Hello and welcome to the MDSI Digest, 2016 Edition!

Welcome to your MDSI Digest: a weekly online publication that highlights things to look out for each week of the semester. You will also find some helpful tools and tips, job opportunities and special reminders.

Our aim is to simplify our communication with you, including reducing the number of emails you receive from the team. So will try to bundle everything you need to know for the week ahead in one simple, easy to digest publication. We also hope that it will help to keep you on track and on top of everything, we certainly know that sometimes it can become a little overwhelming.

Subject Notices

As I mentioned in my previous post, we move into a busy weekend for MDSI Students. Tomorrow (Saturday, 2 April) will see a full house in attendance at the first on-campus session in Statistical Thinking for Data Science (36103). And Sunday and Monday, our intrepid data slammers will once again be involved in a NSW Government Data Challenge.

Here are some other key dates and actions:

  • DAM (36103) – please have a look in the ‘Learning Activities’ zone of their UTSOnline site for the material that you’ll need for your first block class on 9 April
  • DSI (36100) – make sure you have started conferring with your QS (Assignment 2) team-mates and have started collecting your QS data for the ‘masterchef’ challenge on 12 April


Great to see so many of you creating your profiles. A reminder to those who haven’t yet to get onto it. In case you’ve lost the link- ca.uts.edu.auCIC-around feature of the week: introductory screencast. This can be found on the homepage of CIC-Around (after logging in), explaining the key features.


DIIGO is a useful tool that contains handy resources for your studies. Please join our Diigo group and start collaborating.It is a good idea to setup alerts so that you can remain up to date on what people are finding. Find out more about using Diigo for researching, annotating, organising and archiving on their website.

Google Calendar

We’ve put together a public Google calendar to serve as a central place for all MDSI events and deadlines. Access this here [note new updated link] through any web browser, or here to add to your own Google Calendar or another calendar application like Outlook or Apple. Please note when using it that details of events often change, so always check closer to the event, and your subject coordinator is the authority of final deadlines. It is recommended that you ‘subscribe’ rather than adding it as a static calendar so that it’s updated.

Upcoming Library Workshops

Don’t forget to attend the second lot of the researching/ referencing workshops run by UTS library next Tuesday 5 April:
Literature Searching: 12:30-1:30pm CB05C.01.26
Referencing: 4-5pm CB05C.01.26

Academic Writing Workshop for 2015 cohort

We have organised a workshop covering academic writing specifically for those of you that started in 2015. This is highly recommended to help with language and style of written reports. Specifically this will cover;
– Citations
– Report writing: content, language style and voice

This will run Wednesday 13 April 6-8pm at the Ideation Studio at CIC HQ (Building 22, Blackfriars). Please RSVP to bridget.payne@uts.edu.au.

CIC- Squared

Our second CIC-squared of the year will be held at CIC HQ on Friday 22 April. Our last one was a huge success, and we’re looking forward to have even more attend and hopefully better weather! Keep an eye on your email and the Google Calendar for more details to follow. 

For those of you who were not able to join our opening CIC-Squared event of the year, CIC-Squared is our monthly networking event and stands for CIC Connecting in the Courtyard, hence the homage to an algorithm ( get it 🙂

Hackathon News

The UTS Vice Chancellor, Attila Brungs sent us a personal congratulations to the hackers of the NSW Government Data Challenge (see my previous MDSI Blog post). A fantastic recognition of the value the top guns at UTS place on what we do, and the achievements of our students!

Hackathons Australia has recently started sending out newsletters with upcoming events. Subscribe here . Hackathons are an excellent and fun way to apply what you’ve learned. We’ve had some huge successes in the last year, so ask around and speak to some of the 2015 cohort who have attended previous ones to get an idea of what they involve.

CIC Ideation Studio

Renovations at CIC HQ are in full grunt and excitingly, our Ideation Studio will be ready for use by the end of next week! This will be a fantastic multi- purpose space for teaching, collaboration, group-work as well as a chill-out space for taking a pause in the busy life of a MDSI student.

Industry Contacts

As many of you have come from and are in data industries, it’s been great starting to include your colleagues and contacts within the CIC community, and particularly inviting them to CIC-squared. If you know of anyone who would like to be involved, or come along to CIC-squared, please let Bridget know on bridget.payne@uts.edu.au so she can send them off an invite or involve them in the program another way.

CeBIT Conference

A big thank you to Sparky for alerting us of the upcoming CeBIT conference. This runs from 2-4 May at Sydney Olympic Park and features conferences on a range of business technology topics including Big Data & Analytics. The conferences themselves are a bit pricey, but from having a look at the Big Data & Analytics program there are some pretty impressive speakers (including the PM). There are also networking and start-up events, as well as the much more affordable exhibition. I’ve found out that if you download any of the programs they give you an individual promo code for a discount, a free exhibition pass and some relevant articles to read. Check out http://www.cebit.com.au/about/ for more information.

Win-in-Suzhou Oceania Startup Competition

Win-in-Suzhou competitions are launching in Australia and New Zealand this year. The Australian competition is in partnership with the UTS Chinese Students and Scholars Association. The competition gives successful start-up projects substantial investment if launched in Suzhou, China or help connecting the project to local companies. Register here if interested. Deadlines for applications are late May, with the final being held on Sunday June 26 in Sydney.

Student Survival tips:

CICAround AND Diigo are going to prove handy resources for you throughout your study. Be sure to explore the introductory screencast in CICAround to learn more,

Diigo is a great way to share web discoveries and build conversation about resources related to data science and innovation topics in all your subjects …and beyond. If you haven’t already joined, take a moment to join our Diigo group and start collaborating. More information can be found in every UTSOnline site under the MDSI Diigo Group label.


Well that’s all for this week. Best wishes

Theresa and Bridget