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Academic affairs

« Data Sciences Starter Program »: a successful first edition

Launched in October 2014 by École Polytechnique, the first session of the "Data Sciences Starter Program" ended in December. The program offers an introduction to Data Science and Big Data in France. The participants testify.

Discovering new technologies, studying a new computer language and understanding the issues related to big data: this is why Julie, 28, chose to follow the program "Data Sciences Starter Program" launched in 2014 by l’X. The first session of this program introducing students to Big Data ended in December. It was attended by 21 students (out of a hundred applications received).

Julie is a statistician expert at Keyrus, a large service company. She particularly appreciated the Data Camp where she learnt to read, process, and exploit data through the study of concrete cases. During the courses, Julie was able to analyze electroencephalograms* data to detect early signs of an epilepsy crisis in the brain. "Professionally, I will have the opportunity to quickly implement advanced algorithms like the ones we studied during training. The tools I have discovered, such as Map Reduce, Hive, Python and its libraries, will help me every day to access and manipulate large amounts of data."

Intended for a wide audience, either with a technical or managerial profile, the certifying "Data Science Starter Program" provides an introduction to the best methodological tools to understand and exploit massive data daily. It is intended for professionals and includes lectures, practical sessions. "The courses are made for anyone with basic computer knowledge or statistics. No programming experience is required," says Erwan Le Pennec, member of the teaching staff of the program at l’X.

In addition to theoretical lectures, participants also attended conferences and met with key players from the industry working on this topic, as well as data scientists.

Immediate readiness at the end of the program

"We were able to offer our participants a good overview on the topics of Data Science and Big Data, which allowed them to be effective and immediately ready at the end of the program," says Erwan Le Pennec.

Marie-Aude, 37, is an expert in IT developments at NMRtec, a service company specializing in NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance). She enrolled in this program to meet the needs of her company  which exploits more and more data. "I have updated my skills in the field. I particularly liked data analysis courses during which we worked on many statistical models. The conferences also helped me realize that the skills of data scientists are sought in many industries," says Marie-Aude.

A second session will begin in May 2015

Big Data has become a technological, economic and organizational challenge for companies that need more and more to exploit efficiently massive amount of data. "The data are among us, they are everywhere. Companies do not want to miss the train of Big Data. Take a company like Orange, mobile operator: it needs data science to work on users’ database, to target its customers with tailored commercial offers to more or to optimize its infrastructure," says Erwan Le Pennec.

After the success of the first edition, a second session of the "Data starter Sciences Program" will begin in May 2015. "The Spring session will be more operational. We will work mainly on practical cases rather than theory," promises Erwan Le Pennec, who is also the holder of the Chair Data Scientist at École Polytechnique.

For more information:

* Examination measuring the electrical activity of the brain.