Postgraduate Heriot-Watt RCCS students scoop data science prize



Postgraduate students from the Research Centre for Carbon Solutions (RCCS), Fergus Mcilwaine and John Young, have been awarded the DeepNote prize for their application of machine learning techniques to COVID-19 vaccination data.

The competition, hosted by DeepNote - a community of data scientists, engineers and makers - requested that participants use data science techniques to build a story focussing on COVID-19 vaccinations and present an analysis in a creative and attractive manner.

Submission topics varied from twitter sentiment analysis to an in-depth look at the Pakistani vaccination programme.

First year PhD student Fergus Mcilwaine said: “It was great to apply some of the tools we use to explore material databases to something completely different. We are really happy with the win as there were many quality entries.”

Fergus and John are currently applying machine learning to carbon capture and sequestration applications for their PhD studies at RCCS.

They took this as an exciting opportunity to employ these techniques in a completely different field. Their competition entry looked at what features of a country affected its ability to deploy mass vaccination and they used data from the “CIA world factbook” and “Our World In Data” to this end.

To see their entry in full please follow this link:


Susan Kerr