Mentor Community Spotlight: Omar K. Aly

Don’t ever keep any piece of knowledge you have away from the learners even if you don’t think it’s important – it might be crucial to some of the learners.

This week our spotlight is on Omar K. Aly. Omar is a Mentor for Getting and Cleaning Data.

Share something about yourself 

I’m from Egypt, but currently I live in Koblenz, Germany for my Masters. I’m a graduate from Higher Institute of Computer Science & Information Technology in El Shorouk City in Egypt. I’ve worked as an Augmented Reality and Game Developer for 2 years and as a C++ developer for 6 months, and after that I started working as a web developer.  When I encountered Coursera’s Data Science courses offered by Johns Hopkins University it really changed my thoughts about the world and drove me to pursue my current Masters in Web Science at the University of Koblenz.

What was your first Coursera course, how did you find out about it and why did you decide to take it?

My First course on Coursera was Machine Learning by Prof. Andrew Ng., and a friend recommended it to me. I decided to take it because I really love that branch of science and I just graduated from college at that time. Also I wanted to get a job in the Machine Learning field so I wanted to deepen my understanding in Machine Learning.

What’s your favorite Coursera course and why?

It is Getting and Cleaning Data by Johns Hopkins because I love the idea of big data analysis. It feels like you could see the world from a totally different perspective than most people. Also it’s about how you could analyze social media effect in constructing global opinion, and how people behave towards some specific issues, topics or news. Plus, it helps in improving medical data analysis which directly impacts how to find new cures to uncured diseases, and many other life essential fields.

What impact have Coursera courses had on your life?

My first course with Coursera was back at the end of 2011, which really changed my way of looking at how science is taught worldwide, and added a lot of valuable information about the field to me. Then 3 years later, I asked my self what I really need in order to enhance my learning process. That’s when I found the great course titled “Learning How To Learn“, which was like a turning point in both my learning and career paths. It made me know a lot about how to study, how to get the most out of any course I take, how to organize my self task at work and memorize the important tips and tricks about my job overall.

The year after that, I took 3 Data Science courses by John Hopkins university, which changed my career path by making me start searching for Masters program in that new and totally interesting field.

Which course(s) do you Mentor? What do you like most about the course(s)?

I’m currently mentoring Getting and Cleaning Data, as I said before I really love the idea of Big Data analysis. It deals with how you could analyze social media effect in constructing the global opinion about something, and how people behave towards some specific issues, topics or recent and old news. Plus, it helps in improving medical data analysis, which has direct impact on ways of finding new cures to uncured diseases, and many other life essential fields.

What would be your number one tip to give to a new Mentor just starting out?

Remember when you were a learner and needed some help to make a progress for whatever purpose you took the course for. Everyone here is just like you, so be grateful to the opportunity you’ve got to help them and don’t ever keep any piece of knowledge you have away from the learners even if you don’t think it’s important – it might be crucial to some of the learners. Wish you happy and fruitful mentoring!