Python Master Degree

Last year I decided that 2019 would finally be my Python year so I developed an entire self-study curriculum to take me from zero to Kaggle competitions.

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It started in 2018 when my friend Andrew and I participated in an environmental hackathon and won with our open source Machine Learning based fish identification app called fishsnap. This started a little tour of us presenting how we won and what we built.

nyc_winner-fishsnap

Before the win though, and for a long while before, I’ve wanted to learn Machine Learning / Deep Learning and Artificial Intelligence in general. With this hackathon I saw the power first hand that this ML model provided – it allowed just two of us to easily put together in a day an app that identified thousands of fish just using the camera on an iPhone and beat much larger teams. You can check out the app in the AppStore.

I tried to jump into Tensorflow but found that without knowing Python – AI is pretty hard.

On Thanksgiving of last year I looked around at several online learning resources and finally decided to take a serious look into Treehouse and review their Python Techdegree. I signed up for the 7-day trial and liked what I saw.

I thought I first needed to learn Python as the foundational language of modern AI. But I also thought – the Treehouse techdegree was only the start and not the ultimate goal. I then started to set-up my my own curriculum – modeled after a University curriculum – that would take the Treehouse techdegree as the starting Bachelor level degree – and build on that. I called my resulting self study plan the Python Master Degree.

techdegree curriculum

I divided the program into three tiers – Bachelor, Master, and Doctoral levels.

The Treehouse Bachelor’s is composed of four “years” like in college with the Freshman year (Beginning Python), the Sophomore year (Intermediate Python), the Junior year (Flask), and the Senior year (Django). The techdegree has courses with lectures and quizes and 12 portfolio projects. This bad boy gets you from zero on Python to building websites. Not bad – but I wanted more. I am, at the time of writing this on the first week of January 2019, done with my Freshman year (which took a month in December of 2018) and into my Sophomore studies.

For the Master level I wanted to cover classic Algorithms and Data Structures in Python in the first “year” Masters – which would be good for anyone looking for a job to practice for the interview white boarding. But I also wanted to have a second “year” covering Data Science. I found Treehouse had a great Data Science track and tacked that onto my curriculum.

With that out of the way this finally left the door open to the goal all along of Artificial Intelligence. I call this my Doctoral level in the self-study which should touch Deep Learning, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and culminate with enough preparation to enter into a Kaggle competition as a doctoral thesis.

This curriculum is open sourced at git if people want to follow along or base their own self-study on it.

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I also am podcasting my weekly progress at the Python Master Degree Podcast as the directors commentary to the self-study. By doing this I hope this will both push and motivate me to continue my self study as well as helping others by sharing my own experience.

You can listen and subscribe to the podcast at any of these podcast platforms:

Hope to catch you there!

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