Uncategorised / Thursday, 07 June, 2018

A Year of Data Science in retrospect- Leeds Data Science Society


As another academic year comes to a close, we take a look back at the events and activities of the last semester.  The 2nd semester kicked off with a careers event delivered by KPMG, to introduce members to the potential of a career in technology consulting. This was taken further later in March when KPMG hosted a members-exclusive external event for us at their Leeds HQ, and delivered a day of workshops for us.


As part of our guest speaker series, we welcomed Alicja Piotrkowicz, AI researcher working as a Research Assistant at the Leeds Institute of Medical Education. Alicia delivered a talk titled ‘Introduction to Artificial Intelligence’. The event was sponsored by Intel AI. The talk introduced the fundamentals of Artificial Intelligence in a way which was highly accessible to all levels. In April the society also welcomed back Leeds alumni George Biddle who co-founded Sign In, a data-driven startup. He talked about novel uses of data, important data considerations in business, future exploration of blockchain and its impacts and what this all means for would-be startups, before opening the floor and answering questions on everything from starting your own business to graduate employability advice.


In March the society went on a hiking trip to Grosmont in the Yorkshire Dales, to change up the offering a little! Setting off from Parkinson Steps by coach in the morning, participants enjoyed a day of exploring the Yorkshire countryside and seeing a traditional steam train in action, passing by several impressive waterfalls and landscapes, and finishing with a pub meal in the before heading back to Leeds.


Workshops this semester included a Python workshop in Financial Data Analysis using Pandas, held in collaboration with the Leeds Trade and Investment Society. The workshop was led by Dr Marc Peng from the Accounting and Finance Division. Attendees learnt how to scrape financial data from the web, clean data, and build asset pricing models including CAPM, Fama-French 3- and the 5-factor model. Upcoming on June 11th is our second Tableau workshop of the year, to provide an introduction to the powerful Data Visualisation software. We also have just launched our Data Science challenge in partnership with Trivago, where members have 72 hours to complete a series of data-related challenges.


Our 8 week website coding course for females, in partnership with CodeFirst Girls, continued for its second round this semester, led by head instructor Lisa and co-instructors Kalok from Jet2 and Clare from Sky. Over the 8 weeks the group of beginner programmers created some very impressive websites using HTML, CSS, Javascript and JQuery. We plan to run an 8 week Python workshop for females next year, continuing our partnership with CodeFirst.


All in all another busy semester. Next year, we look forward to welcoming a host of new members and we hope to offer even more exciting opportunities for members. Planned offerings include Data Dive afternoons, Machine Learning study group, weekly coding meetups, and getting members involved in data competitions.

Written by Lisa Johnson-Davies


Trivago Data Science Challenge (for students)

LIDA and Leeds Data Science Society are working with trivago to host our 1st university data science challenge. Now, more than 60 students have signed up to compete.

You’re invited to sign up and have a little bit fun in this challenge. Once you sign up the portal, you would only have 72 hours to submit your prediction and get into the leaderboard. If you choose not to submit your prediction, you are free to just have fun with the dataset. However, you’re not allowed to use the dataset in any research publication. We are working to bring in a full dataset to LIDA in the future.

Trivago will give the top 3 performers a trip to their headquarter in Germany (hotel and flight included). They will explore trivago’s data science and potentially become a junior data scientist for Trivago. LIDA will also give some prizes to the top performing students.

Challenge link: http://bit.ly/trivago-leeds