Norfolk High School Students Unlock Potential in Data Science Camp

NORFOLK, VA – PRA Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: PRAA), a global leader in acquiring and collecting nonperforming loans, sponsored Old Dominion University’s Department of Computer Science‘s Data Science Summer Camp for area high school students. The 10-day intensive program on the emerging field of data science was led by Sampath Jayarathna, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science. The camp was hybrid with onsite learning as well as virtual training sessions.

Data Science is an emerging field and Jayarathna, along with graduate students from ODU’s Computer Science Department immersed students in programming, coding and problem solving. The high school students learned Python programming, which is currently the most popular programming language for Data Science.

The summer program was designed to prepare high school students to work with different data sources. “During each session, we gave the students some activities to work on based on the topics covered since the training is more hands-on than theoretical,” said Jayarathna. “Data Science is becoming the lingua franca of the 21st century as there are more data sources today than ever before. We must prepare the younger generation for the world of data science and artificial intelligence.”

The summer camp can advance that effort thanks to the support of its sponsors. Coding, data analytics and machine learning are critical tools in today’s world. PRA Group aims to help students build robust foundations not only for their own success, but also for that of the people and communities they will impact in the future through innovation and discovery. As such, PRA Group is proud to support Old Dominion University’s Data Science Camp in making these skills accessible to high school students throughout Hampton Roads.

“It was amazing how the students were still able to grasp these high-level concepts via online meetings as evident in their engagements in the class activities,” said Jayarathna. 

The various concepts that the students were introduced to were data visualization, data wrangling, data cleaning and machine learning. Workshop instructors included graduate students from the Department of Computer Science, Himarsha Jayanetti, Kehinde Ajayi and Kritika Garg.

Read the full story on News @ ODU.