DATA is a extracurricular data science group co-founded by me and 3 other computer sciences students at the University of São Paulo.
Our initial objective is to teach weekly classes covering basic Machine Learning concepts (statistical learning theory, K-NN, Linear Regression, SVMs, etc) and frameworks (numpy, pandas, seaborn, scikit-learn).
Recently, a article was written about the rapid growing data science sector in São Carlos, with DATA being part of the driving force. Below is part of the article translated from the original in Portuguese, with highlights by me.
DATA is born
The demand for training is so great that four ICMC students mobilized to create DATA, an extracurricular group that emerged earlier this year to spread knowledge about data science. The idea was born after the four students were selected for the final of an international data science competition, the Data Science Game, which took place in October last year. The team - made up of Bruno Coelho, Gustavo Sutter, Marcello Pagano and Tobias Veiga - won the 12th place among the 20 best teams in the world and, considering the three Brazilian teams that competed in the final, finished in 2nd place.
The interest in data science flourished in the four students after they got involved in research projects, which led to the formation of the team. Bruno says participating in the competition was an intense and enriching process: “Even having to do everything in a short period of time, the experience was fantastic. We were very motivated to study data science even more.”. With that the four decided to create a new extracurricular group, based on the encouragement of Professor Thiago Pardo and the inspiration of other successful groups created in the ICMC, such as the Studies Group for Programming Marathons (GEMA) and the game development group Fellowship of the Game (FoG). The next step was to contact Professor Gustavo Nonato, who accepted to assume the role of tutor of the initiative.
DATA is currently offering a 12-week introduction data science course to about 40 ICMC students on Wednesdays from 2 to 4 PM. What does the group teach? “Introduction to Python, key algorithms, machine learning and data preprocessing techniques. The idea is to encourage the group to participate in competitions and prepare them for future selective processes” says Gustavo.
Also on Wednesdays, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., DATA brings together students who already have more advanced knowledge in the area to promote discussions and to improve collaboratively. “In addition to making the area of data science better known, another objective of the group is to offer, in the future, training for the general population, through extension courses,” says Nonato. “Of course, for you to become a data scientist, you need to have a solid background. But a person who has some notion of programming, taking good courses on Python and machine learning, can develop interesting solutions from data already available, “adds the professor.