South Wales OR Discussion Society (SWORDS)

SWORDS is a supportive community for those interested in operational research in South Wales. We aim to facilitate discussions and exchange ideas, while also building strong connections for operational researchers.

We put on meetings, works visits and other events, which are generally free admission and open to all, giving members the freedom to invite clients and others outside OR who are interested in the subject.


Committee details

Professor Paul Harper Chair
Dr Jonathan Thompson Secretary and Contact
Penny Holborn Treasurer and Regional Representative on General Council

Previous Events:

SWORDS Seminar: Tuesday 19th March 2024

The Path to Professionalisation of Data Science and the Road Ahead

Professor Rachel Hilliam, The Open University 

 In 2020 the Alliance of Data Science Professionals was created to shape professional standards within data science. It was argued that such standards were needed to ensure an ethical and well-governed approach within data science, so the public, organisations and governments can have confidence in how their data are used. The Alliance includes The British Computer Society (BCS), The Operational Research (OR) Society, Institute of Mathematics & its Applications (IMA), The National Physical Laboratory (NPL), Royal Statistical Society (RSS) and The Alan Turing Institute (ATI). The work quickly gained support from Government, where it was referenced in the National Data Strategy and more recently in UK Parliament POST report, Data science skills in the UK workforce.

This talk considered the rise of Data Science both as a profession and a degree qualification. It also covered why the Alliance believes a common standard across the breadth of Data Science is necessary and how this differs from professional titles such as Chartered Mathematician, Chartered Statistician or Chartered IT Professional.  The standards address current issues, such as data breaches, data misuse in modelling and bias in artificial intelligence and therefore give people confidence that their data is being used ethically, stored safely, and analysed robustly.

Joint SWORDS & WORDS Seminar - Operational Research and Artificial Intelligence: A Synergy for Success: Tuesday 6th February 

Gilbert Owusu, BT and President of the OR Society

AI is certainly responsible for quite a bit of societal change. However, AI models are not infallible and require careful design, evaluation, and optimization to ensure their effectiveness and reliability. Like the earlier ’waves’ of analytics and data science, the ORS has spent quite some time thinking through the overlap with AI.


Future Events:


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