3rd Big Data Africa School
Cape Town, 6 - 16 Oct 2019
The 3rd Big Data Africa School 2019, organised by our partner SARAO, introduced fundamental data science tools and techniques to 25 talented young science and engineering graduates from South Africa and the 8 SKA Africa Partner countries. The School aims to develop student skills in working with extremely large datasets in any given research environment.
Students, tutors and staff members from both SARAO and the University of Manchester on the opening night of the Big Data Africa School 2019, held at the Lagoon Beach hotel in Cape Town (photo credit: SARAO)
The official SARAO press release for the event noted that there were over 200 applications to take part in the School. The selected students were either graduates or undergraduates in the areas of Astrophysics, Bioinformatics, Computational Biology, Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Physics and Applied Mathematics.
Takalani Nemaungani, Acting Chief Director of Astronomy at the SA Department of Science & Innovation, opened the School on Monday morning with an address where he said, 'The fact that this 3rd Big Data Africa School has brought together students from the eight SKA African partner countries, from different fields, is a testimony that astronomy can contribute to the broader societal needs of the continent. I am grateful that our partnership with the UK, through the Newton Fund and the DARA initiative, is equipping a new generation of data entrepreneurs, data scientists and data professionals.'
Students were assigned to one of five data projects in the areas of astronomy, radio astronomy, medicine and agriculture. They worked over a period of six days to solve assigned problems using real life datasets, culminating in a day where they presented their findings to a panel of experts and their fellow attendees. Prizes were given at the end of the School to the group that had delivered the best results, and there were also individual prizes in areas such as best leadership and best communication. Following this there were two days of industry talks from inspiring leaders in the data science field.
For further information, including photos of the event and feedback from students who took part in the School, please see the link below.