Industrial Strength Data Science

The newsletter of the Royal Statistical Society’s Data Science and AI Section

The Data Science and AI Section of the Royal Statistical Society is the membership group representing data and AI scientists in the UK. It was established in 2017 to ensure the long-term success of data science as a profession. To find out more about the section and its activities, visit the RSS website.

Newsletter archive

February 2024
Well, we’ve made it through January... continuing violence in the Middle East and Ukraine, depressingly ineffective politics set against a backdrop of dramatically fluctuating temperatures (at least in the UK)... Definitely time to lose ourselves in some thought provoking AI and Data Science reading materials!

January 2024
Happy New Year! I hope you all had a great festive period catching up with friends and family and are suitably energised for 2024... or not! Either way, how about easing gently into January with some thought provoking AI and Data Science reading materials...

December 2023
Well, we’ve seen snow for the first time in a while in the UK... winter coat and big jumper definitely required! High time to curl up in the warm with some thought provoking AI and Data Science reading materials...

November 2023
Well, the clocks have recently changed in the UK -- a sure sign of darker nights and colder weather... so high time to curl up with some thought provoking AI and Data Science reading materials!

October 2023
Well, we had a great week of sunshine in early September in the UK -- but with the mornings increasingly dark and the temperature dropping it feels like summer is now officially over... So high time for some in depth AI commentary. Don't miss out on more generative AI fun and games in the middle section!

September 2023
I hope you have been enjoying the summer... we’ve had the world’s hottest July ever, although sadly this seems to have translated into rain for the UK... At least we’ve had the World Athletics Championships for inspiration... But high time for some in depth data science commentary -- a bumper issue this time after our month off! Don't miss out on more generative AI fun and games in the middle section!

July 2023
July in the UK... when the shorts properly come out (sun or not...) and ‘Test Match Special’ becomes the soundtrack to the summer... hopefully plenty of time to catch up on the data science and AI developments of the last month. Don't miss out on more generative AI fun and games in the middle section!

June 2023
One final bank holiday in the rear-view mirror and June is here… and hopefully some warmer weather. We're mixing things up this month and having an Open Source special… we still have our regular sections on bias and ethics and generative AI but then focus on recent developments in the open source community, specifically focusing on LLM… if you're curious about finetuning your own 30 billion parameter large language model on one gpu, don't miss this!

May 2023
Another month flies by and May is here... and this year in the UK, May is richly blessed with Bank Holidays so... hopefully plenty of time to catch up on the data science and AI developments of the last month. Don't miss out on more generative AI fun and games in the middle section!

April 2023
March is finished... and I may be mistaken but it feels slightly less cold and wet and the daffodils are out so... spring must be here!... Time to celebrate with a wrap up of data science developments in the last month. Don't miss out on GPT4 excitement in the middle section!

March 2023
February may technically be the shortest month but it certainly can feel long… I think I sensed a slight brightening in the morning light but I may have been mistaken… Maybe time for a bit of distraction with a wrap up of data science developments in the last month. Don’t miss out on more ChatGPT fun and games in the middle section!

February 2023
January reminded us (in the UK at least) of the joys of a ‘big coat’ with 2023 definitely off to a cold start… No great change to the depressing headlines though so hopefully time for a bit of distraction with a wrap up of data science developments in the last month. Don’t miss out on more ChatGPT fun and games in the middle section!

January 2023
2023 - Happy New Year!… Hope you had a fun and festive holiday season or at least drank and ate enough to take your mind off the strikes, energy prices, cost of living crisis, war in Ukraine and all the other depressing headlines… Perhaps time for something a little different, with a wrap up of data science developments in the last month. Don't miss out on the ChatGPT fun and games in the middle section!

December 2022
December already… Happy Holidays to everyone! It certainly feels like winter is here judging by the lack of sunlight. But a December like no other, as we have a World Cup to watch - although half empty, beer-less, air-conditioned stadiums in repressive Qatar does not sit well…

November 2022
Another month, another UK Prime Minister it seems - certainly the rate of political dramas doesn't seem to be slowing…

October 2022
Well, September certainly seemed to disappear pretty rapidly (along with the sunshine sadly). And dramatic events keep accumulating, from the sad death of the Queen, together with epic coverage of 'the queue', to dramatic counter offensives in the Ukraine, to unprecedented IMF criticism of the UK government's tax-cutting plans.

September 2022
I hope you have all been enjoying a great summer. Certainly lots to engage with from heat waves, sewage spills, leadership elections, spiralling energy costs… and of course on a much more positive note the Lionesses winning the Euros for the first time (it's come home…)! Apologies for skipping a month but it does mean we have plenty to talk about so prepare for a somewhat longer than normal read…

July 2022
Welcome to July! Inflation, union strikes, sunshine… lots of commentary drawing parallels to the mid-70s. One thing that is very different from that period is the world of data science (which didn't even exist as a discipline) - crazy to think that the Apple II launched in '77 with 4 KB RAM, 4 million times less memory than the laptop I'm writing this on…

June 2022
It's June already - time flies - and in the UK an extra bank holiday! Perhaps the data science reading materials below might help fill the void now the Jubilee celebrations have finished…

May 2022
Another month flies by, and although we had that rarest of occasions in the UK - a sunny Easter weekend - the news in general continues to be depressing; law breakers at the highest ranks of government, covid infections high, and of course the devastating war in Ukraine. Hopefully the data science reading materials below might distract a little…

April 2022
The news from Ukraine is truly devastating and brings a huge dose of perspective to our day to day lives in the UK. I know I for one care rather less about fixing my python package dependencies when I see the shocking scenes from Mariupol… However, those of us more distant from the war do at least have the option to think about other things, and hopefully the data science reading materials below might distract a little…

March 2022
Another month flies by - at least it finally seems to be getting a bit lighter in the mornings although I fear sunny spring days are still a way off… I imagine you are suffering withdrawal from a lack of dramatic Olympics Curling action so perhaps some thought provoking data science reading materials to fill the void…

February 2022
Well, January seemed to flash by in the blink of an eye - certainly the holiday period seems a long time ago already. All is not lost - the Winter Olympics seems to have crept up on us and is just about to start which will no doubt provide some entertainment and distraction… as I hope will some thought provoking data science reading materials.

January 2022
Happy New Year! I hope you all had as relaxing a holiday period as possible and enjoyed the fireworks from around the world… London trumps them all as far as I'm concerned although I'm clearly biased. As we all gear up for 2022, perhaps time for some thought provoking data science reading materials to help guide plans for the year ahead.

December 2021
Properly dark and cold now in the UK, and even some initial sightings of Christmas trees so it must be getting to the end of year… perhaps time for some satisfying data science reading materials while pondering what present to buy for your long lost auntie!

November 2021
The clocks have changed - officially the end of 'daylight savings' in the UK - does that mean we no longer try and save daylight? Certainly feels that way… definitely time for some satisfying data science reading materials while drying out from the rain!

October 2021
I guess summer is over, what there was of it - I was hoping we might get a bit of autumn sunshine but it feels like it's big coat weather already… definitely time for some tasty data science reading materials in front of a warm fire!

September 2021
I don't know about you, but that didn't feel particularly August-like… I miss the sun! Perhaps September will save the summer, together with some inspiration from the Paralympics… How about a few curated data science materials for perusing during the lull in the wheelchair rugby final?

August 2021
That was quick, August already, but at least we have had the occasional day when it properly feels like summer - and now we have some Olympics to watch which is always entertaining! … How about a few curated data science materials for reading in while watching the marathon?

July 2021
Not sure what happened to June - seemed to fly by - I know there were some lovely sunny days but then it got cold again… fingers crossed summer it's not over already! … How about a few curated data science reading materials for reading in the garden, rain or shine?

June 2021
It's a bank holiday weekend - again - so that means it's June and hopefully some warmer weather as May has definitely not delivered on that front… perhaps a few curated data science reading materials might prove useful for sunshine in the garden?

May 2021
It's a bank holiday weekend, so it's probably May and another month has flown by… I hope the excitement of venturing out from our cave-like lockdown has not proved too overwhelming… perhaps a few curated data science reading materials might prove relaxing?

April 2021
Another month flies by… still cold, but I've definitely seen the sun once or twice… I hope the on-again off-again dreams of a proper summer holiday aren't proving too painful… perhaps a few curated data science reading materials might ease the burden over the Easter weekend?

March 2021
Another month flies by… At least it's getting a bit lighter in the mornings and I've even seen the sun once or twice. I hope you are staying as sane as possible despite home-schooling, home-working, home-everything else (delete as appropriate)… perhaps a few curated data science reading materials might lighten the mood?

February 2021
Well, January seemed to fly by. 2021 has certainly started with a bang (Brexit!, Impeachment!, New President!, Vaccinations!) and the holidays seem an age ago. I hope you are surviving lockdown 3.0 as best as you can… maybe there is room in the long dark evenings for a few curated data science reading materials?

January 2021
Happy New Year! I hope you have all had a festive holiday period and found some time to catch up on those deep learning research papers you had been meaning to dig into… Fingers crossed 2021 proves better than 2020… as a start, how about welcoming in the new year with a few curated data science reading materials!

December 2020
It's hard to believe it's December… in some respects the year has felt incredibly slow as we have watched the pandemic run its inexorable course; and then in other ways it feels like a blur of zoom calls and box sets that has gone by in a flash. Lets hope 2021 proves better… for the time being, how about hunkering down with some 'home-improvement' via a few curated data science reading materials!

November 2020
It's all go… US Presidential Elections, second waves, third tiers and second lockdowns, all while struggling to maintain some semblance of professionalism for the next Zoom call… Definitely time for 'self-care' via some selected data science reading materials!

October 2020
As the rain pours down it definitely feels like winter has arrived - all the more reason to spend some time indoors huddled up with some good data science reading materials!

September 2020
Another month flies by… hard to believe summer is technically over although the coldest August UK bank holiday on record is one way to drive home the point!

August 2020
Let's face it, July was a bit lacking in sunshine but at least ended with a couple of scorchers. Possibly not the best conditions to be pulling together a newsletter, but we'd always take the sun over rain!

July 2020
Well, we have made it to summer (at least the British variety) - and it's time for the July edition of our Royal Statistical Society Data Science Section newsletter. Hopefully some interesting topics and titbits to feed your data science curiosity while enjoying a socially distanced day on the beach with everyone else…

June 2020
Another month flies by - somehow lockdown days seem to go slowly but weeks disappear - and it's time for the June edition of our Royal Statistical Society Data Science Section newsletter. Hopefully some interesting topics and titbits to feed your data science curiosity…

May 2020
Well, April is now behind us, so it is high time to pull together the May edition of our Royal Statistical Society Data Science Section newsletter. Rather than dwell solely on COVID related data science topics (of which we know there are plenty) we thought we'd try and bring a more balanced assortment of updates and reading materials this month. We hope these prove entertaining or at least help pass the lockdown hours away.

April 2020
What a month… the end of February seems like an age ago, and life for everyone has changed beyond comprehension since then.

March 2020
Time flies- even with the extra day, February felt pretty short… Anyway, here's round 2 of the Royal Statistical Society Data Science Section monthly newsletter - any and all feedback most welcome!

February 2020
We thought it could be useful (and fun) to pick the collective brains of our Data Science Section committee members (as well as those of our impressive array of subscribers and followers) and put together a monthly newsletter. This will undoubtedly be biased but will hopefully surface materials that we collectively feel is interesting and relevant to the data science community at large.

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