Imperial College London

Data Science Summer School goes online during the pandemic


Dr Mark Kennedy delivered a lecture on Data Science Entrepreneurship broadcast live during the Summer School

Dr Mark Kennedy delivered a lecture on Data Science Entrepreneurship. It was broadcast live during the Summer School

Even in times of pandemic, the DSI successfully delivered an intense 3-week programme of live lectures, group discussions and team projects.

Following the success of last year’s edition, the Data Science Institute partnered with the Centre for Continuing Professional Development and Hangzhou Yulin Technology Education to deliver a rich programme of talks, team activities and Q&A sessions for a cohort of 37 students based in China. 

The Summer School took place between  27th July and 14th August as a fully live online event. To accommodate for the time difference between the students in China and the teaching team in the UK, all the sessions took place in the morning over three weeks. The students had a chance to learn from academic researchers and professors about data science research and its potential applications. They attended technical sessions on artificial intelligence, data visualisation, machine learning as well as seminars on entrepreneurship, data science products, effective communication, challenges of the internet, data economy and data privacy and ethics. Industry speakers were also invited to share their entrepreneurial experiences in setting up a data science company.

Throughout the three weeks, students worked in project teams to build an AI-based brain tumor detector and to develop a data science healthcare business. The students had therefore a chance to develop technical and professional skills applicable in their undergraduate studies.

They also had a chance to engage with Imperial student ambassadors and the International Officer to discuss opportunities for international students at Imperial.

Ping Huang, the project manager responsible for all the collaborations between the DSI and China, worked hard to ensure the smooth running of the event, alongside a team of researchers and professors.

“We are really proud of what we have achieved”, said professor Yike Guo, from the DSI.

Betty Yue, Head of the Centre for Continuing Professional Development, comments further: “The pandemic has provided a whole new experience in teaching and learning and it’s amazing to see how quickly we have adapted to this new norm in delivering the 2020 summer school, while retaining the quality of students experience.
It was very rewarding to see the students presentations on the final day and the knowledge they’ve gained in just three weeks online!”

The online summer school has attracted high quality students from top universities in China and expanded the DSI offering of new educational initiatives.


Anna Cupani

Anna Cupani
Faculty of Engineering

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Education, China
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