Launching Data Science and AI Leaders for Social Impact
At the Equitech Applied Data Institute, we empower recent graduates and young professionals to become the next generation of data-savvy leaders in their respective domains. Our research-based curriculum, anchored in small-group learning and led by world-class faculty, provides a practical understanding of applied data science and AI across various domains. How will AI transform law, medicine, and art? How can modern data science tools be used in academic research? The Applied Data Institute will provide the tools, networks, and perspectives you need to thrive in the 21st-century workforce.
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Build Scalable Foundations
Data science tools are often taught as a laundry list of disjointed tools – an approach that fails to build a coherent understanding required to interrogate data in ever-evolving contexts. The ADI will focus on building scalable and robust foundations by digging deep into the roots of the discipline: data collection, measurement, and statistics.
Build Critical Intuition
Tackling complex real-world problems requires a mindset of asking salient questions, experimentation, and a rigorous analytical approach. Through discussion-based classes and the capstone projects, the ADI aims to cultivate a culture of learning like scientists.
Build Effective Solutions
Modern AI applications require dealing with messy and incomplete data. The ADI teaches a data-centric approach to build AI applications in new domains. Learners will critically investigate data collection, data quality, and the biases that might result from bad data.
“Equitech Futures' Applied Data Institute brought me together with exceptionally motivated, thoughtful, and talented people from all over the world. Everything I am doing in the data science field right now is because of the introduction I got from Equitech Futures. I wasn’t sure if I could even get in, but they had confidence in me, and they were the first ones who gave me a chance to learn something in AI.”
Seba Nazary, Germany
Modern data science is best learned by doing. While a number of bootcamps and data science courses focus on specific tools (for example, mastering specific packages in Python), we take a different approach. The Applied Data Institute teaches you how to "think like a data scientist" via hands-on projects and "idea labs" that encourage you to explore topics deeply. You will also cultivate the essential skill of "learning to learn" which will equip you to tackle present and future challenges.
What you’ll learn
Foundations of Data Science
The goal of this course is to dig into the core statistical reasoning and intuitions that underpin data science and artificial intelligence. Through examples and projects based on real-world datasets, you will develop fluency in a robust statistical paradigm that allows the scaling of the scientific method to novel data contexts. You will also learn to approach data visualization through a critical and analytical lens, and explore effective communication of statistical inferences and their associated uncertainty. Finally, you will uncover the insights that connect data science to machine learning to come to a renewed appreciation for both disciplines.
Applied Artificial Intelligence
Many roles in industry, academia, and the social sector now need an understanding of how AI works, even if leaders and professionals in the field are not engaged in the building of AI algorithms. This requires a new corps of "AI managers" who understand how data used for building the AI is generated, when the algorithms might fail, and how they might be biased. In this course you will learn how various types of datasets can be used to build AI applications in healthcare, marketing, education etc. By the end, you will learn how to identify good (and problematic) use-cases for AI and be well-placed to create new companies, nonprofits, or policies using these novel tools.
From our first moments in life, we used voice to communicate want and need. Most of us sourced language from those around us as we were growing up, and our speech may have seemed like something that formed unconsciously in our lives. However, our vocal instrument is also a diary of where we hold tension, how we meet others, and who we aspire to be. The Speaking Lab starts from the foundations of breath and sound to discover each voice’s unique signatures which make us stand apart in a crowd. As the course progresses toward narrative and public communication, we will practice our voices’ capacities for navigating differences and finding connection.
To be impactful data-savvy leaders, you need to clearly communicate your ideas in diverse professional settings. The Writing Lab will teach you to be an impactful communicator through the refining of articulation. When we write about our work, we have a listener in mind - a collaborator, a peer, or maybe a potential investor. What we say is important, but how we say it winds up revealing much about ourselves and our preparation. Even ‘automatic’ processes – like writing – can be enhanced through intention. Through group exercises and individual projects, these courses will work on conveying complex information in simple writing, descriptive and analytical writing, making a persuasive argument, and sharpening your distinct writing style.
Thinking Like an Entrepreneur
In this class, you’ll build your entrepreneurial toolkit and practice thinking like an entrepreneur. You’ll learn how to identify the problems that you are uniquely suited to solve, de-risk your assumptions and earliest bets, and practice approaching solutions with a human-centered lens. Learning to think like an entrepreneur is a lifelong skill — but this is where we’ll start.
The two capstone projects of the Applied Data Institute synthesize the technical know-how, scientific mindset, entrepreneurship, and communication skills students cultivate over the course of the program. These outputs will challenge you to apply what you have learned and demonstrate growth.
“Being a part of the Applied Data Institute was one of the most remarkable learning experiences in my life. The community was very supportive, the program intense, and the knowledge transfer was timeless. Additionally, weekly seminars with industry practitioners put all the learnings in perspective from a practical sense. If you would like to advance ideas at the frontiers of science, technology, and societal challenges, this is the place for you.”
Mitchell Odhiambo, Kenya
Who is the
The ideal candidate for the Applied Data Institute is a recent college graduate with technical skills looking to cultivate their skills in the context of data science and AI. We do not consider GPAs or grades in the application process, but we require fluency in programming and mathematical reasoning. We are looking for people who are curious, analytical, persistent, and open-minded when confronted with challenging problems.
A technical screening will examine candidates for fluency in Python programming (including NumPy, Pandas, & matplotlib) and mathematical reasoning (e.g. algebra, calculus).
Three criteria for eligibility are:
→ Applicants must have completed a bachelor’s degree.
→ Applicants must be fluent in Python programming (including NumPy, Pandas, & matplotlib) and be comfortable with algebra and single-variable calculus.
→ Available to commit 20-25 hours per week over 10 weeks of instruction.
We welcome applicants from all professional, geographic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds. We particularly encourage women and individuals from underrepresented groups to apply for the Applied Data Institute.
→ Technical Pre-Screening
→ Written Application
→ Faculty Interview
Our faculty are leaders in their respective fields, comprising domain expertise in data science, programming, artificial intelligence, public policy, oral communication, and writing. Most of all, they are jointly committed to the craft of teaching. Our courses are designed for small cohorts of 25 students or fewer, ensuring that you will have bountiful opportunities to connect with our accomplished faculty in class and in individualized coachings.
“Being a part of the Equitech Futures community has given me the opportunity to work with people around the world. After the Applied Data Institute, I joined with a fellow alumnus from Kenya to pitch a new venture. It is a truly global experience.”
Raunaq Jain, India
Creating a Lifelong Community of Ambitious Minds
At the conclusion of each program term, graduates are entitled to a Certificate of Completion and are welcomed to join the Equitech Alumni Network. This cross-cohort community of talented young innovators share opportunities, collaborate on shared research, and inspire one another. A few of the privileges of alumni status include:
Over the 10 weeks of the ADI, you will build your skills toward the completion of projects that showcase your programming, data analysis, writing, and speaking skills. We provide certificates of completion to all graduating students. Graduates may also request personalized letters of recommendation from the faculty which attest to the quality of work completed during the ADI.
Access to a Lively, Tight-Knit Network
Alumni from the Applied Data Institute are invited to monthly Leadership Labs with leading practitioners in tech and academia where open dialogue is encouraged. The network also supports career preparedness with masterclasses, research sounding boards, and mentorship opportunities.
Continued Career Support
You will be a part of the Equitech Futures network even after the 10 weeks are over. You will receive specialized career development guidance through workshops, access to a mentor network, and personalized support on career planning. We are particularly supportive of students who want to take riskier career paths that have the potential to make a great social impact in the future.
Tuition and Financial Aid
With generous support from our philanthropic partners, we are providing full tuition waivers for each student admitted to the ADI.
Tuition for the Applied Data Institute is US $9500 and includes:
- Ten weeks of instruction
- Career support for participants throughout 2024
- Access to ongoing Equitech Alumni Network programming
“As a woman from Nigeria, the scholarship offered by Equitech Futures helped me attend their program and explore the application of data science and AI to tackle societal challenges. Without this support, I would not have been able to launch my career in data science.”
Gift Wilfred Enang, Nigeria
Frequently Asked QuestionsApply now
Who should apply?
We welcome eligible applicants, from anywhere in the world, who are interested in using data science and applied AI to tackle societal challenges. However, as this is an intermediate to advanced level learning program, we require our students to be fluent in Python and computational skills. Please refer to the eligibility criteria above for more information.
I am currently enrolled in an academic program. Can I still apply for the ADI?
You are eligible only if you have completed an undergraduate/bachelor's degree. You may apply while you are enrolled in a postgraduate program, but we strongly recommend considering your schedule as the course requires 20-25 hours of commitment every week.
I completed my bachelor’s xyz years ago. May I still apply?
Yes, you can! There is no age limit for the Applied Data Institute. The only academic requirement is to have completed your bachelor’s degree.
I have just started learning Python. Should I apply?
No. We have found that successful students in this program must have technical know-how of multiple Python functions, such as NumPy, Pandas, and matplotlib. Therefore, the program is only open for candidates who are already fluent in Python. The first step to the application is a technical screening which will test your skills in Python programming and mathematical reasoning.
I've done online learning before. How is this program different?
Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) are generally asynchronous offerings that allow you to go at your own pace but without customization. That flexibility comes with less accountability. However, small cohort-based classes at Equitech Futures ensure that you learn through live discussions with a talented group of peers. Learning with others, and being able to speak directly to instructors as you do, will make a difference to how much you're able to take in.
What is the format of classes?
Coursework is primarily focused on Applied Artificial Intelligence and Foundations of Data Science and Programming. Writing Lab and Speaking Lab support and supplement the data curriculum. Each course meets weekly in live, synchronous, cohort-based online classes.
I had a low GPA during my bachelors program. Is there a minimum grade requirement?
We do not consider GPAs or grades in the application process. We are looking for people who are curious, analytical, persistent, and open-minded when confronted with challenging problems.
How much does the Applied Data Institute cost?
With generous support from our philanthropic partners, we are providing full tuition waivers for each student admitted to the ADI.
I am a citizen of xyz country, residing in abc country. Can I still apply?
Equitech Futures is committed to creating a global community that is inclusive and accessible to everyone who wishes to be a part of it. We encourage applicants from all professional, geographic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds to apply.
How many students does each course have?
Our courses are designed for small cohorts of 25 students or fewer, ensuring that you will have bountiful opportunities to connect with our accomplished faculty in class and in individualized coachings.
Will I receive a certificate for completing the course?
Yes, we provide certificates of completion to all graduating students. Additionally, all alumni are listed in our website directory.
What technology platforms are used?
Our live classes and special seminars are accessed via Zoom. Individual coaching sessions with faculty, social encounters, and study groups are held on our course-related Discord server.
What happens if I begin but cannot complete the course?
Our cohort is small, and we have significantly more applicants than we have the capacity to serve. We expect our incoming cohort to consider their own participation seriously because accepting a place closes the opportunity for another student. For this reason, if a student begins but does not complete the program for any reason other than a health emergency, we will be unable to attest to their participation or to accept an application for any other program in the future.
How do we all meet across different time zones at the same time?
Our community is built by coming together from around the globe in the same digital space at the same moments in time. In order to calibrate for waking hours, we schedule coursework from 13:00 UTC to 16:00 UTC. That translates roughly to morning sessions in the Americas, afternoon sessions in Europe and Africa, and evening sessions in Asia. In the past, students from California were joining at 6:00 a.m. Pacific Time, while students in China were finishing coursework at 12 midnight China Standard Time.
What are the requirements for completing the course?
To be considered a successful graduate from the Applied Data Institute, one needs to have completed the course with a minimum of 80% attendance, and turn in the final capstone projects on time.