Ten teams from three different universities including Paragon International University, Royal University of Law and Economics and American University of Phnom Penh competed on Friday, 7th September, 2018 for the national championship in the ASEAN Data Science Explorer’s competition (ADSE). The national-round was conducted at ZamanU’s conference hall and organized by the ASEAN Foundation in collaboration with a German multinational corporation known as SAP SE which specializes in providing software programs to businesses. Students were required to conduct research, analyze data and use a SAP SE software program named SAP Analytics Cloud to identify and address problems in ASEAN countries, including traffic accidents, air pollution and plastic waste.
Mr. Nick Beresford, country director of UNDP and a member of the competition’s adjudication committee said that, students could learn through the competition about how to use data and information technology to address social problems. The ability to harness data and technology can provide students with valuable knowledge because today’s world is transitioning toward a new Industrial Revolution 4.0 with the arrival of recent technologies including Blockchain, Artificial Intellgience and Big Data.
Mr. Panharith LONG, a member to the champion team of this national round, argued that the ADSE competition provided students an opportunity to build their capacity and address problems in their home countries as well as the whole of ASEAN. Panharith, who studies IR at Paragon International University and Law at the Royal University of Law and Economics, owed his team’s success to the topic he and his teammate chose. Traffic accidents in the country are increasing and are one of the most-concerning problems in Cambodia and ASEAN, according to the student.
Mr. Sovorn CHEA, a sophomore student from Paragon International University and a candidate in the competition chose plastic pollution in ASEAN rivers as his team’s topic while Mr. Sounlong SRENG, another candidate from Zaman University, chose air pollution for his team’s research. Sounleng claimed that he participated in the competition because he wanted to gain experience analyzing data so that he could build upon the recent skills he had just acquired from the school’s curriculum. Sounlong encountered some challenges throughout the process, nonetheless organizers required his and every other team to conduct research. Some teams commented that it was difficult to find relevant data on the Internet to conduct their analysis.
The ASEAN Data Science Explorers was organized in parallel with the current trend that the amount of data on the Internet keeps expanding. Thus, people could use data to analyze problems and address them in the form of policy or business ideas, claimed Dr. Heng SOK, head of ParagonIU’s Management of Information System Department.It should be noted that three teams were chosen by the committee of judges to win this national round. The champion team comes from the Royal University of Laws and Economics while the the first and second runner-up teams come from Paragon International University. The national champions received 800 Euros and a trip to Singapore to compete in the final round. The first and second runner-up team won 400 Euros and 200 Euros respectively.