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Data scientists are one of the most sought-after professions today because they can extract valuable information from large volumes of data in their research. To do this, however, they must be able to use programming languages specifically developed for data science. However, these languages often contain a large number of errors which can then bias the research results. Detecting and eliminating these errors is the work of Pierre Donat-Bouillud, Ph.D. from the Programming Research Laboratory at Faculty of Information Technology of Czech Technical University in Prague (FIT CTU), who received a grant from the European Commission for his research.

Using programming languages, a data scientist is able to perform predictive modelling in a particular field, in other words, create algorithms capable of predicting future developments. However, errors occur during programming, called data bugs, which can cause incorrect calculations or research results. Pierre Donat-Bouillud from the Programming Research Laboratory at CTU FIT is working on detecting these bugs in the DataBugs: Finding Bugs in Data Science Codes project .

"A data error is a bug or problem in a computer program or system that can cause problems such as data loss, system crashes or miscalculations," says Pierre Donat-Bouillud, adding: "In my research, I look for these errors in the codes of programming languages for data science. The aim of the research is to develop new programming language technologies to help data scientists and to use the R programming language to empirically validate their new ideas."

In his research, he is developing a project for which he has already received an international award called Seal of Excellence under the Horizon 2020 call. The Seal of Excellence award is a "certificate of quality" awarded to projects that have crossed the eligibility threshold for funding but have not been funded. On the basis of this certificate, a scientist from FIT CTU received a grant funded by the Jan Amos Komenský Operational Programme. This is under the responsibility of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic and is co-financed by the European Union.

Pierre Donat-Bouillud is not only a scientist but also a teacher at FIT CTU. He has opened a new course, Advanced Program Testing, for Master's students, which aims to introduce advanced techniques for testing programs beyond writing unit tests. Pierre was a PhD student at the Sorbonne University in Paris and his forte is programming languages.


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Ivana Macnarová