Announcing the Signal Data Science Intensive Training Program

byJonahSinick3y19th Dec 20159 comments


Note: We now have a website with up to date information here:

(This post is coauthored with Robert Cordwell.)

We’re writing to announce the inaugural run of Signal Data Science’s intensive training program.

The program will train students in the core skills needed to work as a professional data scientist:

  • Scraping and cleaning data
  • Exploring and analyzing data using statistics
  • Presenting findings
  • Interviewing

By the end of the course, you’ll will be able to start with raw data and produce analyses like the one in Bayesian Adjustment of Yelp Ratings. More to the point, you’ll understand why Jonah structured the analysis the way he did and be able to do the same yourself.

You’ll also be able to produce cool visualizations like this automatic grouping of Slate Star Codex posts by topic, as shown below.

Why data science?

Making inferences from data is fundamental to understanding the world, and there’s a growing unmet need in industry for people with the relevant skills. With good instruction and peer group, smart, motivated people can quickly develop enough proficiency to get jobs in the tech sector (starting compensation ~$115k in the San Francisco Bay Area).

Why us?

The Program

We offer inquiry-based learning (no boring lecturers or unmotivating problem sets!) and an unusually intellectually curious peer group. Far from what’s typical of college classes, our model has more in common with the Math Olympiad Summer Program, where daily lectures are interspersed with on-the-spot problems and followed by long-form problems designed to build on the lesson.

Robert Cordwell is an IMO gold medalist and educational startup veteran who’s working a Facebook data science job despite his limited, self-taught experience. He’s going to be teaching math problem solving, overall presentation skills, and how to break interviews.

Jonah Sinick is a data scientist with 13 years of experience making advanced math accessible to beginners, a PhD in math from University of Illinois, and an extensive body of published work. He’ll be teaching a comprehensive technical curriculum.

Who is this for?

If you:

  • Are interested in data science
  • Passionate about learning new things
  • Would benefit from a social environment with others working toward the same goal
  • Have the programming skills to solve simple algorithms problems
  • Plan on applying for data science jobs after the program

our program will be a good fit for you.

Where / When

The first cohort will run in Berkeley for 6 weeks, from Feburary 1st – March 18th. This will be a compressed version of the standard course that we’ll be offering in the future, and is targeted at students who have a high degree of comfort with math.

In the future we’ll be offering longer courses that cover the mathematical / statistical material at a gentler pace.


For students in our first 6 week cohort, we offer two options:

  • Payment of $8,000 at the start of the program.
  • A “pay later” model where students pay 8% of their first year’s salary (pretax, spaced over 6 months), contingent on getting a data science job.

This is roughly 50% of the standard price for coding /data science bootcamps.

Next steps

If you’re interested in exploring participating in our first cohort, or keeping posted, please be in touch with us at