Data and AI Learning Group

  • 1.  Meet the incredible folks who develop AI Courses - Dr. Lauren Thomas

    Posted Tue November 19, 2019 08:31 AM
    I have had the opportunity recently to work with some amazing people at IBM. People who put all their passion into developing the courses that you and I and organizations everywhere take in order to increase their knowledge in AI. 
    These folks are experts in the field;  they have PhD and masters degrees in technology AND they have degrees in education. 
    If you have ever developed a 1 hour session, you know how much work is put into a 4 hour, day long, or 40 hour course. But what most of us don't know, is how much work is put into outlining a course, creating all the materials, finding the data sets, setting up the infrastructure and even developing the tests.
    So I thought I would start a series to introduce these fantastic folks.
    It is a great opportunity to engage in conversations about what they are developing and what your needs are.

    Today I would like to introduce Dr. Lauren Thomas - AI Skills Curriculum Lead at IBM

    Lauren has a degree in Optical Engineering and a PhD in Engineering Education.
    Her other professional interests include nonprofit organizations, STEM education policy and the role of corporations in public education. 
    Tell us a little about your job at IBM? 
    I  develop curriculum for AI Business education. Recently I developed a course to help AI make sense to business leaders and make business make sense to AI leaders and practitioners. My focus helping businesses develop organizational capabilities to implement successful AI projects.

    What makes you get up in the morning? 
    I believe the purpose of my life is to change STEM education, so anyone can choose to be an engineer and everyone can develop the required technical literacy to work in this society... that is what I was born to do.

    What do you bring to the community? 
    I like technology but I care about people.  I call myself a "technical sociologist". I help build bridges between technology and people for social good. My favorite conversation is around ethics. 

    How can the community help you? 
    Let me know what are the most difficult or scary questions you have about technology, specially AI technology and it's implementation. I want to learn what is on your mind, what gets you excited when you think about AI in your organization, what are you most afraid of.

    Fun fact? 
    I am a crafter. I find ways to be creative every day.. I make a t-shirt one day, a Christmas ornament the next, I add fun elements to my calendar.. you will always find me making something.

    Kinga Parrott
    Chief Tech Ed Evangelist

  • 2.  RE: Meet the incredible folks who develop AI Courses - Dr. Lauren Thomas

    Community Leadership
    Posted Thu November 21, 2019 12:46 PM
    Hi @Kinga Szekessy Parrott, thanks so much for posting this, and nice to meet you Dr. @Lauren Thomas!

    For members of the community that are just starting their learning journey, how long is expected to complete a typical course or certification? Is there an order of courses or certifications that would make sense​​ in building their portfolio? Are there any prerequisites that would help a learner's transition to AI? 

    Thanks again - we look forward to sharing some of the courses here in the community and hearing from our community members on their experiences!

    Christina Howell

  • 3.  RE: Meet the incredible folks who develop AI Courses - Dr. Lauren Thomas

    Posted Fri November 22, 2019 03:48 PM
    Hi @Christina Howell Great question! It depends on what learning experience folks are looking for. Our new certification for practicing data scientists takes approximately 40 hours. You can learn more about it here or from Dr. @RAY LOPEZ who is the lead developer on that project. We have some courses that are just 1 or 2 days and are for technical and non-technical audiences as well. In the early new year, we hope to have some engaging pointers to direct you to our team's content, but we have a plethora of learning material on Skills Gateway; here is a link to the full AI Learning Catalog and you can visit this site to select a pre-curated learning journey. As always, leverage the community to help identify what resources will help you meet your learning goal!

    Lauren Thomas

  • 4.  RE: Meet the incredible folks who develop AI Courses - Dr. Lauren Thomas

    Posted Mon November 25, 2019 12:53 AM
    Wanted the same information here I am new to this topic.

    [Ryan] [SMith] [CEO]
    [QB Techs]
    [Laguna Beach] [California]

  • 5.  RE: Meet the incredible folks who develop AI Courses - Dr. Lauren Thomas

    Posted Sat November 23, 2019 12:40 PM
    Hi Kinga @Kinga Szekessy Parrott , That was really a great thought. Thanks for starting this series and introducing @Lauren Thomas - a PhD, crafter, people-centric. It''s definitely inspiring to know about passionate people with such a diverse portfolio​ of qualifications, skills and interests. 

    @Christina Howell, One thing I want to mention here, is that there are too many links to follow and keep track of, I mean, I suggest that you bring all the different learning sources offered across different yet IBM's own links, and the community together and combine those two into 'ONE' beautiful and useful platform. IBM Skills Gateway looks wonderful in terms of both the feel and the content. I'd love to see a 'start page' with all those tabs, buttons and links using which I can seamlessly browse, learn, share, I mean a smooth transitioning experience. It should basically look like ONE place. :-)​​

    Dr. Lauren @Lauren Thomas​ , I'd love to see a course on AI / Data Science specific mathematical prerequisite for aspiring data scientists / AI professionals. Because I think that's a kinda hitch for those who are interested in switching to this fast evolving field. So, if people could just overcome that with the help of an exclusive course on that as the first thing in this journey, they would be able to progress further with a great confidence.

    Vijay Tatineni

  • 6.  RE: Meet the incredible folks who develop AI Courses - Dr. Lauren Thomas

    Community Leadership
    Posted Mon November 25, 2019 12:59 AM
    Hi @Vijay Tatineni thanks for the feedback and nice to see you in IBM Community. I agree, a one-stop-shop would be a nice experience for learners. The great thing is there is one, as you mentioned, at the IBM Skills Gateway page :) The AI Learning group is designed to be a place for learners from everywhere - IBM included, but also Coursera, O'Reilly, University, Pragmatic, etc. - to come together and meet other learners (and learning leaders, such as @Lauren Thomas, join up with their cohorts and have targeted discussions around sessions and projects, ask questions to other community members, and get exposed to all of the different options that are curated from multiple places by the lovely leaders of our AI Learning community group. ​​​

    Check out the Courses tab to explore some of the learning out there now and make sure to get to know other members through discussions :)

    Christina Howell

  • 7.  RE: Meet the incredible folks who develop AI Courses - Dr. Lauren Thomas

    Posted Mon November 25, 2019 01:02 PM
    Hi @Vijay Tatineni, thanks for reading and for the suggestion! As our team is identifying our next projects, this is something we've discussed. The math knowledge gap makes a big difference on ability to successfully implement AI. Hopefully we can offer something like this in the coming year. Be on the lookout!

    Lauren Thomas