Education and Training

Education & Training

By Professor Paul D Baxter, LIDA Director of Education & Training

LIDA’s core education & training activities of affiliated taught postgraduate programmes, short courses and early career seminars have all enjoyed a successful year. We have also continued to innovate, aligned to the new opportunities provided by the University 2020-2030 strategy and the curriculum redefined project. I’ll share some highlights and further opportunities to get involved below.

LIDA-affiliated MSc programmes continue to recruit strongly and provide access to a full range of data science and artificial intelligence training in methods and their innovative applications, such as consumer and urban analytics, genomics and geographical information science. Plans for further fully online programmes continue to take shape, with part A approval for the MSc Data Science (Statistics) now agreed. Building on the existing online MSc in Artificial Intelligence, this innovative collaboration between the Schools of Computing, Mathematics and LIDA, will see LIDA deliver online skills and project-based training. This training will be available to other Schools and Faculties to support multiple new variants of the fully online data science programme and related CPD training.

The early career seminar programme hosted 6 well-attended online meetings during 2022. The Data Scientist Development Programme included projects in collaboration with many of LIDAs partners, including the Institute of Grocery Distribution, Leeds City Council and WM Morrisons Supermarkets. Each data scientist benefitted from the opportunity to present their work twice per 6-month project, a crucial part of their early career development. This year’s cohort also look forward to this opportunity, and will start to present in January 2023.

The Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC) ran 7 online courses from its core training portfolio over the past year, training 167 individuals. 6 core training courses are now CPD-accredited, with plans to gain accreditation for 3 new courses currently in development. In May, CDRC appointed a new Data Science Teaching Fellow, Ryan Urquhart, to develop its short course training programme. Ryan will build upon the excellent domain-specific knowledge found within the CDRC and wider University of Leeds teams highlighting the value of CDRC derived data products as a basis for training. Courses in the 2022/23 portfolio will include core CPD-accredited courses in R, Python, QGIS, Tableau and Spatial Analytics. In addition, there will be newly-developed courses in intermediate Python, intermediate QGIS and Introduction to Data Science.

In partnership with the Turing Institute Skills Group (linked through Luisa Cutillo’s ATI fellowship) we have launched a Data Science & Artificial Intelligence Education Leeds Local Interest Group, holding successful online events in June & September. Related to this, we welcomed colleagues from across the academic, public and private sectors to a national Turing Workshop for Data Science Educators, hosted in hybrid format at Leeds during September. Autumn also saw the launch of a restyled LIDA Education & Training Board and Education & Training Committee.

Through all of these initiatives I look forward to working closely with colleagues from across the LIDA community to help shape the future of data science and artificial intelligence education at Leeds & beyond.


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