A week-long workshop aimed at fostering JKUAT’s data science capacity opened at the University on Monday June 3, 2019. The event that brought together students and staff from different departments such as information technology, computing and statistics, was part of activities of the VLIR-OUS funded Legume Centre of Excellence for Food and Nutrition Security (LCEFoNS).
Speaking when he officiated the workshop’s opening ceremony, Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Academic Affairs, Prof. Robert Kinyua challenged participants to utilize the knowledge gained and contribute in solving the country’s socio-economic challenges.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor also urged the beneficiaries of the training to cascade learned knowledge to others as a way of building critical mass of expertise in the attendant domains.
Prof. Bernard Manderick from the Free University of Brussels who is facilitating the workshop, said data science was gaining currency as a tool of knowledge-driven decision making for governments, corporations and individuals.
Bernard who is a professor of artificial intelligence added that drawing insights from existing data can facilitate planning and resource allocation, while forming a basis of collaboration at national and international levels.
One of the participants, Irene Irungu, said, she was keen to leverage machine learning and engineer predictive mathematical models for the financial industry.
“Adoption of technology in the financial industry presents a need to utilize silos of data through machine learning to improve processes and procedures,” said Irene.
LCEFoNS is a North – South collaboration between JKUAT in Kenya and KULeuven and Vrije Universiteit Brussels, both from Belgium.
The multidisciplinary initiative domiciled in the School of Food Science, focuses on different stages along the value chain of legumes, from agricultural production, postharvest storage and food processing to human consumption and impact on human nutrition and health.