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Under the Curve: A primer on kaggle competitions

January 16, 2015

Barcelona GSE Data Scientists

Why Kaggle? 

Recently, there has been some controversy around kaggle . People point out that it frees you from a lot of the seemingly boring, tedious work you have to do in applied machine learning and is not like working on a real business problem. And while I partly agree with them – in practice, it might not always be worth to put in 40 more hours to get an improvement of 10^-20 in ROC-AUC – I think everybody studying Data Science Should do at least one Kaggle competition. Why? Because of the invaluable practical lessons you’ll hardly find in the classroomNational Data Science Bowl   Kaggle. And because they are actually fun. Without doubt, studying Chernoff Bounds, proving convergence of gradient descent and examining the mulitvariate gaussian distribution have their place in the Data Science curriculum. Kaggle Competitions, however, are for most students probably the first opportunity to get their hands dirty with…

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