University of Hull students, staff and guests celebrated all the newest building on campus has to offer at the official opening of the £4.5 million Centre of Excellence for Data Science, Artificial Intelligence and Modelling (DAIM) this week.
British Olympic Association CEO Andy Anson and Bradly Sinden, Team GB’s Taekwondo Silver medallist from Tokyo 2020, joined the celebrations – with Andy joining the line-up of speakers at the event.
Professor Dave Petley, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hull, said: “We are delighted to welcome Andy and Bradly to campus for the opening of our Centre of Excellence for Data Science, Artificial Intelligence and Modelling. Their presence will undoubtedly add to the occasion – as they share their reflections on the Centre and their Team GB experiences – for the enjoyment of all those attending.
“The power of AI and data science is already evident and is rapidly changing the world we knew. This can be seen in numerous aspects of our daily lives and in society as a whole.
“The launch of the new Centre is indicative of the University’s intent to provide an expeditious response to these changes and to the needs of society.
“Reacting proactively to the increasing need for qualified practitioners by delivering a step-change in the provision of educational excellence in data science and AI is at the heart of this new building – and we will continue to invest in learning and teaching as well as research in this important field as it continues to evolve. We will be teaching the graduates who will be at the forefront of data science.”
The new facility houses the largest computational teaching space on campus. Spread over two levels, it has over 250 computer seats for students to learn, practice, and apply their coding, programming, AI, and data science expertise. The design of the new building offers an immersive, contemporary, and high-quality digital setting whilst keeping its environmental impact to a minimum.
Dr Kevin Pimbblet, Director of the new Centre, said: “The past 12 months has shown how quickly the field of Artificial Intelligence can develop. With some jobs and careers now in danger of being replaced with this technology, let alone the ethical use of it, one thing is for certain: it is more important than ever that the nation has appropriately skilled graduates to be able to understand and navigate the full breadth of the technology underpinning the next industrial revolution.”
Crucially, through knowledge exchange, DAIM’s ambitions encompass the provision of exemplary service within the University, and beyond to the public sector, that will enhance mutual goals and tackle complex industry issues.
DAIM will become a portal for business partnerships and will deliver dynamic inter-disciplinary collaborations and external partnerships leading to research and skills outcomes that are of strategic priority to the region, the UK and the world.
Earlier this year, the University of Hull announced that it had been awarded £690,000 to help those underrepresented in the field of AI and data science gain the skills to move into the industry.
The funding, from the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) and Office for Artificial Intelligence (OAI) was awarded by the Office for Students (OfS) to universities to deliver the AI and data science scholarships.
The University was among 30 to be awarded a share of £8.1m, with scholarships being offered to home students who meet certain criteria.
Successful applicants will receive £10,000 towards their MSc.
Dr Pimbblet said: “This was fantastic news for the University as it aligns with the University’s social justice strategy of supporting disadvantaged and underrepresented students. The award demonstrates the reputation of our Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data Science course.”
The Centre has been running a highly successful MSc conversion course since its inception in 2020, supporting hundreds of students to develop their data science and AI skills and progressing them into a wide range of UK industries, including finance, retail, energy, and beyond.
DAIM students cover programming, statistics, machine learning, big data, data visualisation, computer vision and the ethical and legal responsibilities of using data.
Graduates will be able to apply AI and data science techniques to real-world problems, critically evaluate AI and data science methodologies, plan, design and carry out empirical research, and interpret, present and communicate the outcomes of data science and AI solutions.
Exclusive Team GB University Partnership
Now in its fifth year, the University’s partnership with Team GB has resulted in remarkable opportunities for our students, staff, and partner schools and colleges. Students and staff shared in the excitement of this special relationship during the build-up to Olympic Games.
The University is the first and only University to be an Official Partner of Team GB. The exclusive partnership covers a six-year period and includes the Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024 Summer Olympic Games and the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games. Team GB triple Olympic Champion Max Whitlock OBE is an ambassador for the University.
In May, Max joined staff and students on campus to discuss mental health as part of mental health awareness week.
Since the partnership was announced in January 2019, a varied range of opportunities has been provided to staff and students – including volunteering, work experience, motivational talks, sports-related benefits, and studying initiatives.
It’s also brought some of Team GB’s most accomplished and inspirational athletes to the University’s campus.
At the heart of the partnership is the ability to benefit from shared information, joint research and enterprise projects. It has also been born out of shared ambitions and beliefs, which are to benefit both parties throughout the collaboration.
Students at the University of Hull have been able to take part in unforgettable experiences that boost their CVs including assisting Team GB with relevant research and real-life business projects. Extensive research continues to be carried out across various disciplines (not just limited to sports) and our students and staff are playing key roles in helping Team GB achieve their short-term and longer-term strategic goals through innovations.