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To understand the lectures, club members are expected to have a basic understanding of mathematical concepts, derivatives, matrices, and functions. Image: unsplash
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New club will provide extracurricular content for students interested in two major subsections of data science

Three years ago, Jad Izgua and Samy Hachi were seeking a club that could provide passionate students experiences in the field of both data science and AI. Unfortunately, they were unable to find such a club, so they founded the UDSAIC on Aug. 27, 2021.

Jad Izgua and Samy Hachi are third- and fourth-year mathematics and economics students at the University of Ottawa. Together, they’ve started a club whose focus is mainly on machine learning and AI, which are major subtopics within data science.

“We will do lectures that can be viewed as workshops. These won’t dive deep into the theories of what is machine learning or different algorithms. These courses should just explain the intuition behind the important algorithms. Students can use datasets that they find for obtaining results of their own,” said Izgua, in an interview with the Fulcrum. 

To understand the lectures, club members are expected to have a basic understanding of mathematical concepts, derivatives, matrices, and functions. These are fundamental topics covered in first-year math courses, and are integrated into a few university programs, including physics, engineering, and mathematics, among other STEM disciplines. Students without this basic knowledge will be accommodated by UDSAIC, too, if need be.

The lectures and workshops will greatly benefit students preparing to take third- and fourth-year courses in machine learning and deep learning, and will serve as a helpful study resource for many.

Interactive and hands-on components are also expected to be a part of the club activities. 

In addition to these lectures, Izgua explained the club plans on inviting guest speakers in both the data science and business fields.

“At this moment we are at the advanced stage of reaching out to the professors and professionals in both fields,” he said. 

Izuga also explained the club’s future plans of hosting projects and competitions for club members. The competitions will concentrate on data science and AI.

“At UDSAIC we are hoping for inclusive participation of students from varying disciplines,” said Izuga in an interview. He explained that “our data indicates there are a good number of student members with basic and advanced knowledge in computer science and mathematics, therefore, in fairness, the competition will be divided into basic and advanced.” 

Currently, Izuga and Hachi are crafting an educational package that includes data science, machine learning and knowledge of deep learning and its scientific application. Additionally, they are working on administrative and marketing tasks for the club.

UDSAIC will be limited to U of O students when it launches, but eventually, the goal is to expand nationwide in Canada. 

For more information about uOttawa Data Science & AI Club (UDSAIC), visit their website here