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Boot Camp Graduation

On Tuesday, December 20th, we celebrated the completion of the di-Academy’s first ever data science boot camp.

With the holidays approaching, not all of our boot-campers could make it to the event to celebrate with us, but all of the boot-campers in attendance gave five-minute presentations on the personal projects they had been working on during the boot camp.

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All graduates were given an academic cap and an “I survived the data science bootcamp” t-shirt by the wonderful dean of the di-Academy, Nele Coghe .

After the presentations, we, of course, celebrated with pizza and beer.

And had some fun with virtual reality.

Boot Camp Graduate: Agustina Perez Iriarte

Allow me to introduce Agustina Perez Iriarte, one of our seventeen boot camp graduates from the di-Academy. I met Agustina at our summer coding camp, and I sat down with her to discuss her time before the boot camp, her time during it, and her plans afterward. Having arrived in Brussels last February, Agustina is from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Though she had studied literature, her first job out of college required that she learned to code. “I really had to do a lot coding at the job, and I realized that I was good and I was enjoying it” she said, “so maybe this is the kind of job I’d like to do.” She began some training on web programming and web design, receiving two certifications from the Universidad Tecnolólogica de Buenos Aires.

In 2010, Agustina began working for American Express in Argentina. Her boss was interested in doing more work with data, and she volunteered for the job. Though not as a data scientist, for the next four years she worked with data, and she was eventually drawn to data science as a career. “I knew I wanted to do some work with data,” she told me, “and I wanted to do something creative, and I think that data science has the two mixed.”

A natural autodidact, Agustina found MOOCs to be central to developing her technical skills, finding the courses of Andrew Ng and Peter Norvig particularly influential. “I think that I’m mostly self-taught,” she told me. “I’m curious, so whenever I start learning something, I feel that I have a gap and I need to learn something more. And I jump into that, and then I find a gap there and I need to learn something more. I never stop learning.”

***

Agustina met her husband, Jonathan, in Argentina. After completing his degree in physics, he wanted to take a few months to travel, so he left for South America for three months to do volunteer work in exchange for food and housing. Jonathan began his trip in Equator, however, he loves tango, and couldn’t think of a better place to end his trip than the dance’s birthplace. Two weeks before the end of his trip he arrived in Buenos Aires. Sharing his passion, Agustina met Jonathan dancing tango.

Jonathan is Belgian, and he works as a data scientist for Carrefour. Agustina learned about the di-Academy’s boot camp when he mentioned to her that the company was looking for future employees to send to the boot camp. The more she learned about it, the more interested she became, as he explained to her the goal of the program was to combine academic knowledge with real business cases. Her work on MOOCs had given her lots of theoretical knowledge about data science, but what she found lacking in the material she had learned was the practical aspects. “You don’t have the real experience,” she said, “You’re working with prepared data on real known cases, and I wanted to know what the real story is when you work there.” The community aspect of the boot camp was also central to her interest. “Whenever I worked on MOOCS, I was the only one passionate about data, I didn’t have people that shared the same interests as I did. So I said okay, a group of freaks like me all joined together by the same passion,” she told me, “I’m in.”

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Two freaks in their natural habitat

During the first week of the boot camp, the founder of the European Data Innovation Hub and the Brussels Data Science Community, Philippe Van Impe approached her, and asked her what what type of job she was looking for. After showing her startups.be’s website, he asked if she would be interested in working with them. She agreed, and two days later had an interview with Karen Boers, the director of the group. “She’s one passionate woman.” Agustina said, “She spoke for forty minutes nonstop about what they do, and I was extremely convinced I wanted to be part of that.” Her internship mostly consisted in helping startups.be manage their data, cleaning it and restructuring it, and performing analysis, all to get a better picture of what’s going on with startups in Belgium. “I like being part of the start-up environment,” she said. “As a data scientist, normally you think that one way is to work for a big company that has resources, but we discovered with a little company, with a start-up, you have the same resources and the motivation to really have a say, because you’re not part of the ten-data-scientist team. There’s one person there just to try to make the most of it.”

Since the boot camp graduation on December 20th, Agustina has finished her three-month internship, and those of us here at the di-Academy were thrilled to find out that Agustina is in the process of signing a contract with startups.be to join their team full-time.

Event – Dec 22nd – ICiTy X-Zbit*the icity.brussels exhibition

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SIRRIS, ULB and VUB invite you at ICiTy X-Zbit*the icity.brussels exhibition to discover how you, too, can boost ICT Research and Innovation in Brussels.

December 22nd, 2016

from 2:00 to 5:00 PM,

followed by a networking cocktail until 6:30PM

*NEW LOCATION*

Building D, Room D2.01

Etterbeek VUB Campus, Avenue de la Plaine / Pleinlaan Entrance 11

Presentations and Live Demonstrations from the following experts:

14:00 – 14:15 Welcome and Introduction Daniele CARATI, Claudio TRUZZI

ULB, Université Libre de Bruxelles

14:15 – 14:40  

HIL, Hardware Innovation Lab: the new Hardware/Software Blending Location in Brussels

Pieter BEYL

SIRRIS, Collective Center of the Belgian technology industry

14:40 – 14:55  

TICKLE: Adaptive Persuasive ICT Tools to Tackle School Burnout Among Youngsters in Brussels

Olga DE TROYER

VUB, Vrij Universiteit Brussel

14:55 – 15:10  

MUTAFRAME: Software Framework for Identifying Molecular Causes of Human Diseases

Marianne ROOMAN (ULB)

Wim VRANKEN (VUB)

15:10 – 15:45  

Coffee Break

 

15:45 – 16:00 Channel Aware Localization for 5G Networks Philippe DE DONCKER,

François HORLIN

(ULB)

16:00 – 16:15  

Towards the Next Generation of Smart and Visual Multimodal  Sensor Networks

Abdellah TOUHAFI (VUB)

Olivier DEBEIR (ULB)

16:15 – 16:30  

Brussels MOBI-AID: Brussels MOBIlity Advanced Indicators Dashboard

Cathy MACHARIS (VUB)

Gianluca BONTEMPI (ULB)

16:30 – 16:45  

BRIGHTanalysis: Brussels Intelligent ICT for Genomic High Throughput Analysis

Tom LENAERTS (ULB)

Ann NOWÉ (VUB)

16:45 – 16:55  

An Outlook of the ICT Industry in Brussels

Carine LUCAS

AGORIA

16:55 – 17:05  

Presentation from INNOVIRIS

 

To be defined
17:05 – 17:15  

Presentation from Impulse

 

To be defined
17:15 – 18:30  

Networking Cocktail

 

 

18:30 onwards

 

 

Still thirsty for more networking opportunities? Then register to the Christmas Matchmaking Party organized by lifetech.brussels software.brussels, and screen.brussels,. It takes place immediately after the X-Zbit event

 

 

Registration free but required :

Claudio.truzzi@ulb.ac.be or +32 473 799203 (Have you already confirmed? Then no need to register again)

*What is a Zbit {pronounced zi:bit}?

This is one billion terabits. It represents the amount of digital information currently generated every year, and is about as many bits as there are stars in the observable universe. That’s a lot of data to make sense of. Come and join us at X-Zbit to see how to use Big Data to strengthen Brussels economic, social and territorial cohesion.

This event is the first of a series of annual events.

This year we lay the scientific foundation down, while next year we plan to show off some prototypes, describing how to add “smart” and “always-connected” layers to everyday products and services from the regional innovation players. As for the following events, you’ll find out if you stick with us.


Other interesting event:

Also join the datascience community at their annual data innovation summit on March 30th in Brussels

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www.disummit.com

Join us on March 30th for the diSummit in Brussels.

Tickets are currently available for sale on Eventbrite.

Reply to the call for speakers before January 15th.

Join our different communication channels & groups to be the first informed:

Linkedin | Facebook | Twitter | Youtube

Let’s “Team Up” to develop and use AI

ai-innoviris

Dear friends of the community, Let’s “Team Up” to develop and use AI, join the matchmaking event on January 17th.

Please register on the the website from InnovIris:  http://3cf7a07cb448.fikket.com/event/team-up-matchmaking-event

The first edition of the brand new Innoviris program Team Up will be dedicated to Artificial Intelligence (AI). 

This year Innoviris has decided to free up more than 4M€ for Artificial Intelligence. The objective? Develop the excellence of research, encourage technology transfer, push the use of artificial intelligence in enterprises and ultimately develop new or improved products, processes and services.

By participating in this event you will (re)discover the wealth of opportunities offered by Artificial Intelligence, get inspiration, let ideas emerge, meet the actors of AI in Brussels and thus identify partners to set up projects. You’ll also receive all useful information on the currently open call for proposals (deadline: 31/03/2017).

Collaboration is the key to success of this project call, so do not miss this opportunity to meet your future project partners !

Programme of the afternoon

 

  • 3.30 – 4.00 pm – Welcome
  • 4.00 – 5.00 pm – Inspiration

Cognitive computing from Jeopardy win to fighting cancer: 
Philippe Dubernard – IBM Watson, Cognitive Solutions Team

AI in Brussels: the academic perspective
Tom Lenaerts – ULB- Machine Learning Group, Belgian AI Researchers portal

Turning artificial intelligence into business value, perspective from an SME
Christophe Chatillon – CEO TAPPTIC

  • 5.00 – 5.15 pm – InformationPresentation of the Call for projects by Innoviris
  • 5.15 – 6.30 pmTeam Up!
    Matchmaking session
  • 6.30 – 7.30 pm – Walking dinner & networking

You already want more information ? 

You are an entrepreneur or a researcher and you want to be part of the AI transformation? Click on those links, get all the useful information on the call for projects and submit your expression of interest and project idea.

Your Innoviris contact person: Jonathan Duplicy
jduplicy@innoviris.brussels | 02.600.50.52
Chaussée de Charleroi 110  1060 Bruxelles
Tél (FR) : 32 2 600 50 36  – Tel (NL) : 32 2 600 50 37
Fax : 32 2 600 50 47  – E-mail : info@innoviris.brussels


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Thank you for supporting the European Data Innovation Hub
Vorstlaan 23, bus 411 – 1170 Brussels
 www.di-academy.com | www.disummit.com

Join us on March 30th for the diSummit in Brussels.

Tickets are currently available for sale on Eventbrite

Reply to the call for speakers before January 15th.

 

Join our different communication channels & groups to be the first informed:

Linkedin | Facebook | Twitter | Youtube

UNamur : Spécialisation en Data Science

UNamurL’Université de Namur proposera dès septembre 2017 une formation en data science au sein des masters en informatique, ingénieur de gestion et mathématique. Elle sera également accessible aux étudiants déjà porteurs d’un diplôme de master.

Dans tous les secteurs, des acteurs économiques sont confrontés à des données de plus en plus complexes : entreprises, hôpitaux, banques, universités, etc. À partir de la rentrée académique prochaine, l’Université de Namur apportera une solution innovante à l’explosion de la demande liée à ces big data : une nouvelle finalité spécialisée en data science adaptée aux formations en informatique, gestion et mathématique.

Elle offrira un ensemble cohérent de cours où les étudiants des trois masters travailleront dans une dynamique interdisciplinaire alignée avec la réalité du monde des organisations. Objectif, former des analystes de données compétents, mais également les concepteurs des solutions de demain. Les étudiants deviendront experts en big data, data warehousing, machine learning, data mining, visualisation de l’information, graph mining et business intelligence. Ils mettront en pratique leurs connaissances sur des travaux concrets et sur un projet interdisciplinaire réaliste. La formation s’appuiera sur l’expertise scientifique multidisciplinaire du Namur Digital Institute et de naXys.

Pour permettre à ceux qui sont déjà diplômés de suivre cette formation, l’UNamur l’ouvre également à toute personne possédant un diplôme de master en sciences informatique, en ingénieur de gestion ou en sciences mathématiques. Il suffira de suivre l’équivalent d’une demi-année de cours (soit 30 crédits) pour recevoir un second diplôme avec la mention « finalité spécialisée en data science ».

La formation proposée offrira aux étudiants de nombreux débouchés en lien avec le besoin grandissant de valorisation de données dans les organisations. Après leur formation, les étudiants seront capables d’extraire, de stocker, d’analyser, de visualiser et d’interpréter des données disponibles en quantités et formes diverses (par ex. big data). Leurs compétences seront appréciées dans des domaines comme l’e-health, la recherche pharmaceutique, l’e-commerce, le marketing, la finance, les applications web, les smart cities, la logistique, l’audio-visuel, les réseaux sociaux ou les télécommunications.

Plus d’infos :

BreakDengue Hackathon Prize 1 Winners: The Cube

by Adrien Dewez (Brand Analyst) & Thomas De Trogh (Media Analysis Expert)
from thecube.be

Dengue, an exotic virus?

On the 25th and 26th of November, the Cube participated in the Dengue Hackathon organized by the diHub. The Cube’s goal in this event was to analyze digital messages about the Dengue Virus on a worldwide level in order to make some interesting insights emerge. In addition to Europe, we chose two countries, Brazil and India, to draw a panorama on how people communicate about the Dengue.

On an annual basis, the first results show surprising patterns: even if India’s population is six times larger than that of Brazil, the country only generated 309,000 messages, compared to Brazil’s 1.1 million [1]. A quantitative subdivision of media types brings Twitter in first place, with 72% of all messages sent for Brazil, and 88% for India).  

brazilgraph

indiagraphWe notice a reactive pattern for India: one big communication peak during two weeks which correlates with the explosion of the virus. There’s no other peak before or after the outbreak, nor any “momentum” of communication. In contrast, Brazil seems to have a societal approach: the communication is characterized by different peaks for a period of at least four months.
If we look closely to the results on a small period of 4 days before and after the most “communicative” days in 2016, India lives with an even higher percentage of Twitter results in the media mix (93% of all messages) meanwhile Brazil gives the exact same results over the year.

Emotion vs. Analysis
Our tool allows us to detect the most frequently associated words with Dengue. In both countries, although the other associated terms are very different, the Dengue virus is associated with another “mosquito-virus”: Zika in Brazil and Chikungunya in India, both transmitted by the same mosquito as Dengue, Aedes Aegeptyca. In Brazil, we see words from other South-America countries such as Venezuela and Salvador, institutions both national and international (Ministerio da saude, mundial, etc.). In India, we don’t find any institution, but rather political figures such as Narenda Modi, Arvind Kejriwal and Satyendar Jain. The results were filtered with the names of institutions (in different languages), and we saw that they appeared in 5% of the Brazilian results, while in the Indian results, they only match 1% of the time. We could carefully advance that India has a more reactive response to the Dengue, due to the outbreak of the disease, while Brazil has a more societal approach of the problem.

Minecraft, Really?
Pushing the analyses further brings (even more) astonishing results. Over a period of eleven months, more than 11,000 YouTube videos about Dengue were produced in Brazil. The most popular is a 12 minute video based on the video game Minecraft, we can see patients and a doctor as Minecraft characters, with one character  talking about the disease. There were also many tweets using Dengue as an expression, for example, “my WhatsApp is as still as the water for the Dengue’s mosquitos.” Twitter isn’t only used to talk about the Dengue disease in a literal sense, but also in a metaphorical way.

Crossing data
The website healthmap.org shows interesting maps illustrating the regions where outbreaks have happened. These outbreak data provided us with our first valuable insight: in which provinces/districts could the stream of social media messages be significantly larger than somewhere else? We reasoned that people in an outbreak region are more inclined to post messages on Twitter or Facebook to say that they’re sick. Since India and Brazil generated quite large datasets, we would be able to make conclusions based on a significantly large amount of data.
When an outbreak of any disease is starting to proliferate, doctors talk about it, the media talks about it, and people talk about it. When visiting friends, going to work, or having conversations with family members, possible outbreaks of fever are always “the talk of the town.” In autumn, during the change of seasons when fever outbreaks are more common, even commercials adapt to this situation. Ads for cough syrup appear more often than usual.

Mood clouds
We focused on words in multiple languages in order to gather as many results as possible, mainly adjectives that express an emotion, a state of mind, or a mood. Valuable messages for us could be Twitter posts with sentences like “I’m ill,” “I feel sick,” “Many patients at the doctor’s,” “Many of my friends have fever,” etc. Monitoring words like “sick,” “fever,” “ill,” “illness,” “bad,” “pain,” “headache,” “feeble,” “afraid,” etc., in combination with each other over time, looking to peaks in the number of messages along with more engagement by people who retweet, start discussions, etc., could indicate a possible outbreak of fever in a certain region.

First, we searched for regions where outbreaks were detected during the last several months. The following picture is rendered by the open source website Healthmap.org and shows a cluster of outbreak cases in the Kanataka region in India in June, 2016. The red and purple dots indicate multiple verified cases of dengue fever.

kanataka-region

Figure 1 Outbreak of dengue in the Kanataka region in June 2016 (source Healthmap.org)

Next, we zoomed in and started to gather social and online messages from this region, focussing on words associated with emotions. The next three word clouds show the top 25 results from January to March.

cloud1

These mood word clouds already indicate a shift in discourse about dengue. People in the Kanataka region, whether journalists, bloggers, or citizens who posted on Twitter or Facebook, started to talk about dengue as a more or less far away problem. Words as “Panadol,” “Sanofi Pasteur,” “clean,” “helpful” or the main word “approved” indicate preparatory policies and a search for cures to the disease. An outbreak is still far away.

cloud2cloud3

In February and, more obviously, in March, the discourse changes. More words related to symptoms begin to appear: “cold,” “feeble,” “overworked,” or “positive.” At the same time, words like “hope,” “prepared,” “clean,” “fear,” or “determined” indicate an increase in worried reactions for a possible outbreak. Looking to the words people use in association with dengue the two months before and the month of the outbreak, the shift in discourse is even more striking.

cloud5cloud4cloud6

Words such as “patient,” “suffering,” “desperate,” “critical,” “alert,” “stagnant,” or “ICU” (Intensive Care Unit) jump out and are used very frequently. This could indicate that an outbreak has taken place. At the same time, we see terms associated with the Indian government emerge: “Arvind Kejriwal” (the Chief Minister of Delhi) and “Mcd” (Municipal Corporation of Delhi). The next months, these political leader names will emerge even more and correspond to the giant peak in September.

What did we learn from these results? By associating mood words with dengue, we were able to detect shifts in discourse about the disease itself. By using a relevant search query, related to mood words and terms that are linked to symptoms (“cold,” “illness,” “fever,” “feeble”, “headache,” etc.), social media monitoring tools could be used to detect possible outbreaks in a premature phase.
Crossing medical and health data with social and online media messages could in this way provide valuable insights to governments, international institutions as the WHO and UNICEF, or local health organizations.

Europe
Despite the fact that the time we had for our presentation was limited, we wanted to make a rapid analysis of the situation in Europe. The timeline and the associated terms show that the European news on Dengue is linked to Brazil, with the same timeline and associated words with South America’s countries and virus. Further, as a remarkable coincidence, the same number of YouTube videos in Brazil and Europe were posted: 11,000 videos, though the Minecraft aspect seems more common in Brazil than in Europe. Without any surprise and due to the linguistic proximity, Spanish is the leading language in Europe.

europegraph.pngbrazilgraphConclusion
It seems important that India treats the Dengue virus as a societal issue to spread the message more widely (and act on prevention more than reaction). The best way to do this seems to be to associate a public figure for the communication. In Brazil, both national and international institutions are a good ally. We would like to underline the increasing importance of alternative mediums such as YouTube, Minecraft, and WhatsApp as tools to prevent or stay informed on a coming Dengue explosion. Finally, Europe has to see the Dengue virus as a present threat and not as an exotic virus. Cases of Dengue were reported in Spain, Portugal, the South of France, Italy and even Germany. Considering the enormous economic impact it has in other countries, the risk of Dengue becoming endemic in Europe can’t be underestimated. These are our first conclusions of a rapid approach. Bringing more precise results and insights needs a deeper dive into the Dengue digital world.

[1] Results from 1st January to 26th of November.

You can view their presentation from the Hackathon here

 

Hackathon Winners: Stream, Using Twitter to Predict Dengue Outbreaks

Team Stream, winners of the Brussels Region Prize for the Best Team Related to Developing Countries, aimed to tackle the problem of Dengue being generally under-recognized by increasing its visibility to the general public. Lead by Ciprian Iamandi, the team consisted of Hannah Pinson, Laszlo Kupcsik, Laurent Exsteens, and the di-Academy’s bootcamper Sabrina Trifi.

In previous research done in Brazil, the paper Dengue surveillance based on a computational model of spatio-temporal locality on twitter by Gomide et al found that the R squared coefficient between personal tweets related to dengue and confirmed cases was 0.9578, an extremely strong correlation. Team Stream thought this would be a promising place to start from.  

Their process was as follows: gather social media data real-time, filter this data on personal experiences, identify clusters from this data in real time, and finally, to visualize the data.

denguehack-end2end

The first step of their process was choosing a region to study. They chose Latin America for two reasons, the relative uniformity of the languages spoken, Portuguese and Spanish, and a larger penetration of internet compared to the global average, 66.7% compared to 50.1%. Their next step was to gather tweets from this region containing the word ‘Dengue’, and then filter these tweets based on the machine learning classification algorithm Random Forest to determine whether they expressed a personal experience of a dengue case to eventually finish with workable data, a set of tweets that contain the word ‘dengue’, are geo-localized to the region they wished to study, and are related to personal experience.

From this collection of tweets, the team used the stream clustering algorithm, d-stream, to create location based clusters that predict the prevalence of Dengue. The next step was to compare these clusters to

Cluster_correlation (1).png

Cluster Correlation

In the image above, the intensity of the color of the region represents the prevalence of dengue outbreaks in that region, and the circles represent clusters identified for a particular region, with the intensity of that color representing the predicted prevalence of dengue in that region.

The correlation between the tweets and the confirmed Dengue cases is -> insert number here.Moving forward, Ciprian and his team hopes to adapt their method to update their algorithm to use streaming, rather than downloaded data. Further, they plan on adding new sources of data, such as Google searches and Facebook statuses, and develop their work into a web-based application, creating an actionable, sustainable, and scalable tool to educate the global public about dengue and its outbreaks.

You can view the video of their presentation at the hackathon below.

Job – UpWinder – Data Analyst

Data Analyst 

UpWider is an independent consulting firm serving its clients in managing their growth and performance.

Incepted by an experienced team with more than 20 years in Consulting, Management and Technologies, UpWider gathers qualified professionals sharing their enthusiasm within a startup mindset.

Based in Brussels, we have a clear understanding of our clients local issues within a global approach.

We are looking for a data analyst / data scientist / data miner / business analyst/intelligence professional.

Data analyst responsibilities include conducting full lifecycle analysis to include requirements, activities and design. Data analysts will develop analysis and reporting capabilities. They will also monitor performance and quality control plans to identify improvements.

 

Responsibilities

Interpret data, analyze results using statistical techniques and provide ongoing reports

Develop and implement databases, data collection systems, data analytics and other strategies that optimize statistical efficiency and quality

Acquire data from primary or secondary data sources and maintain databases/data systems

Identify, analyze, and interpret trends or patterns in complex data sets

Filter and “clean” data by reviewing computer reports, printouts, and performance indicators to locate and correct code problems

Work with management to prioritize business and information needs

Locate and define new process improvement opportunities

 

Requirements

Necessary

Proven working experience as a data analyst or business data analyst (internships to 7 years exp)

Knowledge of and experience with reporting packages (Dashboarding, etc), databases (SQL etc)

Knowledge of statistics and experience using statistical packages for analyzing datasets (Excel, SPSS, SAS etc)

Strong analytical skills with the ability to collect, organize, analyze, and disseminate significant amounts of information with attention to detail and accuracy

Eager to learn

Plus

Technical expertise regarding data models, database design development, data mining and segmentation techniques

Adept at queries, report writing and presenting findings

Master in Mathematics, Economics, Computer Science, Information Management or Statistics

 

Languages

French OR Dutch

English (fluent)

Interested? Don’t hesitate and apply now on our website http://www.upwider.com with your CV and motivation letter