Planning for the 2024 program begins soon, with a record number of applications expected.

The highly successful 2023 UNSW Data Science Work Experience week was led by Data Scientist Dr Steefan Contractor and supported by a team of uDASH staff, students, and special guests. Together, they welcomed 50 students from a wide range of Sydney secondary schools for the week of the event.

A packed schedule had the students learning data science skills to solve real-world problems. A combination of both theory and practice working with data meant the students were producing informative visualisations and testing hypotheses—all while gaining insights to support decision-making.

On the first day, they were brought up to speed on ‘What is Data Science?’ Practical elements involved learning programming environments such as R, RStudio and Posit (RStudio) Cloud. With these tools covered, an introduction to datasets then set them up in project teams to tackle the week ahead.

The other days involved data cleaning and analysis, with breaks for discussions and Q&A sessions getting to know data scientists and what a typical workday involves, as well as problem solving and virtual-reality lab sessions.

On final day of the week, the students across 9 teams had 10 minutes each to present what they’d learned and applied throughout the week on their projects.

The skills they were taught and practiced included coding basics, understanding data, visualising results, applying statistical techniques, generating interesting questions—and using these skills to answer them.

Overall, the week was engaging and dynamic. According to uDASH Director, Prof Scott Sisson, “The skillsets behind Data Science – maths, statistics, computer science, among others – are critical knowledge in the modern workplace. Data Science is essential to so many jobs and industries today. It’s hard to imagine a future that is not informed by data!”

The annual UNSW Data Science Work Experience week aims to inspire and engage students across NSW with the importance and relevance of data science to everyday life and work.

The number of applications for the program grows each year. uDASH looks forward to welcoming more students again in 2024.