windward at itc

How to create a successful Data Science workshop

During the training phase of the Data Science & Machine Learning program, we aim to expose our participants to experts and to different topics trending in the industry. From Computer Vision to Cyber, to Ad-Tech, Fin-Tech, and many more – the workshops serve as complementary knowledge that our students receive on top of the core training. This is a chance for all companies to teach tools and methods that are not necessarily used in other companies.

As we commit to keeping our workshops current and engaging over the years, we have created an outline for all companies interested in creating a successful workshop for our Data Science students.

Preparation and planning

Do you already have an idea of what you would like to share with students? We encourage you to share your ideas with our course tech lead so you can brainstorm together on how to best present the topic. All the topics must include a focus on computer vision or NLP, as our students aim to specialise in those. Based on your experience and familiarity with the course syllabus and the students’ technical level, our program team will advise on how to best match the workshop to the time-frame of the course and to the students’ capabilities, to create a seamless experience for all. 

Presentation time

Introduce your company and tell your story (30-60 minutes)

  • Present your company’s unique characteristics, current trends, challenges, and opportunities.
  • Share what your team aims to solve, what technology or product you’re basing it on.
  • Feel free to include live examples and demonstrate the added value your company brings to your specific industry.
  • Use this opportunity to talk about your Data Science team and structure. 
    • Example: In the workshop delivered by Taboola, Gil Chamiel, VP of R&D kicked off the day with an intro lecture on the AI aspects of the product and its impact.

Present the challenge or task for the workshop, including relevant (ideally, real) datasets and guidelines (Between 3 hours to 2 days)

  • This part of the workshop is very practical. Students often split up into teams and begin applying the techniques that they have learnt in the course so far. It sometimes becomes a competition between teams which makes some workshops even more exciting! 
  • Company representatives can use this time to walk around the class to see the students’ work and assist if needed. This is an important part of the day for you and the students, as it is the best chance to identify who can be a good fit for your teams.
    • Example:  In Dell’s workshop, the problem of Large Scale Log analytics was explained. Then, using the University of Calgary’s Department of Computer Science WWW server data, the students had to perform EDA, log parsing, build and visualize a time-series signal and build an Anomaly Detection engine. 

Summarise the workshop (30-60 minutes) 

  • When bringing the workshop to a close, this is the perfect time to mention the “take-aways” and important conclusions from working together.
  • In some cases, the students may present their work as a form of a conclusion.
    • Example:  In the workshop by Checkpoint, the students learned about networking layers and protocols, and had to perform the following tasks: Characterize client’s network, detect suspicious activity and find vulnerabilities. At the end of the 2-day workshop, the teams presented their results and processes in front of their classmates and hackathon judges, and winning teams were rewarded.

General Q&A and mingling (30 minutes)

  • This can be in the form of an open discussion, about the industry or the company. Our students really enjoy getting to learn more about you and your company. 

General Tips

  • Often, what makes a workshop extra-significant to the students, is having ITC graduates currently working for the company to join the company representatives in delivering it. It is a source of inspiration and motivation for students that see where hard work can take them. At the same time, graduates provide an extra-hand to operate the workshop while also being able to relate to the students and have a good understanding of their expected knowledge and skills.
  • The workshop part of the course takes place after the core topics of the training were already taught. This is intentional as we see the added value of the companies in bringing a certain domain to the table, and showing the specific applications for Data Science in it.
  • Chronologically, the workshops are the stage in the training that precedes the 5-weeks projects at the companies. Therefore, if a company chooses to do both (workshop+project) they can use the workshop to “spot” specific students that can fit their project requirements.
  • Ideally, together with the technological representatives from the companies, the relevant HR contact will also join the workshop (or part of it). This will assist in moving forward with potential placement opportunities later on. 

In past cohorts, we hosted workshops by Outbrain and Taboola on recommendation systems, Chorus.ai on NLP, Mobileye on Computer Vision, and many more.

Would your company like to participate in a workshop (free) or the project phase? This is a rare opportunity for you to gain access to untapped talent that has been trained by the best minds in the industry. Reach out to Dani Cohen for more information.

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