Ahmed Baruwa, a 500-level student of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife, has emerged winner of the Inter-Campus Machine Learning competition. Mr Baruwa and other successful students will go on to participate in a 5-day Bootcamp organised by one of the competition’s sponsor, Bluechip Technologies.

Organised by Data Science Nigeria, this is the maiden edition of the competition. The competition is geared towards improving the reach of data science in Nigeria, and also to improve the employability of Nigerian graduates.

“We have come a long way… [and] believe we must give back. And the best way to give back is through investment in the knowledge that will shape the future – Artificial Intelligence and make the world a better place”, says Bluechip Co-founder Lumide Soyombo.

According to a press release, students from 92 universities and polytechnics (local and foreign), as well as other institutes participated in the competition. Microsoft and Bluechip are two of the competition’s sponsors. This is a huge morale booster for all parties involved.

As a result, the competition was of two parts. Using the global machine learning resource, Kaggle, students were asked to build models for sales forecasting (for Bluechip) and a recommendation system (for Microsoft). Both models are two in-demand business tools with a variety of real-world usage.

Winners To Participate in Microsoft and Bluechip Data Science Bootcamps

Interestingly, over 100 students and other participants emerged victorious in this phase of the competition, alongside Baruwa. Baruwa led the pack for sales forecasting for the Bluechip arm of the competition. While Kone Ismael, from a PhD student from Ivory Coast, won the Microsoft arm of the competition focused on a recommendation system.

Successful participants from each segment of the competition will participate in the 5-day residential Bootcamps organized by each of the competition’s sponsors. The Bootcamps have been slated to hold between 10 and 14 October 2018.

During the bootcamps, participants will be privy to face-to-face teaching, virtual online classes, and a hackathon using the Kaggle platform. Leading data scientist personalities from several companies and institutes are also slated to lead some training sessions.

At the end of the boot camp, another hackathon is scheduled to hold. And this one is to select the overall winner.

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