Getting to know the awesome Datathon mentors – Part 3

We have already published the first two groups of #GlobalDatathon2018 mentors, together with their thoughts about the Datathons. Now is the time for you to get to know the third group. We would like to say a big “Thank you!” to all the mentors that will be joining this edition of the event.

All of the mentors are there to help teams solve the real-world challenges and guide them on the way to the best solutions and possibly winning the Datathon. Take your time to get to know them and when the time comes, you will be prepared to get the most out of the very short 48 hours.

Jan-Benedikt Jagusch

Jan-Benedikt Jagusch is a data scientist and holds a Master degree in Information Management and Business Intelligence from NOVA Information Management School (NOVA IMS).

His research mainly focuses on neuroevolution, a sub-field of artificial intelligence, where he develops genetic programs for optimizing deep learning architectures. Furthermore, Jan works as an assistant professor for the text analytics course at NOVA IMS, teaching the fundamentals of natural language processing. He served as president of Nova Analytics Group, a student association at NOVA IMS that applies machine learning to social good projects.

Last but not least, Jan is a public speaker and has already orated at TEDx, Science Slam and R-Ladies.

Here is what Jan has to say about his expectations:

“Data science is not a spectator sport. You learn the most by being confronted with real-world problems, facing your current limitations and overcoming them in the process. The Datathon provides a fantastic environment to polish your skills, while getting to know amazing people from all over the world. Thus, I am glad to support the cause.
“Taking into account the time constraint, I expect people to foster creative concepts, rather than implementing full-fledged systems. To me, it the potential value of the idea that counts.”

Gloria Hristova

Gloria Hristova is alumni representative at the advisory council part of the Master’s in Business Analytics program at FEBA. She takes an active role in helping bridge the gap between the business and students. Gloria received recognition of high academic achievements during her studies and the Best Paper Award granted by the Master’s in Business Analytics program at FEBA. Her Master thesis is in the field of text analytics and includes an application of NLP techniques and machine learning.

Gloria’s professional experience also includes Scorecard development (application and behavior scorecards), industry knowledge in the Financial sector (mainly risk analysis and management), analyses of clients’ behavior (client retention) and Association rules mining.

Her main areas of interest are applying advanced analytics methods and predictive modeling, text analytics, sentiment analysis, machine learning and NLP.

Here is what Gloria says about the upcoming datathon and her role as a mentor:

“I am sincerely happy to have the opportunity and challenge to be a part of the mentoring team for one of the cases. Text analysis is my favorite topic so I am very enthusiastic about my participation. I also hope that through my experience I will be able to contribute and help the participants to present interesting and working solutions.

The Datathon is a great initiative and I believe it is very beneficial to all participants. I would also like to congratulate Data Science Society for the organisation of the event.”

Dr. Subhabaha Pal

Dr. Subhabaha Pal is a prominent academician and researcher in the field of Data Science and ML and is included in the list of ’20 Most Prominent Data Science and Machine Learning Academicians in India – 2018’ published by Analytics India Magazine.

He has 14+ years of research experience in real-life data analysis and machine learning and published 32 research papers in national and international referred and reputed research journals based on real-life data analysis on financial, insurance, stock-market and biological/agricultural data. He has also authored 3 books in the field of Statistics and Quantitative techniques in Project Management in reputed publishers (New Age International Publishers – Wiley Eastern and Manipal Press) and is currently authoring a book on ‘Business Operations using ML, R and Python’ to be published by CRC Press (Taylor and Francis Group, USA).

Dr. Subhabaha Pal has rich academic experience of 6+ years in teaching in reputed institutes like Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Sikkim Manipal University and T. A. Pai Management Institute (15th Ranked B-School in India) and strong industry experience of 5+ years in organizations like Manipal Global and Kuwait Petroleum Corporation as SAP Technical Lead and Risk Management Quantification Specialist respectively.

His areas of expertise include Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Marketing Analytics, Statistics and HR Analytics and his technical skills include using tools like R, Python and SAS.

Preslav Nakov

Dr. Preslav Nakov is a Senior Scientist at the Qatar Computing Research Institute, HBKU (QCRI is ranked #3 in Asia, and #11 in the world in NLP). His research interests include computational linguistics and natural language processing (for English, Arabic, Chinese, Malay/Indonesian, Bulgarian and other languages), machine translation, question answering, fact-checking, sentiment analysis, lexical semantics, Web as a corpus, and biomedical text processing.

Preslav received a PhD degree in Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley (supported by a Fulbright grant and a UC Berkeley fellowship), and an MSc degree from the Sofia University. He was a Research Fellow at the National University of Singapore (2008-2011), an honorary lecturer in the Sofia University (2008, 2014-present), research staff at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (2008), and a visiting researcher at the University of Southern California, Information Sciences Institute (2005).

Preslav co-authored a Morgan & Claypool book on Semantic Relations between Nominals, two books on computer algorithms, and many research papers in top-tier conferences and journals. He received the Young Researcher Award at RANLP’2011. He was also the first to receive the Bulgarian President’s John Atanasoff award, named after the inventor of the first automatic electronic digital computer.

Preslav is a Secretary of ACL SIGLEX, the Special Interest Group (SIG) on the Lexicon of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL). He is also Secretary of SIGSLAV, the ACL SIG on Slavic Natural Language Processing. Preslav is an Action Editor of the Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics (TACL) journal, a Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Natural Language Engineering, an Associate Editor of the AI Communications journal, and Editorial Board member of the Language Science Press Book Series on Phraseology and Multiword Expressions. He served on the program committees of the major conferences and workshops in Computational Linguistics, including as a co-organizer and as an area/publication/tutorial/shared task chair, Senior PC member, student faculty advisor, etc.; Preslav co-chaired SemEval 2014-2016 and was an area co-chair of ACL, EMNLP, NAACL-HLT, and *SEM, a Senior PC member of AAAI and IJCAI, a shared task co-chair of IJCNLP, and a tutorial chair of ACL.

Metodi Nikolov

Metodi Nikolov is a Lead Quantitative Researcher at FactSet and FMI, Sofia University. For the past 14 years, Metodi has been developing, implementing and running models within the fintech and risk management software industries as part of the strong teams at FinAnalytica, BISAM and FactSet.

Metodi holds a B.Sc. and a M.Sc. from Sofia University and is currently working towards his Ph.D. in the field of Probability and Statistics. His skills include working with R, MATLAB, C/C++, Java, Python among others.

Antoan MilkovAntoan Milkov

Antoan Milkov is an Enterprise software architect at Acteno GMBH Germany. He is a Senior software architect with International exposure and more than 20 years of experience. Furthermore, He is a serial entrepreneur with 3 successful startups as CTO.

Antoan managed operations and global programs with budgets of more than 50 million euro per year. He ha been a consultant for Telecom Austria and Deutsche Telecom. He also had successful partnerships with IT giants as: IBM, Cisco, HP, EMC and Acer.

Here is what Antoan said about the Datathon and his reason to join:

“Working with remote teams for the mentor is quite a challenge. The main idea is to find the strengths of every team member and to push the team in what they can do best. Being able to solve real-life data science problems with the team, for such a short time and with very high accuracy, is extremely challenging and fulfilling! Especially when the team manages to improve all previous achievements for the same problem!”

Shashank ShekharShashank Shekhar

Shashank Shekhar is a lead data scientist with VMware having 11 years of experience in Data Sciences and Machine learning varying across verticals including consumer insights, customer service, inventory management, merchandising, marketing and pricing in both B2C and B2B industries. In the past, he has worked in Target, Amazon and Flipkart and has been involved in solving various complex business problems using Machine Learning and Data Sciences. He has multiple publications in the field of data sciences, machine learning, deep learning and image recognition in several international journals of repute to his credit. Currently he is leading a team of data scientists working on business problems of Pricing and Partner domain.

After the February 2018 Datathon, Shashank shared his expectations and reasons to join the #GlobalDatathon2018:

“My experience in the last datathon was so incredible that I was more than excited for another datathon. The sheer enthusiasm of the participants and their diligence in solving the cases was top notch and gold standard on any benchmark. I have been part of program committees of several international conferences and can vouch for the high standard of the datathons conducted by the Data Science Society.

My primary expectation is to have a pool of young enthusiastic data miners from around the world who are ready to be challenged by real life industry cases. The interaction with the participants and addressing their inquisitiveness and the adrenaline rush is something I am looking forward to.”


Stay tuned for more of our amazing mentors and don’t forget to book your ticket before September 24 at!

You can read the previous articles here: Part 1, Part 2

The companies, providing the cases are: Telenor, Ontotext, Kaufland, National Statistical Institute in Bulgaria and Telelink.

We would like to thank our sponsors Telelink, WorldQuant, ReceiptBank and ADataPro for their support!

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