DSI Summer Undergraduate Data Science Program Empowers Students to Apply Data Science Skills Across Disciplines

This summer, a group of 37 undergraduate students from across Canada will participate in the Data Sciences Institute (DSI) Summer Undergraduate Data Science (SUDS) research opportunity. SUDS offers an enriching summer experience to apply data science methods and tools in various application areas, including humanities, life science, engineering, public health and more. SUDS Scholars are supervised by DSI member researchers across U of T and external funding partners. In addition to their research projects, SUDS Scholars are provided with a full set of data science skills, networking, research and professional development opportunities. 

The SUDS Scholars kicked off their summer programming on May 1 by participating in their welcome and orientation where they met their cohort and shared their research interests. This week, they will also be gaining new skills and knowledge via the Data Science Bootcamp for introductions to Unix Shell, R, Python, and Machine Learning.   

SUDS Scholar Yuanhan Peng, expressed enthusiasm about the program, noting she is “currently strongly interested in education data science and I want to work as a data scientist in the education technology industry. I think that being a SUDS Scholar will provide me with the opportunity to participate in related research and gain more experience.”  

SUDS Scholar, Akil Huang, will be working with Professor Spike Lee, Rotman School of Management on the project, Automated text analysis of liberal and conservative news, which explores the nature of linguistic differences among news outlets. Huang is looking forward to the summer: “As a finance and economics specialist coming from an interdisciplinary background, SUDS will give me the tools, learning resources, and mentorship to delve deeper into my area of focus within academia. I’m really looking forward to the bootcamp in the beginning of the program.” 

Over the next twelve weeks, the Scholars will engage on their data science research projects and attend the DSI cohort programming. The programming includes the Data Science@Work Series where members from the private sector and government organizations discuss data science in the workplace.  

Professor Kuan Liu, Dalla Lana School of Public Health and SUDS supervisor shares, “The DSI SUDS program provides unique hands-on research and learning experiences in data science that help students gain exposure to cutting-edge research topics spanning a wide range of disciplines and develop critical scientific communication, computation, and problem-solving skills. It was a great pleasure working with the SUDS scholar this past summer and I am excited to take part in the program again this year.” 

The program will conclude in August with the DSI Research Day, where the SUDS Scholar cohort will showcase their research.

Professor Laura Rosella, DSI Associate Director of Education and Training, shares that “As we welcome the new cohort of students, we are excited to see their passion and curiosity. Besides engaging in research projects, our SUDS Scholars benefit from acquiring data science expertise and professional growth opportunities. We are enthusiastic about the prospect of inspiring these students and, hopefully, launching their careers in data science. They are an outstanding group indeed.”  

The SUDS research opportunity is an excellent way for students to get involved in high-quality and enriching data science learning and to experience the application of data science methods and tools in various fields. It provides an opportunity for students to build their careers in data science. 

By Sara Elhawash, DSI

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