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Wrapping Up the Second Semester

Since I’ve talked about the first half of the semester in one of my previous blog, this is the next half!

Specifically, I’ll be talking about the data analytics for the business decision making course that was delivered in this portion of the course. Long story short – excitingly challenging. In this course, you’ll be exposed to a wide variety of data science topics in terms of their theoretical building blocks, technicalities and practicalities.

The topics can range from a simple introduction to data science to advance machine learning and text mining, giving the student a convenient way of exploring multiple subjects without going too deep into them. The primary aim of the lectures would be only to inform the listener on the existence of certain techniques, and optimistically, inspire him/her to do more research to find out more. In terms of implementation, the course also provides lab sessions that teach cutting-edge data mining and/or visualisation tools like SAS, Trifacta and PowerBI to tackle the topics covered by the lectures.

Of all the projects in this program, I enjoyed the data analytics coursework the most - felt oddly satisfying to be finally able to deploy the plethora of analytical tools taught to us from the beginning to this point. The project was designed to be open-ended, thus allowing my team and I to set whatever technical boundaries that we find feasible and the extent of complexity that we aspire to achieve. And of course, this adventurous bunch fired out a substantial amount of fancy machine learning implementations like dynamic time wrapping, t-distributed stochastic neighbour embedding, extreme gradient boosting random forest and long short-term memory recurrent neural network.

Not to mention the support given to us by Dr. Yu-Wang Chen and Dr. Julia Handl in terms of technical guidance and what can we do more to obtain deeper insights into the data. Probably – the most enjoyable course and coursework in the whole program!

The effects of speedy vaccination programs have been kicking in Manchester and England as a whole as the country gradually approaches a full relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions. I myself have been able to be out and about in south England. With the blessing of the everlasting sunlight, I’ve travelled to East Sussex for some amazing beach towns and hikes. Whilst quiet beach towns like Seaford have been enjoyable, the key attraction was undoubtedly the Seven Sisters white cliffs.

These strikingly tall chalk cliffs stood high on the English Channel, jellifying my calves without fail whenever I get too close to have a glimpse of what was beneath. It looked as if a large chunk of land was chipped away from England like detaching a puzzle piece from its pair.

Some cliffs on the south coast of England

The other mention-worthy destination that I’ve gone to was the legendary Westminster Abbey – the church in central London where the monarchs of England were anointed, crowned and buried for thousands of years.

Westminster Abbey

The picture shows the abbey with the central doorway leading to the high altar for the coronation. To walk the path where medieval and recent kings, queens, princes and princesses walked felt like history was just flowing around you.

That’s all for this month’s blog, enjoy!