Due to the popularity of Data Science Festival events, we are now allocating event tickets via a random ballot.

Those randomly selected and approved will then be e-mailed tickets for the event. If you do not receive an approval e-mail from us by Monday 23rd October 2017 you have been unsuccessful in getting a ticket for this event.


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The Data Science Festival is the first of its kind as the only community led, free to attend Data Science Festival in the UK.


6pm Doors Open

6:30 Talk 1 – Simon Hill

7:15 Break

7:45 Talk 2 – George Cushen

8:30 Close, Questions, Networking, etc

Presentation 1: Simon Hill (Data Science Manager)

Title: “Agile development of a Machine Learning value optimiser”

Extract: As a fast-paced digital retailer, customer churn prevention is very important to Shop Direct. Its very easy to bring customers back using high value, broadcast discount offers open to all but what if there was a better, more personalised way of doing so? How can we use agile methodology and machine learning techniques to build a better solution, one which maximises both Customer Engagement and Customer Value?

Presentation 2: George Cushen (Data Scientist)

Title: From academia to becoming a directioner

Abstract: After completing his PhD in computer vision and machine learning, George Cushen took a job as the first computer vision data scientist at the UK’s second largest pureplay etailer, Shop Direct. Here, he examines the challenges and parallels between working on academic projects as a computer scientist, and working as a data scientist in a mid-size retail company. Having the opportunity to work within an agile startup-like environment within a well-established business requires breaking the habit of spending hours researching and not getting anything “done”, instead working closely with stakeholders and embracing the scope for innovation in order to create practical products and services. So here are some lessons learnt about the differences between academia and industry and how to make the most out of your academic experience.

Bio: George Cushen is a data scientist at Shop Direct. George focusses on computer vision, deep learning, and augmented reality challenges and holds a PhD from the University of Southampton. In his spare time, he enjoys CrossFit and maintaining open source projects, sometimes simultaneously!