Monday, 31 March 2014

Class 5 is now available

The lessons for Class 5, the last in our course, are now available on the course website:

Class 5 broadens out to consider some more general issues. It's a short week, with just four topics: 
  • 5.1: The data mining process
  • 5.2: Pitfalls and pratfalls
  • 5.3: Data mining and ethics
  • 5.4: Summary
The post-course assessment opens on 2nd April. Everything will remain open until 13th April, when the course will be closed.
We will also ask you to complete a survey for your opinions of the MOOC. 
We will probably run the course again, perhaps in late winter-- I mean NZ winter! -- maybe in September 2014. And don't forget the follow-up MOOC  ("More Data Mining with Weka") that covers topics we couldn't fit into this course. More news on that very soon.

Please keep up the help on the course forum -- we greatly value your assistance.

cheers, and enjoy the remainder of the course!


Monday, 24 March 2014

Class 4 is now available

The six lessons for Class 4 are now available on the course website:

This class introduces some more advanced methods and techniques. The topics are:
  • 4.1: Classification boundaries
  • 4.2: Linear regression
  • 4.3: Classification by regression
  • 4.4: Logistic regression
  • 4.5: Support vector machines
  • 4.6: Ensemble learning
The last three are high-performance contemporary algorithms. I aim to give you a conceptual understanding of what they do and how they work, but not the gory details. You have to learn to live and work in a world where you don't understand everything. You will see some mathematics in Lessons 4.2, 4.3 and 4.5. But don't worry: I'll explain it, and anyway you don't have to fully understand the math. 

Next week is the last. And it's short: Class 5 has only 4 lessons, not the usual 6. And it's more relaxed: no math at all.
It's great to see so many people helping each other on the course forum. Please keep it up -- we greatly value your assistance.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Class 3 is now available

The six lessons for Class 3 are now available on the course website:

After this week there are 2 weeks to go (classes 4 and 5).

It's good to see so many people having fun with the course!

The mid-course assessment is also now available. Do it when you have finished Class 2 (although it will remain open for the rest of the course). The final assessment will appear during week 5.

My goal is to enable you to learn as much as possible from this course, and I recognize that doing the assessments may not be a priority for you. However, our ability to mount follow-up MOOCs will depend on the success of this one as perceived by my University -- and the number of people who complete it successfully will be a key metric. Thus I urge you to do the assessments for my sake, if not your own :-)

cheers, and keep going! Weeks 3 and 4 are the central part of this course.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Class 2 is now available

The six lessons for Class 2 are now available on the course website:

Following that, there are 3 weeks to go (classes 3, 4 and 5).

It's good to see so many people having fun with the course! 
The activities are a crucial part of the course: they're where most people will do their actual learning! However, they do not form part of the assessment, so don't be scared to get wrong answers.

"Data Mining with Weka" has been designed so that participants at many different levels can learn as much as possible – and complete the course successfully. You don't have to do the reading. All you must do to succeed
are the mid-course and final assessments -- which you can try as often as you like. The mid-course assessment will become available this Friday (March 14) and remain open for the rest of the course. The final assessment will appear during week 5.

We plan to put out a short (optional) update video soon.

cheers, and keep going!

Monday, 3 March 2014

Welcome to Data Mining with Weka

Welcome to the course "Data Mining with Weka". The six lessons for Class 1 are now available on the course website

 We will release classes 2, 3, 4, and 5 at approximately the same time (Monday noon NZ time) in the upcoming weeks, and send reminder announcements.
The course includes the following resources:
  •  the Weka software; Lesson 1.2 gives downloading instructions
  •  videos, one per lesson, on YouTube
  •  the videos include captions (English and Chinese), which can be turned on in YouTube
  •  we recommend viewing in HD format, again a YouTube control
  •  slides used in the videos (PDF format)
  •  text files containing transcripts of the videos
  •  activities that follow each lesson
  •  access to selected excerpts from Data Mining (3rd Edition) - plus you can buy a discounted copy from the publisher
  •  mid-course assessment (opens 14 March, at the end of Week 2) 
  •  final assessment (opens 2 April, during Week 5)
  •  announcement forumblogtwitter feed (available from the course website)
  •  discussion forum: Teaching Assistants will be available to help you. Primarily this will be in English but some of the Assistants have said they can also help in Spanish, Portuguese and Thai.

for Chinese participants:
  •  videos on Youku
    • one version with captions in Chinese (another with English captions is available on our Youku channel)

Some notes for participants:
  •  work through the videos and activities at your own pace, in your own time
  •  a new class appears every week; old classes will remain available until the course closes
    •  in theory, you could leave all your learning to the last week (we don't recommend this!)
  • please subscribe to the announcement forum if you haven't already done so: this is the best way to stay up-to-date with the course (click on
  • only the mid-course and final assessments count towards the Statement of Completion
  •  feel free to install Weka in advance, but please ensure that you have version 3.6.10
  •  if you already know something about Weka, feel free to skip the first class (or two)
  •  during the videos, it may help to follow with Weka on your own computer ("click along with Ian")
  •  the course should take 2–3 hours/week (3–4 hours if you do the optional reading).
Please help us by filling out the pre-course survey if you have not already done so.
cheers, and good luck