Tech conference connects students with industry leaders

Machine Learning Bootcamp team

L to R: Shenjun Zhong, Torgyn Shaikhina, Freeha Azmat, Parthan Kasarapu and Alexander Senior

A Machine Learning (ML) Bootcamp has brought together global tech industry leaders, academics and students from Monash University, the University of Warwick and other Melbourne universities to explore the latest developments in artificial intelligence.

The five-day conference, supported by the Monash Warwick Alliance, featured over twenty academic and industry experts including representatives from supercomputer company Cray, cloud-based machine learning service provider Splunk, graphics processing units manufacturer Nvidia, Tiberius Data Mining, global biotech company Commonwealth Serum Laboratories (CSL), and Melbourne-based data science company Zearis.

Held at Monash University’s Clayton campus, the conference hosted over sixty undergraduate and postgraduate students from a variety of research disciplines and included workshops, lectures and an intensive team-based competition with teams solving three prediction problems taken from real-world applications in linguistics, civil engineering and biomedical science.

Organised by PhD students Shenjun Zhong and Parthan Kasarapu of Monash University and Freeha Azmat and Torgyn Shaikhina of the University of Warwick, the event also provided students with advice about careers in data science, information on current industry demands and offered networking opportunities with both potential employers and other attendees.

“It was very valuable for PhD students planning their future career, whether they will remain in academia or go into industry,” Shenjun said.

“Senior industry professionals gave talks on the challenges facing the industry and the skills required to solve those challenges. Having this understanding will help PhD students prepare their skill-set early,” he said.

Freeha said the experience of organising the event had been of benefit to the whole team.

“The Monash Warwick Alliance provided us a platform to create innovative opportunities for global collaboration. In organising this event, we have polished our managerial, leadership, communication and networking skills.” 

Formed in early 2012, the Monash Warwick Alliance represents an innovation in higher education and research and aims to accelerate the exchange of people, ideas and information between Monash University and the University of Warwick.