Analytics, data science RSO dreams big

DREAM gives students resources to improve science and analytical skills

Have you ever wanted to be part of an organization on campus that could help build your skills and knowledge in data science, big data, data analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence?

DREAM (Data Resources for Eager and Analytical Minds) is just that.

It’s led by Dr. Rajeev Bukralia, a faculty member in the Computer Information Science department. Dr. Bukralia brought the idea about an analytics club to one of his classes and Facial Rayani, the president of the club last year, helped him organized students to make it happen.

DREAM helps to give students the resources and opportunities for them to be more skilled in data analytics, machine learning, data science and artificial intelligence. DREAM began in the fall of 2016 and has grown to include 170 student members from different majors. The RSO has especially attracted those who are in majors that require the knowledge and skills of data science.

“Although DREAM is primarily IT majors, we welcome all majors. All you have to do to join DREAM is sign up on OrgSync. Everyone is welcome,” said Jeremy Klein, president of DREAM. “Data analytics is a multidisciplinary field and the more diversity the better.”

The organization holds their meeting on Wednesdays from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at CSU 245.

According to Dr. Bukralia, their weekly meetings include activities such as data analytic training and speakers from academia and the industry. Students can learn the complexities of how data science work and will have the opportunity to build industry connections for jobs and internships in companies like SAS, 3M, and Federated Insurance, which have participated in some of the DREAM meetings.

“SAS conducted a 2-day training for DREAM members and faculty in 2017. Another SAS data analytics training is planned for March 23 and 24, 2018,” said Dr. Bukralia.

Even though DREAM started just a year and a half ago, they have accomplished some major achievements, including a research project, titled “Using Text Analytics for Optimal Pairing of Actors for Movies,” which was selected for the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) 2018; DREAM’s student team won the Analytics Acumen Award at the 2017 MinneMUDAC data analytics competition at Optum, where they analyzed insurance data to predict diabetes; and another student team won the third place in the Data Derby Analytics Competition in 2017, according to Dr. Bukralia.

These achievements have shown how dedicated DREAM officials and their members are and also how it has helped the students in such a short period of time.

“I think the biggest thing I have done as president so far is taking on the job of hosting the SAS Workshop,” said by Jeremy Klein.

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