Posted on November 10, 2016
The Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology, (EBIT) hosted a workshop titled 'SKA: IDIA – Big Data and Data Science research opportunities at the University of Pretoria' on 19 October 2016. Prof Stephanie Burton, Vice-Principal Research, Postgraduate Education and International Partnerships at the University of Pretoria (UP), highlighted the strategic importance of Big Data and Data Science for the University.
Prof Russ Taylor, founder and director of IDIA, spoke about the research and development strategy within the Institute. One of the objectives of the research is to gain new knowledge from the masses of big data generated by the *SKA project. He highlighted aspects such as image processing and the merging of big data sets as key research challenges. Our membership of IDIA emphasises our role in an ever-changing world where we need to create platforms for research to be stimulated, in order to find innovative solutions to the challenges South Africa is exposed to, such as energy, health, security, education and poverty.
There is an acute global shortage of data scientists, practitioners and researchers, and this is particularly true in South Africa. The new Masters in Information Technology degree at the UP, which will have its first intake in 2017, is aimed at delivering advanced human capital development and knowledge detection through machine learning, in strong collaboration with the South African government and industry stakeholders.
*The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will soon become the world's largest radio telescope. Consisting of thousands of dishes and millions of antennae, the SKA will have a combined collecting area of one square kilometre.
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