- Saturday, June 13, 2015
The summer dissertation projects are underway on the Big Data MSc. at the University of Stirling. Students are spending the summer working on projects under the expert supervision of computing science lecturers. A great many of the projects are provided by companies, which means that the students are working on real problems for a real client. This has many great advantages for the student including experience of real world Big Data problems with help from experts in the client company. Another advantage of such projects is that they can lead to a job offer at the end of the degree programme. Companies treat the project like a long job interview and students who do well can be offered a job as a direct result of their project work.
Projects often involve trying new technology for a company to determine whether or not that company should invest further in its use. Popular new technologies that students are using at the moment includes the new NoSQL databases such as MongoDB and Neo4J. One student project this year involves building a new product review web site using a NoSQL database to store the reviews. After further development, the site will be put live and start to generate income, meaning the student not only has an interesting project, but a way of making money.
A previous project was aimed at detecting fraudulent transactions from traders in an investment bank. This involved building a large data model of the usual trading behaviour of the traders that is used to detect trades that are very unusual. The project involved a number of Big Data technologies as the data had to be stored in the right kind of database, streamed in real time from the trading system and analysed using data mining techniques. The student walked into a job as a direct result of the project.
What would you find yourself working on if you studied Big Data at the University of Stirling? Available projects include modelling electric car usage and analysing performance data from Olympic athletes (Stirling is Scotland’s University for sport, so we have fantastic sporting facilities for all of our students to use, plus a world renowned Sports Science department where Big Data is becoming increasingly important). Perhaps you are interested in finance and banking – we have projects from HSBC and The Prudential, or maybe you are more concerned about the environment and would like to do a project about renewable energy or water quality? The first step is to apply for a place on the Big Data MSc. at the University of Stirling, your first step towards an exciting and varied career as a data scientist.
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