Section 1 Course Description

Course Name: BIG DATA: Big Deal or Big Problem?
Section 01
Instructor: Ryan Stufflebeam

Modern life produces and uses vast quantities of data.  The amount of data we now create in a single day surpasses the sum total of information generated from the dawn of humankind through the year 2003.  In fact, 90% of the world’s data has been created in the past 2 years. Technological advances make it possible to parse this overwhelming deluge of information for meaningful connections heretofore hidden from view.

Big data is used to recommend possible Facebook friends, highlight items on Amazon, and autofill your Google search.  As the use of big data proliferates in modern society, difficult questions arise.  Does big data have a place in patient care?  Identifying terrorist cells?  Determining potential future criminal behavior?  Match-making?  Performing split-second deals on Wall Street?

To be effective, big data requires data and lots of it.  The collection of information presents another set of problems.  How do we distinguish between private and public data? Who owns the data we create?  Is this the end of privacy?  Are hackers reckless vigilantes or champions of society?  This class will explore all of these topics and more.