What to know before studying Data Science

by Dr Daniel Lawson, Senior Lecturer in Data Science, University of Bristol and Compass CDT Co-Director 

For the first time in history, data is abundant and everywhere. This has created a new era for how we understand the world. Modern Data Science is new and changing the world, but it is rooted in cleverness throughout history.

What is Data Science used for today?

Data Science is ubiquitous today. Many choices about what to buy, what to watch, what news to read – these are either directly or indirectly influenced by recommender systems that match our history with that of others to show us something we might want. Machine Learning has revolutionised computer vision, automation has revolutionised industry and distribution, whilst self-driving cars are at least close. Knowledge is increasingly distributed, with distributed learning ranging from Wikipedia to spam detection.

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Data Science for Vikings

Mathematics from Dr Daniel Lawson‘s group at the University of Bristol found that the World’s largest ever DNA sequencing of Viking skeletons reveals they weren’t all Scandinavian. (Link to Paper.)

Invaders, pirates, warriors – the history books taught us that Vikings were brutal predators who travelled by sea from Scandinavia to pillage and raid their way across Europe and beyond.

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