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Prospects in Data Science: Going Digital in the New Forest

Last week, data scientists, researchers and students descended upon Carey’s Manor in the depths of the New Forest to attend the 2016 Data Science Symposium, hosted by The University of Southampton.With high-profile speakers including David Hand and Prof. Yike Guo (Imperial College London), Prof. Peter Grindrod, Dr. Frank Wood and Prof. Anne Trefethen (University of Oxford), Prof. Dame Wendy Hall (University of Southampton), Prof. John Aston (University of Cambridge), and Prof. Sofia Olhede and Dr. Arthur Gretton (University College London) it was an event with significant representation from SES and a range of disciplines.

The symposium, spread over three days, touched on data analytics, web science, probabilistic programming, topologies for data analysis, statistics, cybersecurity and much more.


Prof. Dame Wendy Hall, Director of the Southampton Web Science Institute and a leading member of SES lead an engaging discussion on the web as a socio-technical system, presenting the need to study it from an interdisciplinary perspective and anticipate possible futures to determine how it will evolve.

“The web is an enormously complex socio-technical system, touching all our lives, providing access to extremely large volumes of data. Sharing knowledge amongst a broad spectrum of inquisitive academic and business researchers, at events such as the Data Science Symposium, is a vital part of stimulating new insights, by placing data dilemmas in a collaborative environment for problem solving, and developing innovative methodologies that will help determine how the web evolves and how we make best use of it.”

– Prof. Dame Wendy Hall

Also presenting was Prof. Anne Trefethen, Chief Information Officer from the University of Oxford and member of the SES e-infrastructure board, with a highly insightful talk on Turning Data Science into Data Science Practice. Touching on high-profile projects such as the Square Kilometer Array, Trefethen raised awareness of the huge volumes of data faced by such an assignment, particularly in creating large-scale algorithms for the telescope.

Prof Dame Wendy Hall presents Observatories and Data Analytics for Web Science

In what was new wisdom to many of the present guests, she also piloted a demonstration on Big Data in Higher Education, for both improving the educational experience as well as cybersecurity. While reflecting on her work at Oxford, Trefethen opened up further on the somewhat mysterious world of university traffic (unsurprisingly, the University of Oxford’s network backbone deals with 85.97 TB of traffic every day), from security breaches to managing information.

Perhaps one of the most effective outcomes of the event was the dissemination of knowledge throughout attendees, with students, researchers and high-level academics raising key problems in data science to potentially solve collectively across disciplines and backgrounds.  By sharing knowledge and advances in data science,

Early Career Researchers network and reflect on the day’s events 

For more information on the event from southampton Data Science, please see the event page. Full presentations and recorded lectures will be made available shortly.

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