South Africa grows capacity in data science
South Africa’s data science capacity is growing, with more students pursuing this discipline and using data science to help solve the country’s problems.
Some of these data-science solutions will be on display at the Department of Science and Technology in Pretoria this week. The projects that will be exhibited look at, among other things, the monitoring of rock stability in South Africa’s mines, the identification of ships or icebergs using satellite images, the City of Tshwane’s energy status, the identification of irregular electricity usage, and the use of municipal profiles to help young people find job opportunities.
Fifty students selected from universities across the country are participating in this year’s Data Science for Impact and Decision Enhancement (DSIDE) programme, which has trained 141 candidates since its inception in 2014.
The number of participants has increased significantly since 2014/15, when only 12 students were recruited. The programme is held over 12 weeks, four weeks in the June/July university vacation, and eight weeks in December and January.
Current recruits include students from third-year to PhD level, in various fields related to data science, including engineering, applied mathematics and business informatics.
They will present their work in Pretoria on 31 January 2018, chronicling their journey from the start of their 12-week mentor-guided and learn-by-doing training.
The Department of Science and Technology (DST) funds the DSIDE programme, which is implemented by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to help develop skills in this growing field.
Source: Government of South Africa