This is going to be the first post of three discussing my classes this quarter. I'd hate to admit how much time I spent looking at classes before the quarter began. Stockholm was a fantastic experience, however the classes were quite different than Darden. I'll admit, I drink the Kool-Aid. The case method is the best thing since sliced bread.
One of the courses I'm taking this quarter is called DAO - Data Analysis and Optimization. Decision Analysis (DA) is a core course at Darden that every first year must complete. It was one of my favorite classes, not only because it made sense to me, but also because for some strange reason, I think Excel is fun! DAO builds off of what we learned in DA. Specifically, the course teaches more about modeling optimization, hypothesis testing and regression analysis. There's even a Web Page of Fame for people who have successfully used DAO techniques during summer internships.
Most people take DAO during the fourth quarter of first year, when it is first offered as an elective. I did not take the course then as I preferred some other fourth quarter electives (Valuation, Global Financial Markets & Financial Reporting and Analysis) and knew I could take DAO at a later time. Darden's Class of 2011 had significant demand for DAO and given that the second year course had excess capacity, I have first year students in DAO with me. Most of the time, I don't notice it, but every once in a while someone makes a comment about "third quarter DA" and I start to wonder if I remember that far back. Great course, even if it is at 8a!