HWUM Collaborates with Hayat Technologies for Annual Computing/Data Challenge 2023




Heriot-Watt University Malaysia (HWUM), in partnership with Data Science and Artificial Intelligence solution expert Hayat Technologies has recently launched the inaugural Annual Computing/Data Challenge 2023 (AC/DC ’23) to promote data science and computing among students. 

This collaboration is further strengthened by the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between HWUM and Hayat in July last year which formalised collaborative efforts in joint research projects. With their partnership, the two organisations aim to facilitate academic development exchanges in data science as well as joint supervision on undergraduate Final Year Projects and Postgraduate programmes.

AC/DC ’23, which is currently running until 31 July 2023, is an opportunity for secondary school and pre-university students to learn about data science fundamentals, programming skills, and real-life data analytics and to explore their creative side. As part of the challenge, students will need to develop a predictive decision-making tool based on real-world data provided by Hayat. The real-world data stems from Malaysia’s COVID-19 Assessment Centres (CAC) for the AC/DC ’23.

Hayat Technologies Chief Executive Officer Dr Helmi Zakariah said, “At Hayat, we believe in the power of data, and that it can only be unlocked when those data are made open and available for downstream analysis. We hope this pioneering effort will be followed through by others in the industry to spur innovation, build trust and promote camaraderie among the data practitioners’ community in Malaysia. Additionally, this dataset had also been examined by Heriot-Watt University’s Ethics Committee to obtain clearance to be used for AC/DC ’23.”

With a dataset consisting of patient health characteristics, participating teams will need to build a suitable model to determine whether a patient can self-quarantine (SELFQ) or will require a referral (ESCALATE). By providing real-world data, HWUM and Hayat aim to promote authentic learning with real-world application among students. 

Students do not need to have any previous scientific knowledge. They may join as long as they have an interest in data science. AC/DC ’23 will provide participants access to asynchronous tutorials that will help them learn from some of the minds in data science at HWUM to develop a predictive decision-making tool and gain valuable experience to succeed in their future careers.

Dr Ian Tan, Head of the School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences (MACS) at HWUM, said, “Data Science is not only about technical capabilities but also the articulation of the solution. The competition emphasises both skill sets to identify the winners. In addition, AC/DC ’23 is integral to the activities undertaken by Data Gym, a data centre at MACS HWUM aimed at providing data-related consultation and training.” 

Professor Sarat Chandra Dass, the leader of the Data Gym initiative, who is also a Professor of Statistics at HWUM, said, “Our aim is to create a data driven future via technology and lead such initiatives for HWUM and the wider community. 

HWUM provides four online live tutorial classes, and these classes will be recorded for those who are unable to join the live sessions. 

AC/DC ’23 is currently running till 31 July 2023.  To be eligible, each team is to comprise of no more than three (3) students and one (1) mentor. The mentor must be an adult (above the age of 18) with a valid email address to be able to communicate with the organisers of AC/DC ’23. Different teams cannot have a common mentor and/or student member(s).

Finalists (as a team) will be invited to the HWUM campus in August 2023 to present their work. Winners will be awarded lucrative scholarships to study at HWUM. Other prizes will include high-end computing equipment and/or peripherals.

For more information on eligibility, rules and regulations as well as links to join AC/DC ’23 on Kaggle please contact acdc@hw.ac.uk. Participation to AC/DC ’23 is free but by invitation only as the joining link will only be provided to eligible teams that contact the organisers through the acdc@hw.ac.uk email.