands, spanning over 2300km, and is one of the most diverse ecosystems on the Earth. However, because of its large size, monitoring and predicting different trends in the reef is really difficult.

Skip to 0 minutes and 50 seconds Here at QUT we’re developing mathematical and statistical models that use Big Data to help better understand environmental impacts and trends in biodiversity on the Great Barrier Reef. Both statistical inference and machine learning play a huge role in modelling information and making predictions using all of this reef data. For example, here at QUT we’re using machine learning approaches to design robots to seek out and control the damaging crown-of-thorns starfish. In this course we show you how to apply certain predictive analysis, dimension reduction, clustering, and machine learning techniques to analyse big data and make informed decisions.

Skip to 1 minute and 37 seconds We not only explain these concepts, but we also provide a hands on approach that will help you better your programming skills using selected Big Data frameworks. Here we draw from the multi-faceted approach we use at ACEMS to provide you with a unique course on big data that meets the demand for analytics across a variety of different fields. We hope you enjoy the course as much as we have enjoyed creating it.

What topics will you cover?

  • Introduction to the relationship between statistical inference and machine learning
  • The application of methods from these areas to real world projects
  • An overview of the most popular methods currently used in these fields.
  • Machine learning methods used to undertake prediction and analysis of a given data set.
  • Specific methods such as neural networks, decision trees, principal component analysis and clustering.
  • The practical application of modern analysis tools such as R Studio and H2o.

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Identify big data application areas
  • Explore big data frameworks
  • Model and analyse data by applying selected techniques
  • Demonstrate an integrated approach to big data
  • Develop an awareness of how to participate effectively in a team working with big data experts

Who is the course for?

You will enjoy this course most and benefit from the learning experience if you have a basic understanding of statistics and mathematics at a university undergraduate level.

What software or tools do you need?

You will be using the following free tools. Please review the product websites below to ensure your system meets the minimum requirements:

R and R Studio Desktop (open source edition)

You will complete practical exercises using R Studio, so you’ll need to be familiar enough with R to:

  • install a package
  • import data
  • read and run starter code
  • develop a solution or read through a solution and gain understanding from it.

NOTE: You must first have a working installation of R to use R Studio.

H2O Flow
H2O Flow can be used as a stand-alone package for big data analytics or can be used in conjunction with R. This package will allow you to tackle larger problems that you might encounter in your own work.

WEKA
WEKA is a popular workbench for machine learning and statistical analysis. It comprises a very wide range of tools that are suitable for big data analysis.

Knowing R, H2O Flow and WEKA will give you a powerful, flexible and scalable set of tools to manipulate and analyse big data.

Who will you learn with?

Kerrie Mengersen

I’m a Professor at QUT and a Deputy Director of ACEMS. My interests are in statistical modelling and analysis, computational and simulation sciences and big data analytics.

Who developed the course?

QUT is a leading Australian university ranked in the top 2% of universities worldwide by the 2015-16 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Located in Brisbane, it attracts 47,000 students.

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What’s the difference between a free course and an upgraded course?

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Get extra benefits, upgrade this course. For $69 you'll get:

Unlimited access

Upgrading will mean you get unlimited access to the course.

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  • Take the course at your own pace
  • Refer to the material at any point in future

If you’re taking a course for free you have access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join. If you upgrade the course you have access for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn.

Certificate of Achievement

Upgrading means you’ll receive a Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course.

Image certificate mobile

  • Prove your success when applying for jobs or courses
  • Celebrate your hard work
  • Display on your LinkedIn or CV

To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to mark 90% of the steps on the course as complete.