Singapore’s national university and Microsoft launch program to boost data science

By Michael Tegos for TechinAsia

If data is the “new oil,” data scientists are the refineries that spin all kinds of value out of it. And nowhere in the world is that being embraced more wholeheartedly than in Singapore.

Twitter announced last week it’s establishing a data science team in the country to sift through the company’s massive trove of information for hidden gems. And today, during the Microsoft Developer Day event, Microsoft and the National University of Singapore (NUS) announced they’re going to work together to help train more data scientists.

NUS will incorporate Microsoft’s data science curriculum.

NUS and the American tech heavyweight will collaborate on data science education and research. NUS has launched the Institute of Data Science, which will become the hub of the university’s data-related work. Microsoft is the Institute’s first industry partner.

Under the agreement, the university will incorporate Microsoft’s data science curriculum and related assets. These assets include more than 200 hours of content like tutorials, labs, and assignments.

Additionally, NUS and Microsoft want to develop tools and methodologies that will be useful to both industry and academia in the region. The aim is to cultivate the talent and the wherewithal to deal with the huge streams of data that will pour through as Singapore evolves into a Smart Nation.

Deep learning

The multinational will give NUS its Cortana Intelligence Suite Education Program, which includes grants to students to use its interestingly named big data analytics cloud service. It will also provide its Advanced Analytics Process and Technology tools that will allow the university to build and use predictive models.

NUS and Microsoft will collaborate on deep learning and artificial intelligence.

Besides data science, NUS and Microsoft will work on “areas of mutual interest” including deep learning and artificial intelligence.

“Our researchers will engage in joint research with Microsoft to develop novel, integrated solutions to industry-relevant data science problems, and in turn, harness technology to improve the lives of Singaporeans,” said Professor Ho Teck Hua, deputy president (research & technology) of NUS, in a statement.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella gave a speech at NUS, where he stressed the need for local developers to make the most out of today’s cutting edge tools in order to improve people’s lives and build innovative products.

Cloud and integrated technologies will be key for businesses who want to grow in a connected and mobile-first world, he said. Microsoft-made tools and infrastructure like BizSpark and Azure are used extensively by startups, small businesses, and startup incubators.

He concluded by saying that Microsoft wants to be a big part of bringing up the next generation of Singaporean innovators who will be the backbone of the Smart Nation initiative.

First appeared at techinAsia