Doing Data Science & Ada Lovelace Day

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My book (with Cathy O’Neil), Doing Data Science, is now available on ebook and the print version will be available next week! The book is based on last year’s Introduction to Data Science class.

In honor of Ada Lovelace Day, O’Reilly (our publisher) is offering 50% off books by women, and so because we’re women, our book is 50% off. You can find out more here:

http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920028529.do

Ada Lovelace is credited as being the world’s first programmer, not just first *woman* programmer, but first programmer, period. There’s a really nice piece on Ada Lovelace’s life by Amy Jollymore here:

http://programming.oreilly.com/2013/10/ada-lovelace-an-indirect-and-reciprocal-influence.html

Which reminds me of another piece in the New York Times by Ellen Ullman that came out this summer on being a woman programmer. While data science isn’t exclusively programming, the philosophy described in the article of what it takes to succeed as a programmer also applies to a data scientist (man or woman):

The first requirement for programming is a passion for the work, a deep need to probe the mysterious space between human thoughts and what a machine can understand; between human desires and how machines might satisfy them.

The second requirement is a high tolerance for failure. Programming is the art of algorithm design and the craft of debugging errant code. In the words of the great John Backus, inventor of the Fortran programming language: “You need the willingness to fail all the time. You have to generate many ideas and then you have to work very hard only to discover that they don’t work. And you keep doing that over and over until you find one that does work.”

One comment

  1. Congratulations, Rachel!

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