My Experience with Georgia Tech OMSA Program Part-4

This post is part of the series that I am writing to reflect on my experiences with the OMSA program.

Here are the links to Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

After taking another year, here’s my final update to my OMSA series.

Also, fitting that I am finally updating this as I am about to attend my graduation ceremony.


ISYE 6414 Review

The official title for ISYE 6414 is Statistical Modeling and Regression Analysis. I took the course in my summer term as an elective for statistics. There are 4 assignments that are wroth 15% of the grade, two midterms that are worth 40% and the final with 45% of the grade. As you can see from the grades breakdown, the midterms and the final are so important, that you should just focus on acing them.

There is also a peer-assessment for your homeworks.

There have been some complaints about the course when I was taking it. It is mostly to do with the difficulty in understanding the lecture videos, so what some people do is to create a massive Google Doc (link here) that contains all transcripts and screenshots and study from there instead. I personally do not have a problem following the videos, but I found the lectures quite interesting because they teach about how to build models using R, evaluate them and interpret the results. Oh yes, this course uses R, but there are multiple instructions to follow before each homework, so you’ll be fine.

The exams are divided into two parts: a closed-book part consisting of True/False and Multiple Choice questions and an open-book part including an R data analysis. For open-book part, you just need to compile all your homeworks, exercises into one massive PDF in R with all notes (you can add notes in R as well), and it will make your life a lot easier.

I would give a rating of

  • 5/5 for the materials. I like the materials from this course a lot, given that I can refer them anytime to understand how to build, evaluate and interpret the models using R.
  • 3/5 for the delivery
  • 4/5 for the effort. I spent some time studying the course materials for MCQ portion of the exams and prepared some materials to tackle the open-ended data analysis part.


ISYE 7406 Review

The title for this course is Data Mining and Statistical Learning. This is a similar course to ISYE 6414, except this is more focussed into statistics. Again, there have been some complaints about the quality of lecture videos, and I also find it difficult to follow some times. Hence, there is another useful massive Google Doc (link here) with all transcripts to the videos. I found I have to spend quite a considerate amount of time on this course, simply because there are way too many quizzes (5 quizzes), homeworks (5 homeworks), 1 group project and 1 take-home final.

For the group project, you can pick and propose any dataset that you like and work with a group. You have to perform data cleaning, exploratory analysis and build models that are appropriate with the dataset that you have chosen.

Also for the final, you have to work on something similar to the homeworks as I remember. I also remembered this is the course where I have to use my HP Prime Calculator to make things easier in quizzes.

I would give a rating of

  • 3/5 for the materials. The materials are very similar to ISLR textbook.
  • 3/5 for the delivery
  • 5/5 for the effort. You really have to dedicate some time for this course, otherwise there is a risk that you fail to follow up with multiple deadlines happening every week.


CSE 6242 Review

The official title for this course is Data and Visual Analytics. I have to warn you here, to lower your expectations for this course, as it is deemed as the most tiresome and time-consuming course in OMSA (apart from some C-track modules). Also, I would lower your expectations about trying to learn data visualization as this course will simply not teach you that. What it is all about is to cram all materials about D3.JS and building ML models from a scratch in the second half of the course. No, seriously, I am not joking about the second part either.

There’s already a github repo with the massive warning sign here so take this course at your own risk! But you will have to do it anyway as it is one of the required courses to do before being able to Practicum.

The good thing is it doesn’t have an exam. It has 4 homeworks and 1 group project. Homeworks are worth about 50% of the grade and the project another 50%.

Here’s how you can survive this course.

  • Find your group early. Find someone who is in similar timezone as you and good at different things. For example, in my group, we have people who are very good at writing reports, and people who are good at visualization and people who are good at data engineering. You are going to need all these people with different skillsets to build a good project.
  • Learn D3.JS early. As in, about a semester early. The first two homeworks and a half are all about D3.JS so if you learned this early, you can survive. Even though the auto-grader is very painful and you have to attempt multiple times for your code to pass it.
  • Even if you bombed homeworks because of D3.JS unfamiliarity, don’t worry too much and focus on trying to build a good group project and it can save you.

The end output of this class is that you are able to showcase a nice visualization project. Mine did a project on building models to predict traffic patterns at Singapore – Malaysia border, using the images from traffic cameras. So yes, this course does give something very valuable to showcase to your potential employers but it just takes so much effort to reach there.

I would give a rating of

  • 2/5 for the materials. Honestly, materials are not that useful, and you can skip the lecture videos, as they don’t necessarily help with your homeworks or projects. Everything is learn from a scratch.
  • 2/5 for the delivery. Again, not very useful from the prof here in terms of materials and delivery.
  • 10/5 for the effort. This is literally the most time-consuming course I have ever done in my OMSA journey. I literally spent about 130 hours on this course.


MGT 6748 Review

This is the practicum. You can only take it once you have completed the required courses. There are two types of projects you can choose, employer-sponsored project or school-sponsored project. I chose the former one as I already have a project in mind. It doesn’t have any exams or quizzes. You just need to submit progress report, final report and presentation by the end of the course.

It can be a relaxing course or tiring course depending on the type of project you choose. Hence, I will not be able to provide a rating here as my experience will be totally different from yours.


MGT 8823 Review

The official title for this course is Data for Continuous Improvement. This is the last course in my OMSA journey and I can say I really enjoyed taking the course.

Professor Bob Myers is a really good lecturer and I learned a lot from this course, especially when it comes to Lean Six Sigma. Yes, this course is all about using Lean Six Sigma method to continuously improve processes and optimize.

There are 24 individual assignments and 1 final project. Although it sounds a lot, the assignments are fun to do and they enhanced your understanding about the subject. You can pick any topic that you want for your final project.

If you manage to achieve a high score (I believe about 80%), you will be awarded a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt as well.

I would give a rating of

  • 5/5 for the materials. Great materials and practically useful.
  • 5/5 for the delivery. Prof Myers is a really engaging prof even from online classes.
  • 3/5 for the effort. You’ll have fun doing the assignments and you don’t have to spend a lot of time every week.

That’s it! This has been a great learning journey and I hope you enjoy reading my experience about the program. Please leave a comment if you have any further questions!

Recent Posts

Recent Comments


zinko Written by:

Hi, I am Zin Ko Hlaing. I'm a big fan of Manchester United and I occasionally write here. Full-time Football Manager player, part-time trying to understand the Internet. Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.