AIMS-DISCnet School 2018

AIMS South Africa, in partnership with UK-based DISCNet, will be hosting a Data Science School from 13 to 15 June 2018 at AIMS South Africa, Cape Town. The school is aimed at Master’s and PhD students from all fields involving data intensive research.

The school will be highly interactive, focusing on a mixture of lectures and tutorials, taught by top lecturers from South Africa and the United Kingdom. Topics covered will include machine learning, statistics and general data analysis.

Application deadline: 12 May 2018

Data intensive science is a major global growth area, as the volume, complexity and rate of digital data within governments and companies continues to rapidly increase. At the same time, powerful analysis techniques continue to evolve for obtaining radical insights into large datasets, including finding clusters and anomalies, as well as detecting and predicting dominant trends and correlations in such data. This data intensive science comes at a crucial time for global development. Major worldwide challenges, as encapsulated in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), require multidisciplinary solutions, many of which include data science. Moreover, the South African National Development Plan (NDP) for 2030 recognises the need to “sharpen its innovative edge and continue contributing to global scientific and technological advancement” and “shift to a more knowledge-intensive economy”.  Naledi Pandor – South African Minister of Science – stated in her 2016 budget speech; “A significant amount will be invested in big data, moving South Africa further on its path to becoming a knowledge economy. It is estimated that between 23,000 to 31,000 specialists with deep analytics and big data skills will be needed by 2018.” This is a highly ambitious goal for South Africa (SA), making the training of data scientists an urgent priority.

See this link for further SA-DISCnet data science opportunities.





The school will take place from 13 to 15 June 2018, at the AIMS South Africa located in the beautiful beachside suburb of Muizenberg, Cape Town. There is no registration fee and lunch and tea will be provided at AIMS. Limited funding is available for students traveling from outside of Cape Town. Requests for funding must be indicated on the application form.




The school is aimed at postgraduate students working in any data-intensive field, including (but not limited to) physics, biology, computer science and finance. The topics covered will focus on general data science skills applicable to all fields and material will be delivered as a combination of lectures and hands-on tutorials, encouraging extensive interaction between students and lecturers. The school will take place from 09h30 to 17h30 each day.

Topics covered:

  • Machine learning
  • Advanced Statistics
  • Software Carpentry


  • Dr. Michelle Lochner (AIMS/ SKA SA)
  • Dr. Matt Hilton (UKZN)
  • Dr. David Bacon (ICG Portsmouth)




Scientific Organising Committee 

  • Dr. Michelle Lochner (chair)
  • Prof. Bruce Bassett
  • Dr. David Bacon
Local Organising Committee
  • Linda Camara
  • Rene January




Please complete the online application form.