CAS Experience: Data Science and Maths Online Courses

About the Experience:

I completed 4 online courses during my summer vacation. 3 of these courses were related to Data Science and the fourth one was related to Applied Calculus. The reason behind me doing these courses were to explore the fields of my interests so that while applying to colleges, I am clear on what Major to chose and the reasons behind it. Doing these online courses also helped me in my school academics. For example, the learnings from the Applied Calculus course helped me brainstorm ideas for Math IA, and because I did that course, I could come up with ideas that has some real life context. The data science courses allowed me to explore different computational tools and also I learnt to code in Python language.

Learning Outcomes

LO1: One of the main reasons for me to do these courses were to identify my strengths and weaknesses in order to make an informed choice regarding my future. Now, after completing these courses I have enhanced clarity on what I have to specialize in at college. It is very important for us to know our strengths and weaknesses before making any decision. Here, I had to make a very important decision of life, and hence knowing where I shine and where I need to improve was very important for me. One specific weakness I found was that I am weak at coding, so I need to work on my coding skills and this was something I was only able to realise it once doing the course.

LO2: As I mentioned above as well, that coding was something that was very challenging for me and my weak point, thus, while doing these courses on data science, I had to extensively focus on coding. I had taken digital design in MYP but still, the things we learnt were very basic and it did help me in the beginning but afterwards I had to rely on what was being taught and how well I am able to grasp it. I overcame this challenge by using the advantages of online course. I watched the videos multiple times until I completely understood the concepts. I also practiced on my own. Once I was successful in clearing the final stage of the courses, I used to feel very satisfied and proud of myself as I overcame a challenge. Learning coding will be very very useful for me in the future. I wish to pursue data science at college and that requires a substantial knowledge into coding and more specifically Python language, hence learning this language will surely make me have an upper edge at college. In general as well, learning a new skill is always important, as a student it expands your area of knowledge and as an adult it increases your market value resulting into good job placements, or if you have a business, then your company could benefit from the new skills you learn.

LO3: To undertake this CAS experience, I had to create a planner so that I could balance my activities and spend the entire vacation in a fun and productive way. I segregated hours of the day to different activities so that I am able to cater to everything, and I used to religiously follow the schedule. Even in day to day life I am a fairly organized person. However, during the vacation, I made use of google calendar a lot in order to manage my time and complete all the tasks. And the use of google calendar is still helping me stay organized and manage my DP submissions. I personally believe that having an action plan is very important because sometimes I can be a bit easily distracted and thus leading me not to complete my tasks, hence, staying organized helps in these cases.

LO4: Showing commitment to any activity is generally very difficult, and with vacations going on, giving time to an ‘academic’ activity is even difficult. Hence, initially it was very tough for me to commit to these courses, but as soon as I started enjoying them, they no longer became a burden for me. Speaking of me as a person, I would term myself as a committed person but only to those things that I find interesting, the things that are of no interest to me, I usually give in on them. But here I went out of my comfort zone to show commitment. Initially, the courses were seeming to be not very interesting, especially the ‘tools for data science’ but I did not gave in to it and continued with the course. Eventually, I developed interest and then showing commitment was not a ‘task’ for me.

Final takeaways: The learner profiles I developed during this experience were, Balanced, Knowledgeable and Thinker. Knowledgeable because I gained new knowledge. Balanced because I learnt to manage my time and balance my schedule throughout the vacation. And thinker because I developed some new and creative ways of thinking. This CAS experience also helped me with Math IA by helping me brainstorm some interesting ideas. After completing the courses, I felt a sense of accomplishment and a feeling that I have learnt something interesting and useful. Initially, I approached these courses less seriously and attempted the tasks just for the sake of doing it, and if I could go back in time, I would have certainly changed that attitude. Me doing these courses will surely benefit the society though not immediately and directly, but after a few years. When I will graduate from college and finish my further studies, I will use my knowledge to benefit the society by contributing to the economic growth.


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