Over 150 students from across Mumbai came together to attend a two-day Statistics workshop, Sankhyiki, held on the 12th and 13th of January this year. The theme of Sankhyiki 2018 was ‘Data Science and Python Training.’ In its eighth year, the annual event of NMIMS Sunandan Divatia School of Science, Department of Statistics surpassed all benchmarks that were set in the preceding years.
Day one commenced with the traditional lighting of the lamp ceremony. Dr. Jayant Gandhi, the guest of honour for the event, along with Professor Sunil Shirvaiker and the Dean of SDSOS, Dr. Aparna Khanna ensured that the event kicked off with immense enthusiasm. The occasion was also graced by the presence of Dr. Sharad Mhaiskar, Pro Vice Chancellor of NMIMS University. The Chief Guest for the day was Mr. Vyom Upadhyay, head of Analytics and Business Intelligence, ICICI Bank. He was delighted to be a part of academia and felt it imperative to draw focus to the emerging field of Big Data. Emphasis was laid on how Statistics is used to promote business growth with the optimal utilisation of resources. He placed his bets on open source when asked to pick between proprietary and open source software, reasoning that many minds working together to improvise on any idea is always better than a few.
The most awaited moment for the M.Sc. Statistics Part II students of SDSOS finally came when the winners of ‘The Best Summer Internship’ award were announced. Ms. Rajitha Nair and Ms. Hiteshree Lad won the 1st prize, followed by Ms. Priyanka Joglekar and Ms. Cheryl D’Souza in the 2nd position. A team of two from the same batch won the Business Analytics and Data Mining Championship held in October 2017, competing with teams from across India. Ms. Shreya Kekre and Ms. Shrea Piplani were felicitated during the event for this prodigious achievement. To add to the list Ms. Meghna Dineshan, Ms. Rutika Vagal and Ms. Karishma Iyer were applauded for winning the 2nd prize in the ISPS M.Sc. Student Project Competition 2017, a group contest organised by the Indian Society for Probability and Statistics. The genuine smiles and content, unmistakable on the winners’ faces, said everything that words could not. It was indeed a moment of great pride for the students, as well as the faculty members of SDSOS who guided them at every stage.
This was followed by one of the most captivating talks of the day, given by Mr. Venkatesh C.G., CoP Lead - Data Science at Larsen and Toubro Infotech. He inspired students to find something they were truly passionate about and make their chosen careers more than just a job.
All the budding statisticians were awestruck by the Solar Forecasting Solution that he had developed. His list of achievements is endless and everyone knew just why after he concluded the session with great words of wisdom. The audience was motivated not only to do something out of the box but also to stick to their principles no matter what.
The post lunch session started with Ms. Madhumita Ghosh, Big Data Analyst at IBM India Private Limited, enlightening the listeners with her talk on Data Science. She highlighted that theoretical knowledge coupled with machine learning is the best way forward. With new developments and breakthroughs in statistical software at every juncture, Ms. Ghosh thought it was essential to stress on the technical aspect of data science, data mining and statistics in entirety.
Sankhyiki featured some exceptional speakers this year. Mr. Rebello, however, was certainly the best of the lot. He is the Director of L.R. Associates Private Limited, but an extraordinary motivational speaker above all else. With an incredible sense of humour and a unique story-telling skill not many possess, he ensured that the larger point was conveyed in the most compelling manner possible. It was one great talk that will undoubtedly remain in the hearts and minds of the attendees for a very long time to come. As Mr. Rebello rightly mentioned, it is never too late to follow your heart and to be the best at what you love to do.
Ms. Nisha Maharaul and Mr. Shreyas Shanbaug, students of SDSOS, got the opportunity to put on display their project with the Maharashtra Sales Tax department. The audience was left stunned by the mechanism, devised so cleverly by the duo, to detect fraudulent cases of sales tax. Day one of Sankhyiki thus came to an end, with students eagerly looking forward to all that was in store for the next day.
Taking into consideration the significance of machine learning in the global arena, the second day of the event was solely dedicated to Python Training. Mr. Harshil Gandhi, Associate Technical Consultant working with SAS Institute India, proved to be a proficient instructor in all respects. 60 students had the opportunity of attending the 5-hour session, at the end of which they were given certificates confirming their attendance and successful completion of the Python Training Program.
As Sankhyiki 2018 drew to a close, the students and faculty of NMIMS Sunandan Divatia School of Science were only impelled to set the bar higher in the years to come. Pleased with the event’s grand success this year, yet aiming to make it a class apart, with one true goal in mind: unveiling the real power of Statistics.