Summer of Data Science 2017

I first learned of #SoDS17 through Mara Averick and was further enlighted by Data Science Renee’s tweet

and accompanying blog post. As described, the basic premis is simple: set a goal to learn something new in the broad data science domain and make an effort to share the journey with others. As far as specific rules, Renee provides the following 3:

  1. Pick a thing or a short list of things related to data science that you want to learn more about this summer.
  2. Make a plan to learn it (like an online course, a practice project, etc.).
  3. Share that plan on social media, then post updates as you make progress, with the hashtag #SoDS17.

The main idea of #SoDS17 is simple and the rules are straightforward. In my opinion, that’s what makes this idea so fantastic - it allows me to pick a few things I really want to focus on. Then I commit to accountability by sharing my goals publicly. This seems like a much better approach than my Trello board filled with an overwhelming number of loosely defined data science goals for myself. So, I’m going to give #SoDS17 a shot.

My goals

  1. Establish an online voice
    • Create a blog on and regularly update it (regularly updating entails at least once a month)
    • Since this post is part of said blog, the first part of this goal has successfully been completed
  2. Get better at the tidyverse
    • While this seems like a rather broad goal (and it kind of is) I’ve done my best to narrow it down to a few actionable and reportable items:
    • Read R for Data Science and blog about what I’ve learned with each chapter
    • Watch related tidyverse sessions from rstudio::conf
  3. Build my own deep learning model in R using Keras
    • I’ve been intrigued by deep learning for a while now. Every time I hear Ben Taylor speak it get’s me all excited and motivated to learn all over again. However, my prior justification for not diving in has been “But… Python…”. With the relase of Keras for R I can no longer lean on that crutch so it’s time to take the dive.
    • To help me wrap my head around the concepts and theory behind deep learning, I’m going to read the Deep Learning Book and blog about it
    • Once I feel ready to dive in, I’ll create my own network (Using R + Keras) and publish a blog post about it

So, there they are - my 3 #SoDS17 goals. Now that they’ve been released into the wild, it’s time to be serious about them. Feel free to follow up on my progress through twitter or here on my blog. I’m looking forward to what I can accomplish this summer and sharing the journey with any who are interested.