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Education & Training

LIDAs education and training activities have enjoyed a busy and successful year, with many exciting new initiatives that I’m pleased to describe below.

March saw us host our first Data Science Careers Event, targeted at our undergraduate and postgraduate students. The event proved a great success, attracting over 100 delegates and featuring excellent talks from Asda, Bank of England, and Channel 4. Plans are well advanced for this to become and annual fixture in our programme.

In April we learned the exciting news that our Office for Students bid for 18 scholarships to support MSc students from underrepresented groups (across the Data Science & Analytics, Urban Data Science and Precision Medicine programmes) had been successful. Partnering with the University Plus Programme, we have been able to award scholarships of up to £17,000. We look forward to an expanded programme of up to 25 scholarships in 2024, with industry sponsorship from sector leading companies including GlaxoSmithKline and Visa.

May saw the launch of student recruitment to our fully online MSc in Data Science (Statistics). This innovative programme, jointly delivered by the School of Maths and LIDA, is a trailblazer for the University – it’s the first Leeds degree programme hosted on the Coursera online platform, with students commencing their studies from January 2024.

In June we launched a new website for our LIDA Education and Training Committee, giving greater prominence to the important work our Faculty representatives do in bringing forward ideas and forging links across disciplines. Many important initiatives have originated from the committee, a recent example being the successful online workshop on “ChatGPT and AI to Enhance Education” that we hosted in July, featuring speakers from Biological Sciences, Medicine & Health and Engineering & Physical Sciences.

In March, June and October LIDAs Data Science & Artificial Intelligence Education Leeds Local Interest Group held meetings, discussing important topics such as joint student project supervision. First launched in 2022, educators from any discipline, at any stage of their career are welcome to join. The group organised its first dedicated training event in September, a half day “Live Coding Workshop” led by Inigo Aldazabal Mensa, Software Carpentry Instructor Trainer based in Spain – a great example of how LIDA can bring people together to support an identified need within our community.

2024 promises to be an equally exciting year. I look forward to working with you all to help grow our affiliated taught postgraduate programmes, to encourage a diverse body of future data scientists, and to support our educators to innovate and collaborate for the best possible student experience.

Professor Paul D Baxter, LIDA Director of Education & Training

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