IIT Madras invites applications for free online course on Data Science via NPTEL

IIT Madras has organised this free online course while keeping in mind the growing usage of Data Science in every industry. Join via NPTEL.

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IIT Madras has organised this free online course while keeping in mind the growing usage of Data Science in every industry. The course introduces a variety of concepts in the field of Data Science. It introduces R as a programming language; the mathematical foundations required for data science; the first level data science algorithms and a data analytics problem-solving framework. It also introduces a practical capstone case study.


The objective of this IIT Madras Data Science course is to prepare a student to take a variety of focused, advanced courses in various subfields of Programming. The course is further designed to develop a basic understanding of problem-solving, knowledge representation, reasoning and learning methods of Data Science.

Who can enrol in the course?

This is an Undergraduate computer science level course. But anyone can enrol in the course. The only prerequisite is you should practise the 10 hrs of pre-course material that IIT Madras will be provided, that learners need to practise this to be ready to take the course. You also should have the desire to expand the horizon of your knowledge. Moreover, this course is a must-take for people in the Robotics Industry, Neuroscientists, Psychologists, Research scholars in the field of AI.


Timeline of the course

This Elective free online course has a duration of 8 weeks. It will start on 26 July 2021 and end on 17 September 2021. If you want the certificate, you have to give a proctored exam on 26 September 2021. The last date to enrol is 02 August 2021.

Who will teach this Data Science course?


Prof. Ragunathan Rengasamy and Prof. Shankar Narasimhan will lead the free online course on Data Science. Before joining IIT Madras as a professor, Prof. Rengaswamy was a professor of Chemical Engineering and Co-Director of the Process Control and Optimization Consortium at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, USA. He was also a professor and associate professor at Clarkson University, USA and an assistant professor at IIT Bombay. His major research interests are in the areas of fault detection and diagnosis and the development of data science algorithms for manufacturing industries.

Prof. Shankar Narasimhan is currently a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at IIT Madras. His major research interests are in the areas of data mining, process design and optimization, fault detection and diagnosis and fault-tolerant control. He has also co-authored several important papers and a book titled Data Reconciliation and Gross Error Detection: An Intelligent Use of Process Data which has received critical appreciation in India and abroad.

What will the course teach?


This is an 8-week-long course. Here’s the itinerary for the course.

W1:  Course philosophy and introduction to R

W2:  Linear algebra for data science; Algebraic view – vectors, matrices, a product of matrix & vector, rank, null space, solution of an over-determined set of equations and pseudo-inverse); also Geometric view – vectors, distance, projections, eigenvalue decomposition

W3:  Statistics (This further includes descriptive statistics, the notion of probability, distributions, mean, variance, covariance, covariance matrix, understanding univariate and multivariate normal distributions, introduction to hypothesis testing, the confidence interval for estimates)

W4: Optimization

W5: Optimization; Typology of data science problems and a solution framework

W6: Simple linear regression and verifying assumptions used in linear regression; Multivariate linear regression, model assessment, assessing the importance of different variables, subset selection

W7:  Classification using logistic regression

W8:  Classification using kNN and k-means clustering

How to obtain a certificate from IIT Madras for Data Science free online course?


The course is free to enrol and learn. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the optional proctored exam. The fee for this exam is ₹ 1000. Also, the successful completion of the exam does not guarantee a certificate. To get a certificate, you need to get 25% from the assignments and 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100.

Final score = Average assignment score (>10/25) + Exam score (>30/75). Further, if one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will still not get the certificate even if the Final score > 40/100.

This printable certificate will carry the stamp from both NPTEL and IIT Madras. Further, you can enrol in the course here:

iit-madras nptel free-online-course data-science