Data Science is a comparatively new field and as such it is constantly changing as new techniques, tools, and problems emerge every day. Traditionally education has taken a top down approach where courses are developed on the scale of years and committees approve curricula based on what might be the most theoretically complete approach. This is at odds however with an evolving industry that needs data scientists faster than they can be (traditionally) trained.
If we are to sustainably push the field of Data Science forward, we must collectively figure out how to best scale this type of education. At Zipfian I have seen (and felt) first hand what works (and what doesn't) when tools and theory are combined in a classroom environment. This talk will be a narrative about the lessons learned trying to integrate high level theory with practical application, how leveraging the Python ecosystem (numpy, scipy, pandas, scikit-learn, etc.) has made this possible, and what happens when you treat curriculum like product (and the classroom like a team).