What’s new in Data 8 for Spring 2017? Perhaps the biggest change is that we have expanded the capacity of the course to 672 students. As of the first lecture, more than 700 students were enrolled or waitlisted for the course, compared to 495 in Spring 2016. The primary course staff has grown to 50 (U)GSIs and tutors, complemented by 55+ learning assistants. We plan to offer 24 lab sections, 11 connector courses, and 45 small-group tutoring sessions each week. The team of students who are providing this support are truly doing amazing work.
We plan to keep the topic schedule and assignments from the Fall 2016 offering, but streamline some parts in order to add an extra lecture on programming during week 2 and an extra lecture on optimization in week 13. Professor Ani Adhikari is continuing to help teach the course with me, despite teaching two other courses including a brand new Probability for Data Science course that looks very exciting to me.
One major improvement to the course is a new deployment of JupyterHub on Kubernetes that has provided by far the most stable first week of labs we’ve ever had, despite the increase in course scale. We’ve also simplified assignment submission; now students can submit their work directly to OK from within their notebooks.
If you’re not enrolled in the course but interested in the assignments, we now provide access to datahub.berkeley.edu from any @berkeley.edu account. You’re welcome to click on any of the assignment links on the Data 8 course calendar to try the assignments interactively. If you don’t have an @berkeley.edu account, you can download the course materials from Github.