Part of the UN Sustainable Development Goal 5 visualization initiative and MakeoverMonday project.

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© Pexels — Sam Lion

TL,DR

Objective


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© Pexels

Machine learning is quickly taking a dominant role in many aspects of the healthcare industry, from diagnosis to treatment and even population-level epidemiology. Until very recently, medicine was driven by self-learning and experience. However, as databases have grown in size and AI implementations have become more robust, the benefits that come from applying machine learning in medicine and healthcare are becoming more well known.

Almost every aspect of the healthcare pipeline has been affected by the influx of ML platforms. Three such areas experiencing significant growth are dermatology diagnosis, population-level outbreak prediction, and improvements to racial disparities.


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© Porapak Apichodilok, Pexels

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is growing in use and plays a vital role in many systems from resume-parsing for hiring to automated telephone services. You can also find it in commonly used technology such as chatbots, virtual assistants, and modern spam detection. However, the development and implementation of NLP technology is not as equitable as it may appear.

To put it into perspective, although there are over 7000 languages spoken around the world, the vast majority of NLP processes amplify seven key languages: English, Chinese, Urdu, Farsi, Arabic, French, and Spanish.

Even among these seven languages, the vast majority of…


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Looking for those free coffee rewards. Source Pikist.

I’ll be the first to admit, I am an avid coffee drinker. But, I’m not committed to a single chain. On my phone, I have apps for the Coffee Bean, Starbucks, and Dunkin all downloaded. Most of the time, proximity will dictate which store I visit. However, increasingly as I gain more and more loyalty points with each chain, I am driven to go to a particular store because of a special offer notification I received.

How does Starbucks know when to send me those rewards? How do they choose between a buy one get one free offer, or a…


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According to the CDC, 1 of 4 deaths is caused by heart disease. This is a striking number, but doctors also state that heart disease is largely preventable.

What factors help predict whether someone has heart disease? This information can help doctors diagnose heart disease faster, and also inform patients who are at high risk.

To do this, I started with the Cleveland Heart Disease dataset (available on Kaggle). This set includes 14 data points for almost 300 patients, including common markers like cholesterol level and blood pressure, as well as heart disease diagnosis status.

With the data, I sought…


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Coursera is one of the largest MOOC (massive online open course) providers. The service gives learners all around the world access to courses from schools like Johns Hopkins, Stanford, and IBM in a range of topics including public health, computer science, and professional development.

While you can take single courses, Coursera also offers certification programs. One of the more popular ones is the IBM Data Science Professional Certificate.

These courses can either be audited for free (with no certificate of completion), or learners can pay a fee to verify their progress through the course.

Typically, individual courses cost anywhere from…


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You’ve been dreaming of working as a programmer, but you don’t have the time (or money) to go through a college program or a bootcamp program. You read some books, follow blogs, and work on your own projects to learn the core concepts of programming. Now your goal is to enter the workforce.

It can be daunting to compete with those who have gone through a formal program. However, remember that at the core, companies do not care what letters you have after your name. …


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Scientists are always surrounded by their research and the work of others. As with any specialized field, this is filled with technical jargon and a baseline prerequisite understanding. This is vividly apparent in scientific writing where researchers inform other researchers of the latest breakthroughs in the field in as concise a way as possible.

Many scientists become excellent scientific writers. However, they find it difficult to write in a generalized way so that their findings can be understood by the general public. …


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Galaxy is an open-source platform for computational genomics research. The biggest benefit of using Galaxy is that anyone, even researchers without programming knowledge, can use the tools on their own. Galaxy is also highly transparent and transferrable. There is nothing to download and workflows can be saved and shared with other users.

At first glance, Galaxy can be a bit difficult to approach. There are a lot of tools at a user’s disposal and some preliminary knowledge is required. However, Galaxy is relatively straightforward to learn.

Here’s a guide to some of the first things to know when starting to…


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Coursera, an online learning platform for massive open online courses and IBM have partnered to create the Data Science Professional Certification program. This program consists of 9 courses designed to take someone from the very basics of data science to creating their own unique capstone project. At the end of the program, you will have a completion certificate as well as 9 badges, one for each course in the program. These badges can be added to your portfolio, LinkedIn profile, or taped to your fridge to remind yourself of your accomplishments!

Mehrnaz Siavoshi

Health-oriented data scientist and public health student. @i_mehrnaz on Twitter.

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