LIV.DAT student Adam Ruby attends Alan Turing Institute Events

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Adam at the Alan Turing CDT conference held in November.

Final year LIV.DAT student Adam Ruby has recently attended two events for PhD students organised by the Alan Turing Institute. The Alan Turing Institute is the national institute for data science and artificial intelligence, with 13 UK universities and EPSRC as members, and is based in London.

In November, the institute organised an industry taster day in partnership with the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) for students associated with Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) that focus on data science and big data. The DSTL are an executive agency of the Ministry of Defence who aim to maximise the impact of science and technology for UK security. The event, which took place at The Spine in Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter, was introduced by Prof Simon Maskell, Professor of Autonomous Systems at the University of Liverpool. Prof Maskell spoke about the importance of data science for real-world applications and the opportunities outside of academia.

The opening talk was followed by representatives of DSTL introducing two scenarios, each containing a defence related challenge that could potentially be solved using data. The students who attended were arranged into four groups and were asked to produce a short presentation on how to tackle either task from a high-level perspective. Each group member took responsibility for a particular role, and the groups were assessed before a winner was announced. Adam Ruby was in the winning group. This activity at the industry taster day gave students the opportunity to work as group in a real life scenario that a data science team might encounter while working in industry.

The winning group from the industry taster day (Adam in middle).

More recently the annual Alan Turing Institute CDT conference took place in Manchester which focused on the impact of data science and AI on industry from a broader prospective. At this event, students from the CDTs were given the opportunity to present their research and also network with leaders in data science from industry. The leaders included James Weatherall, vice president of data science and AI at AstraZeneca, and Giles Pavey, global director in data science at Unilever. Students were able to question the panel of data experts before undertaking a role-playing task that focused on the effects decisions from machine learning projects have on multiple stakeholders.

Adam said “Both events were extremely beneficial as I plan to move to industry immediately after submitting my thesis. I got to experience how a data science team functions and also what industry leaders look for in new candidates.” He added, “Attending these events has made me feel much more confident when taking the leap out of academia and applying for data scientist roles.” Adam plans to submit his thesis early in 2023.