In the 21st
century our civilization is getting one global data based society. Large
quantities of data are collected everywhere, from traditional fields like
factories, medicine, and science to completely new areas like farming, personal
health, home sensors, kitchen appliances, traffic, cars, and of course internet
with vast collections of numeric and textual data. Yet, data itself means
nothing. We are interested in the patterns and knowledge hidden in it, which
enable us to comprehend trends and decide wisely.

Data mining
is an
interdisciplinary approach to knowledge discovery. It helps us handle enormous
quantities of data and exploit data diversity. It encompasses many ideas and
methods from machine learning, statistics, artificial intelligence, and
databases. Many solutions from this field are already part of everyday life. For
example, contents of shop shelves is optimized according to preferences of
customers which articles to buy together. Internet search engines display hits different
for each individual according to the pages they visit and clicks in their
social network activities. Traffic lights in cities are tuned to traffic density
patterns. Medical treatment guidelines are formed according to the history of
successful recoveries. Insurance companies detect fraudulent claims. Various
“big brothers” detect terrorist groups, etc.

The course contents offers a review of up to date
applicative knowledge. The lectures introduce main approaches without
theoretical background. Some important types of data reviewed, like tables,
text, networks, and surveys. For many fields comprehensibility of prediction
models is very important and want to understand the causes for different
phenomena.  Therefore course tackles visualization
of data, trends, patterns, and predictive models. In the lab work the gained
knowledge will be put into practice by using open-source data mining and
visualization tools.

As a saying
goes: we are drowning in data and starving for knowledge. This course can throw
you a life belt and help you swim in the sea of data. It will also teach you
how to harvest some knowledge, so that you don’t starve any more.