Unhackathon #7 round-up: making sense through data

What time do people rent share bikes in San Jose? Houston and a group of data scientists has looked at bike share data in California and made some curious obvservations at our April unhackathon.

We also heard from Nick Lam-wai who is building a database on Hong Kong’s budget, the blueprint of government spending and priorities. And Chris Choy, who was working with Nick also discovered how to take historical PDFs of the budget and read the tables into Nick’s database. Expect big things from this group.

Our second meet up at Accellerate in Sheung Wan started with a discussion of the  Catboost library by Daniil Chepenko, who explains its benefits over other methods such as random forest.

Catboost is a gradient boosting library for work on decision trees, developed by the Russian search engine Yandex, building on many years of development in this field.

See his presentation video below, and follow the slides here.

Projects

Willis sought to find out what makes a Kickstarter project work. He came to the hackathon with data from 2009-2017, and a trained model with 60% accuracy, up from 30% at the beginning of his work. Knowing whether a Kickstarter will succeed is a huge investment advantage, so watch the short videos to see how well he went.

Pitch:

Conclusion:

Elizabeth Briel and Ben Davis have been seeking new ways to tell the story of global warming’s effects on arctic sea ice, and came to the hackathon with data they wanted to turn into a song. See the results below.

Slides are here.

Pitch:

Conclusion:

Nick Lam-wai created a thorough database of the Hong Kong budget, turning it from a human readable collection of documents back into one ready for machine analysis.

Slides here.

Pitch:

Conclusion:

Data science news round up

Our tight-knit community of data scientist have shared a wealth of news and inspiring projects from around the web over the past couple of months. Here is a brief round up of the more interesting articles, and remember, you can join in on our slack group.

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Millions of Chinese farmers reap benefits of huge crop experiment

An article that demonstrates the world changing potential of evidence based approaches to the world’s problems. For me, it’s also a reminder that it’s often not the latest buzzword or most glamourous topics that have the most impact.

Winning with Data Science

Next is an article examining the business and organisational side of data science. This is a topic that probably doesn’t get enough attention compared to the latest and coolest algorithm. It’s important for data scientists to take an interest in how organisations should adapt, if they don’t it will probably be decided by someone not qualified to make the decision!

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What Comes After Deep Learning?

This article examines whether deep learning is actually a blind alley and considers what new approaches might be next for data science. Also a brief examination of the question of US vs China in the AI “arms race”.

‘Who’s Leading AI’ Isn’t the Intelligent Question

Our final article explores the much talked about question of whether the US or China is winning and why it’s not the right question to ask.

If you found any of these articles interesting then do come and join the discussion on our Slack group, where you will also find details of meetups. https://datasciencehk.slack.com/