Published on 22 September 2016

What do astronomy, the green revolution, the artificial intelligence of Facebook and the search for words or good job applicants have in common? All these areas are now based largely on significant amounts of data. And all of these, and more, were included in the programme of the Junior Conference on Data Science and Engineering 2016 (JDSEPARIS16) on 15 and 16 September 2016.

Organised jointly by Télécom ParisTech*,  Labex DigiCosmeHadamard and the CDS (Center for Data Science), this “Junior Conference” had a format previously unseen in France: this was not a conference of experts (apart from a few keynotes) but Masters and PhD students sharing their research experiences and results. Some of them were presenting in front of a large audience for the first time. The questions flew, showing the interest in the exercise. Faced with speakers with a range of experiences but not the weight of years, the students were not intimidated and were even enthusiastic.

These students will make up the ‘data science network of tomorrow’, according to Florence d’Alché-Buc and Albert Bifet, organisers of JDSEPARIS16 and lecturers at Télécom ParisTech. They will work in start-ups, large companies and research centres. It is therefore important for them to be aware now of the diversity of their approaches and the contributions of each specialism.

An intensive programme, over two days, thus covered all topics linked to data science, from machine learning to statistics via databases, big data and the storage management of enormous amounts of data. For Patrick Valduriez, a researcher at Inria Montpellier, it was an opportunity to remember that data is not information: it consists of basic, isolated facts that need to be put in context with other data and interpreted in order to obtain useful information. The path from data to information is thus the very heart of data science and the various jobs for which the students present at this Junior Conference are preparing.



Two students awarded a prize

The two ex-aequo winners of the prize for best presentation are:

Antonin de la Noce, for his presentation on the variability of plants. An engineering student at CentraleSupélec* (ECP+R research pathway) and a Masters in Vision and Learning (MVA) student, he will work on his thesis at the Mathematics and Computing for Complexity and Systems (MICS) laboratory at CentraleSupélec, as part of the Digiplante team.Antonin de la Noce
Anna Korba, for her presentation on rank aggregation. She obtained an MVA from ENSAE in 2015 and is now a PhD student at the Information Processing and Communication Laboratory (Télécom ParisTech*/CNRS [National Centre for Scientific Research]*)Anna Korba

*Télécom ParisTech, CentraleSupélec and the CNRS are founding members of the University of Paris-Saclay.