Young data scientists share their findings on global issues
Dozens of budding data scientists in Korean high schools gathered to visualize data on some of the world’s most pressing issues, such as the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change, and announced their findings at a competition organized by the Ministry of Science. and ICT and the National Computer Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA) in Seoul on Thursday.
“We wanted to see if government Covid-19 emergency relief grants had pushed up the prices of goods, which could leave many consumers worse off than before,” said Kim Na-yeon, a student at Grade 10 in Dongji High School for Girls in Pohang. , North Gyeongsang, speaking to fellow Data Science Ambassadors Computing Program attendees at the Nuritkum Square Building in west Seoul on Thursday.
Kim and her classmate Kim Yu-na presented visual analyzes of commodity prices in Korea, before and after the government distributed its emergency relief grants for Covid-19.
“While we found that commodity prices rose after the government provided the relief grants in May and September 2020, and on several occasions throughout 2021, we also found that vaccination rates, the start of the “Living with Covid-19” program, and a global rise in oil prices has also contributed to the rise in commodity prices, “Kim Yu-na said. “What we found most difficult throughout the project was differentiating between correlation and causation, because two factors can be correlated, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that one caused the other. ”
This was the third year that NIPA has organized high school artificial intelligence education programs in Korea. The program is aimed at students living outside Seoul.
This year the program has been split into two categories: one on big data analysis using the R program and another on building an autonomous car model using Python programming, a Raspberry Pi motherboard and artificial intelligence neural network programs.
About 40 high schools in Incheon, Ulsan, North and South Chungcheong, North and South Gyeongsang, Jeju, Gangwon, Gyeonggi and South Jeolla participated in the program this year.
Students of all experience levels participated, including Go Ju-won from Bongmyeong High School in Cheongju, North Chungcheong, who was learning computer language for the first time, and Chae Seong-hyeon from the same school who was studying the language of C programming for several years.
Park Je-ho, professor of mathematical sciences at Claremont McKenna College, led a four-week course in big data analysis for participants, and Lee Jeong-kyu, professor of computer science at Khoury College of Computer Sciences at Northeastern University, conducted a course on self-driving cars.
“Some of the students addressed issues that the graduate students would address and tried to visualize data on issues that are very relevant to our lives,” Park said. “We are in a time and time when students from an early age should be exposed to reading and understanding data, and I hope this program has been a step in the right direction for many participants. . ”
The grand prize of the data analysis competition was awarded to two students from Onyang Girls High School in Asan, South Chungcheong, Lee Ye-won and Lee Ye-jin, who presented their findings on the visualization of data. data on the effects of climate change in Korea.
“You can see from the graph here that from 1973 to 2020, the average annual temperature in Korea generally increased,” Lee Ye-won said. “In a similar time frame, from 1981 to 2020, you can also see that the time it takes for cherry blossoms to bloom, since the beginning of the year, has decreased, which means there is had a general tendency for flowers to bloom earlier than before over the years.
In addition to their analysis of sea level change, as well as sea ice fall rates around the world, the team presented their findings on the effects of climate change around the world.
“We knew climate change was a serious global problem, but we wanted to show how serious it is by visualizing relevant data,” said Lee Ye-jin.
Three students from Incheon Electronic Meister High School, Lee Gyeom, Jeon Hyeon-min and Kim Kang-min, won second prize. They analyzed data on traffic accidents in Korea to visualize where traffic accidents are most likely to occur in Korea and describe which types of traffic accidents occur most frequently.
“It was a good opportunity to find out what it means to be a data scientist, a career that I seriously consider for myself when I graduate from college,” said Kim Kang-min, a student eleventh grade in high school. “I hope I can develop both the hardware and software skills to become an expert in programming.”
Students who embarked on the autonomous car project competed by racing their scale models.
“We modeled the stroke several times to adjust different options, like camera angle, camera location, encoding and others, to find the best combination to ensure both speed and accuracy,” said said Kim Jong-min from Semyeong High School in Pohang. , whose team consisted of three other students from his school. “In the end, we found that turning off the camera while correcting the code helped reduce CPU usage, which saved us energy. . ”
The grand prize in the self-driving car category went to a team from Daegi High School in Jeju and the second prize went to a team from Incheon Electronic Meister High School.
“It’s difficult to live in this era of Covid-19, to cope with the restrictions of the pandemic,” said Professor Lee. “But these students have shown that hard work, combined with the motivation and passion of youth, can lead to exceptional results. I hope today’s experience will serve as an encouragement for those who want to become artificial intelligence programmers and data scientists.
NIPA intends to continue training students across the country in computer programming and languages for years to come.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has reduced many opportunities for students to have global exchanges and learn from each other,” said Jung Su-jin, director of the regional software innovation team at NIPA . “We hope to change that once the situation improves and eventually expand the program so that students of many nationalities can work together on projects and participate in the competition.”
BY ESTHER CHUNG [[email protected]]