Warwick data scientists have thrown down the gauntlet to A Level students across the UK by challenging them to find the big picture in a mountain of real-life data.
Data science is all about using statistics and computing to dive into data, looking for patterns and deriving useful insight.
The Warwick Data Science Challenge 2014 is aimed at A Level students or anybody considering a career in data science. The dataset to be investigated consists of information on views of online news stories, covering approximately 50,000 views from mobile devices.
For each article view, there is a lot of information: the article that was viewed, the approximate location of the user, and the type of phone and software used.
The University of Warwick’s Professor Graham Cormode said: “Data Science is a very exciting area. Many businesses are crying out for employees with the skills to find new insights in their data.
“Our competition is designed to open young people’s eyes to the potential of this area.
“The challenge is about exploring the news data set, finding structure and patterns within it and reporting back.
“We think competitors will be able to find lots of surprising patterns in the data, like what makes a popular news story, or which phones are popular where.
“They can use any tools for this task, like spreadsheets, programming languages, or statistics software.
“The aim is to find patterns or build models of the data that explain the existing behaviour or predict future trends.”
The University of Warwick has recently launched the UK’s first BSc in Data Science – a subject tipped to grow hugely in the 21st century as companies and public service providers start to make sense of the vast quantities of data generated by new processes and technologies.
The new Warwick degree, which is open for 2014 entry, is jointly offered between the Departments of Computer Science and Statistics.
Professor Graham Cormode can be contacted on g dot cormode at warwick dot ac dot uk
Professor Graham Cormode can be contacted at g dot cormode at warwick dot ac dot uk