The 2018 MSc Data Science Programme culminated with a poster conference held at the University that was attended by over 100 people. 40 students presented posters describing their placement experiences and project outcomes.
Lancaster University’s Data Science Programme places great emphasis on preparing its students for roles in professional data science. As such, the programme team have made great efforts to arrange placement projects that allow students to use their analytical skills on challenging real-world projects. In the last 4 years, 150 of our students have performed external placement projects with organisations including multinational corporations, specialist data science consultancies, government agencies and the NHS. The dissertation projects pursued during these placements have contained practically all aspects and applications of data science.
This year, 37 of our students performed external projects at organisations including The Co-operative Insurance, The North West Ambulance Service, Peak Business Insight and The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. Each of the projects gave the students the opportunity to apply data science skills to complex real-world datasets and delivered tangible benefits to the host organisations.
The projects included an analysis of air traffic passenger data, the integration of multiple data sources to enable advanced analytics, and the use of neural networks in image analysis. The students came back to Lancaster to celebrate the completion of their course and to demonstrate their achievements. The poster conference was opened by Dr Chris Edwards, the MSc Data Science Programme Co-Director, who was followed by Prof Nigel Davies who shared his thoughts on the developing world of professional data science.
The students presented an impressive range of posters, which were considered for the £100 DSI prize. The prize was awarded to Eleanor Hudson whose poster described her project on “Accurately Predicting Emergency Flow Into, Within and Out Of Morecambe Bay Hospitals”. The judging panel was impressed by the quality of Eleanor’s poster and by the beneficial outputs that were provided to the hospital trust.
Incoming external examiner, Prof Peter Triantafillou of Warwick University, commented “This was an impressive set of projects, showcasing both a solid understanding of the theoretical foundations and of the potential of data science for real-world impact with exciting applications. It was exciting to see younger colleagues, of different educational backgrounds and specialisations, forging ahead as inspired, up and coming data scientists."
The MSc Data Science team intend to build on the success of this event by extending invitations beyond the University to DSI’s industry partners for the next poster conference. Details of future events will be shared in the coming weeks.
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