Big data and the digital divide

Saturday 15 - Saturday 22 August 2015
University of Waterloo, 
Western University, and Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada

The Commonwealth Summer School was instigated by the ACU in 2011. It aims to provide a forum to bring together high quality students from every corner of the Commonwealth to discuss multidisciplinary issues of global importance.

A key element of the School is its desire to mix local/regional students with those who may have never had the opportunity to leave their own regions. 

The inaugural School was held at the University of Buea, Cameroon, in July 2011 followed by the 2012 School hosted by the University of Botswana and in 2013, the ACU hosted the School in United Kingdom to coincide with the our Centenary. The School was held at the University of Nottingham's Malaysia campus in 2014. In 2015, it will be held across three of Canada's leading institutions, based in and around the Canada Technology Triangle.

Why big data?

Big data and the digital divide present both challenges and opportunities for our increasingly interdependent and intertwined world. Data and its analysis underpins hypothesis testing, forecasting, and other kinds of decision-making relevant to everyday life. It helps with our ability to shape and manage our world, ranging from evaluation of new medical therapies, wise financial investments, or being able to meet current and future healthcare demands on a personal and national basis.

It is important for today’s students, our future leaders, to gain a broader perspective of – and a deeper insight into – the impact of this critical issue on the world economy, social justice, environment and quality of life of individuals.

Waterloo, Western and Wilfrid Laurier are already doing ground-breaking work in this area. Students will benefit from the institutions’ extensive connections with local companies in the Canada Technology Triangle, with invaluable access to big data trends in industry.

Through a series of workshops, group work, TED-style talks, and field-based learning, students will have a better understanding of big data challenges and the inequality that persists as a result of inadequate access to it across the world. 

Delegates will also get to visit the world-famous Niagara Falls.

Who can attend?

Applicants should be engaged in a course of study at an ACU member university; but applications may be made by applicants from non-member Commonwealth universities. At the time of application, he/she must either be studying for a postgraduate degree (full- or part-time), or in the final year of an undergraduate degree, with the expectation of moving to postgraduate study on completion.

Priority will be given to students from member institutions who have not had the opportunity to travel outside their home region.

PLEASE NOTE: Applications closed in May 2015. Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.