When big data meets MOOCs

Fresh off its launch of an online MBA program, the University of Illinois is going after big data. Illinois is one of the nation’s top schools for computer science, and demand for data scientists is white-hot. U of I also has been a big player in online education, partnering with Coursera to offer a wide range of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, that allow students anywhere to take classes on demand. “Data science is changing everything: finance, health, the environment, government,” says Rob Rutenbar, head of U of I’s computer science department. “We made the call to focus on this extremely pressing need and use Coursera’s platform to reach the largest number of people.It’s a workforce issue. There aren’t enough opportunities to get the needed skills in data science.”…

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