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AIM hopes to reverse ‘brain drain’ with data science program

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Asian Institute of Management (AIM) President and dean Jikyeong Kang delivers a speech during the AIM-ADB Hackathon on Sept. 5. -- Photo: Anna A. Mogato

By Anna Gabriela A. Mogato, Reporter

The Asian Institute of Management (AIM) is currently developing projects in partnership with the government to further develop digital technology and data science in the country.

AIM President and dean Jikyeong Kang told BusinessWorld that while there are no concrete results she can disclose, they are “working on a couple of projects with the government to see how we can work more closely.”

She noted that out of the three projects they are working on, “[t]he third one is on a much larger scale — and it’s still in a still confidential stage.”

“As soon as we can make it work and no matter how long it takes, we will be persistent,” she added.

The first two projects, which Ms. Kang revealed were expanding the data science curriculum in lower levels of education and bringing back more Filipino scientists amid the country’s attempt to adapt to the fourth industrial revolution.




“As you know, we established the first data science [master’s] program,” she said, referring to AIM’s recently launched Master of Science in Data Science in the early part of 2018.

“We want to trickle it down to university students, we want to trickle it down to high school and [elementary students] to get them excited to work with science, especially data science,” she added.

The master’s program, which brought home some data scientists to fill the faculty’s roster also encouraged the institute to its second mission to bring home more Filipino scientists to reverse brain drain.

“The other project we’re working on is to how we on is how we can actually bring back the talented Filipino scientists and engineers from abroad,” Ms. Kang said.

“We [have to] come up with a proper platform for them to come back.”

Last March, AIM also launched Analytics, Computing, and Complex Systems Laboratory, or ACCeSs@AIM, which would be used for the data science program.

The research and development facility houses one of Southeast Asia’s fastest supercomputers, a 500-terabyte Acer supercomputer with a computing speed of 500 teraflops.

On Tuesday, the AIM also struck a partnership with the Asian Development Bank to improve digital technology programs during the Digital Development Forum 2018. The first of both parties’ collaboration resulted to the Hackathon held last Sept. 3.

“But we have a relationship with ADB in many different ways — they provide scholarship on development management master’s program, we have done the case development together,” Ms Kang said.

Amid the changes across various sectors brought about by digital technology, Ms. Kang noted the importance of collaboration between private and public sectors to adapt as well as prepare the incoming generation through education.

“The relationship is ongoing but it is particular in the area of digital transformation that we have decided to pursue it.W e’re looking, hoping to replicate the collaboration again next year but we’ll have to wait and see how it goes.”

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