HWUM partners with Hayat Technologies for the 2023 Annual Computing/Data Challenge


Heriot-Watt University Malaysia (HWUM), in partnership with Data Science and Artificial Intelligence solutions expert Hayat Technologies, recently launched the Annual Computing/Data Challenge 2023 (AC/DC 23) to advance data science and computer science among students.

This collaboration is further strengthened by the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between HWUM and Hayat in July last year which formalized collaborative efforts in joint research projects. Through their partnership, the two organizations aim to facilitate academic development exchanges in data science, as well as joint oversight of final year projects and postgraduate programmes.

AC/DC 23, currently running through July 31, 2023, is an opportunity for secondary and pre-college students to learn data science fundamentals, programming skills, and real-life data analytics and to explore their creative side. As part of the challenge, students will have to develop a predictive decision-making tool based on real-world data provided by Hayat. Real-world data is from Malaysia’s COVID-19 Assessment Centers (CAC) for AC/DC 23.

Helmi Zakariah, Chief Executive Officer of Hayat Technologies, said: At Hayat, we believe in the power of data and that it can only be unlocked when that data is made open and available for downstream analysis. We hope this pioneering effort is followed by others in the industry to spur innovation, build trust and foster camaraderie among the data professional community in Malaysia. Additionally, this dataset was also reviewed by the Heriot-Watt University ethics committee for clearance to be used for AC/DC 23.

With a dataset consisting of patient health characteristics, participating teams will need to build a suitable model to determine whether a patient can self-quarantine (SELFQ) or will require a referral (ESCALATE). By providing real-world data, HWUM and Hayat aim to promote authentic learning with real-world application among students.

Students are not required to have any previous scientific knowledge. They can join as long as they have an interest in data science. AC/DC 23 will provide attendees with access to asynchronous tutorials that will help them learn from some of HWUM’s data science masterminds to develop a predictive decision-making tool and gain valuable experience to be successful in their future careers.

Dr Ian Tan, Director of the School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences (MACS) at HWUM, he said, Data Science is not only about technical capabilities, but also about solution articulation. The contest emphasizes both skill sets to identify winners. In addition, AC/DC 23 is an integral part of the activities undertaken by Data Gym, a data center at MACS HWUM aimed at providing data related consultancy and training.

Professor Sarat Chandra Dass, leader of the Data Gym initiative who is also a professor of statistics at HWUM, said: “Our goal is to create a data-driven future through technology and lead such initiatives for HWUM and the wider community. .

HWUM offers four online live practice lessons, and these lessons will be recorded for those unable to attend the live sessions.

AC/DC 23 is currently ongoing through July 31, 2023. To be eligible, each team must consist of no more than three (3) students and one (1) mentor. The mentor must be an adult (over 18 years of age) with a valid email address in order to communicate with the AC/DC 23 organizers. Different teams cannot have a common mentor and/or student members.

Finalists (as a team) will be invited to the HWUM campus in August 2023 to present their work. Winners will receive lucrative scholarships to study at HWUM. Other prizes will include high-end computer equipment and/or peripherals.

For more information on eligibility, rules and regulations, as well as links to join AC/DC 23 on Kaggle, contact acdc@hw.ac.uk. Participation in AC/DC 23 is free but by invitation only as the join link will only be provided to eligible teams who contact the organizers via email acdc@hw.ac.uk.

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