Photo: [Credit: Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development]

Data Science projects rise up to Philippine challenges

Researchers, stakeholders, and established data scientists were gathered in a symposium recently to share their knowledge, expertise, and their R&D projects, both past and ongoing.

According to a recent report, the symposium was organised by the Department of Science and Technology’s Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI).

With the theme, “Data Brew: Data Science Kapihan”, the symposium was held at the DOST-ASTI Training Room over a cup of coffee, since kapihan stands for coffee session.

The aim of the initiative was to ramp up to meet the challenges that the Philippines faces in terms of what data science, data analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI) can support.

During the morning session, data science related projects of the Department were presented. These projects include weather stations and the Understanding Lighting and Thunderstorms (ULAT) Project; the Philippine Earth Data Resource and Observation (PEDRO) Centre, which is a satellite ground receiving station (GRS) that receives and provides space-borne imagery.

Another project was presented, the Philippine Research, Education and Government Information Network (PREGINET), a system that provides high-speed network to facilitate research and education collaborations among academic, government and research institutions.

The Computing and Archiving Research Environment (CoARE), which was also presented, is a data storage facility and also serve as high-performance cloud computing facility that allows free access of its services to students, researchers, and data analysts.

The DATOS Project aims to address the need for a 24/7 help desk for remote sensing and data science that can support critical activities on disaster mitigation, analysis, and advise using data from CoARE and PEDRO.

The goal of the ASTI Labelling Machine (ALaM) Project is to develop deep learning models that utilise labelled and georeferenced satellite images as input data.

Resource speakers were also invited. A digital enterprise software solutions company imparted the importance of AI and machine learning in an enterprise.

Since the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is the biggest user of CoARE, the Institute shared that genomics data is available for analysis; and that interoperability or the unrestricted sharing of resources between different systems is essential to collaboration.

Moreover, according to the Institute, AI applications are new to rice researches.

The afternoon session was comprised of ‘Lightning Talks’, wherein 17 speakers were given 5 minutes each for their presentations.

The resource speakers from various academic, public, and private institutions talked about data science in relation to various fields and some of their topics included Deep Learning with R; Interactive Data Visualisation; Embedding in Natural Language Processing.

Further topics discussed were A Convolutional Neural Network Approach for Estimating Tropical Cyclone Intensity Using Satellite-based Infrared Images; Logistic Regression for Employees’ Attrition Prediction; The Future of Audit: How Technology is Changing the Audit; Machine Learning Reinvents Business; and Data Science Application in Geoscience Research to name a few.

A data science needs and capabilities identification activity was conducted after the talks.

In this activity, the participants were encouraged to write down what they need from and what they can give to the data science community, which hopefully will pave the way for more collaboration between data scientists.