Being in the education sector herself for 23 years, Harmeet Kaur believes and nurtures the idea of being the forever student in the classroom of life. And it is this motivation, zeal and her interest for data science and artificial intelligence that pushed her to enroll for the Global Certificate in Data Science (GCD) program at INSAID.
In this interview, let’s see what is her take on the future of data science and how her learning experience has been at INSAID.
Question 1: Which program & batch are you part of at INSAID & tell us more about your current work profile?
Harmeet: I am part of the Global Certificate in Data Science (GCD) program, May 2020 batch. I am currently working as a Senior Computer Teacher at Heritage Xperiential Learning School, Gurugram.
I have over 23 years of experience in education, teaching Computer Science to grades XI and XII, and a background of mentoring, IT curriculum development for STEM integration, and staff training and development.
I have led various in-house projects such as the Learning Management System to propagate collaborative, personalized eLearning. I am well adept in Google Apps for Education and use it as a primary platform for my classroom teaching.
I integrate multiple teaching styles to build digital literacy skills in millennial learners while vigorously promoting technology’s safe and ethical use. I love to write and have authored three books for a leading publisher, entitled Artificial Intelligence for class 8-9-10 as per CBSE curriculum.
Question 2: Walk us through your career journey & what got you interested in Data Science & Machine Learning?
Harmeet: I have worked as a Tech educator throughout my life. I am a Teacher, Mentor, Author, and Curriculum developer. I have always been intrigued by the latest technologies and how they influence our lives.
I have still trodden the unknown and got out of my safety net to learn something new. I have always tried to keep myself abreast of what is happening in the Tech World. I feel that you can learn at every age and step of your life. I like to be uncomfortable in my comfort zone and challenge myself.
I stepped into the world of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence when I started reading and preparing sessions on AI last year. The CBSE academic board introduced Artificial Intelligence as a skill subject. The more I read about it, the more I wanted to understand how a computer learns and acts accordingly.
I am not a perfectionist and am still learning with each passing day. I like to be ready with knowledge strands to have challenging conversations around AI and Data Science within my High school classrooms.
Question 3: What tools and packages in Data Science & Machine Learning have you mastered in your Data Science & AI program at INSAID so far?
Harmeet: In my Data Science and Artificial Intelligence program, I have practiced Python quite extensively to learn how it is used to design Machine Learning Models. I have had the most fun while trying to understand data while doing EDA on various problem sets.
Before getting into any model design, the first and foremost step is to understand your data, how data attributes are related to each other, and the nature of this correlation. The next step’s blueprint becomes more comfortable if we can form feature selection successfully and interpret results to post checking evaluation parameters as to which algorithm works best for our model.
Question 4: What are some initial challenges when you got started on your Data Science journey, and how did you overcome it?
Harmeet: I have always been apprehensive of Statistics and Mathematics. I have tried various techniques to come over my fear of the same and still trying to date. I have tried my best to practice Descriptive and Inferential statistics with real data and how the change in data spells the change in trends. I have been able to somewhat overcome it by understanding data relationships better using data visualization techniques. Understanding data elements helped me learn statistics much better.
Question 5: Who is your favorite faculty at INSAID, and what did you learn from him the Most?
Harmeet: I was introduced to the world of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence by Lavi Nigam sir. He is my favorite faculty at INSAID so far. He introduced the conversations in such a simple manner that a humongous task seemed minuscule.
He has always answered all questions, making it easy for me to put forward a query making sure all queries are answered. I have massive respect for Suchit sir. He has always kept us in line by making sure that we revisit and revise our concepts before the next class.
Question 6: What is the goal of Data Science?
Harmeet: The goal of data science is to conceptualize the means for extracting business-focused insights from data. The most important key is to develop an in-depth understanding of the core technologies in data science and business analytics, such as data mining, machine learning, visualization, and data modeling. The goal of a Data Scientist is to derive conclusions from the data. Through these conclusions, he/she can assist companies in making smarter business goals.
Question 7: In your view, how has Data Science evolved in the last few years?
Harmeet: Our data uses have evolved rapidly over the years as they have seeped into every single facet of modern existence. The scale and volume at which data is generated every day on this planet have resulted in Big Data’s evolution.
Data Science started with Data statistics and has evolved to include concepts and practices such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and the Internet of Things. Software is typically responsible for collecting, processing, and modeling the data only; it is the science behind it that has evolved multi-fold.
Question 8: What are the current trends in Data Science that you are most excited about?
Harmeet: I am most excited to learn about Cloud-Based Big Data Science. Cloud computing is a strong trend that’s taking the field of data science by storm. Cloud computing offers the ability for any data scientist from anywhere to access virtually limitless processing power and storage capacity.
Question 9: Which are some of the blogs that you follow?
Harmeet: To keep myself updated in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, I follow Medium, Towards Data Science, AnalyticsVidhya, Linkedin posts, Facebook communities, Google News, Data-Flair, KDnuggets, and Kaggle quite frequently.
Question 10: What is your advice to anyone wanting to start a career in Data Science?
Harmeet: It is never too late to become a data scientist. Anyone who wants to become a data scientist should have Statistical know-how, technical understanding and coding prowess in Python, R, JSON, etc., communication skills, curiosity, creativity and grit.
This was a conversation with one of our GCD students – Harmeet Kaur.
For more such interesting student interviews, check out INSAID Spotlight.