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Data Science for Beginners: Theory, Algorithms and Applications
July 10 - July 20, 2023
Data Science
HKU , Non-HKU , Local , Non-local
Non-credit Bearing


Application Deadline:
February 28, 2023 (5% Early Bird)
March 31, 2023 (Non-local)
May 31, 2023 (Local)
Programme Code
Programme Description

Areas of interest: Machine Learning . Optimization . Statistics . Neural Network . Network Science


Data science has grown to become a large, interdisciplinary subject and an integral part of the society, with applications found across a wide range of domains. This summer course offers a friendly introduction to a number of important topics in data science, focusing on the mathematical and algorithmic foundations. Applications of data science in various scientific, engineering and business domains will also be presented. 


This programme is run by the HKU Musketeers Foundation Institute of Data Science.


We are a newly established multidisciplinary research institute which aspires to be the world-class data science research hub. Drawing on strengths in varied disciplines, the Institute aspires to connect our expertise and a University-wide interest in establishing critical mass in key areas, and to explore frontier research and applications in data science, computing, mathematics, and statistics.  The summer programme instructors are our faculty members jointly appointed by both the Institute and various Departments in the University.

Learning Outcomes
  1. Understanding of the mathematical foundations of data science
  2. Ability to construct mathematical models for real-world data analytic problems
  3. Ability to process and analyze real-world, large-scale data sets
  4. Ability to implement data science related algorithms
  5. Appreciation of the broad and powerful applicability of data science


Key Topics:

  1. Optimization: basic theory and modeling
  2. Optimization: algorithms
  3. Bayesian statistics
  4. Network theory
  5. Basics of machine learning
  6. Basics of neural network


Teaching Methods: Lectures, Programming Tutorials

Programme Schedule

Mondays to Fridays (09:30-12:30; 14:00-17:00)

Week 1

July 10


July 11


July 12


July 13


July 14


Morning Session



Nearest Neighbours

Naive Bayes Classifiers

Integer Programming

Nonlinear Programming II

Afternoon Session


Performance Evaluation: Variance-Bias Trade-off

Social Activities (Optional)

Linear Programming

Nonlinear Programming I

Neural network and stochastic methods I

Week 2

July 17


July 18


July 19


July 20


Morning Session


Neural network and stochastic methods II

Bayesian Sampling and Estimation

Foundations of Network Science

Statistical Inference for Network Data Part II

Afternoon Session


Foundations of Bayesian Statistics

Social Activities (Optional)

Statistical Inference for Network Data Part I

Closing Ceremony


The programme content is subject to change without prior notice.


Coursework, Presentations (More details will be provided)

  • A student who is currently studying for a bachelor/master degree.
  • A candidate who meets the undergraduate admission requirements of HKU (or other recognised Universities) by possessing adequate secondary school or sub-degree qualification.
Programme Fee


5% - Early Bird Discount (Deadline: February 28, 2023)
10% - Partnership Discount / Referral Discount / HKU Family Discount (Staff, Students, and Alumni)
20% - HKUSI Alumni Discount

* All discounts are NOT in conjunction with any other discounts. 

  • Students of non-credit bearing programmes will receive a certificate upon programme completion. Students of credit-bearing programmes can apply a transcript stated with HKU credits, please contact your home institution about the issue related to HKU credits recognition.
  • You understand that you must be available for the entire duration of the programme, from the start to the end of the programme. 20% absence is allowed for emergencies or sick leave with legitimate reason and official letterhead proof for the absence. Students have the responsibility to contact the programme coordinator and/or teacher concerned about this ahead of time. No exceptions will be made, unless prior approval has been given. You are expected to be punctual for all classes and tutorials. Unexcused cases of lateness may count as absence. Students who fail to achieve an 80% of attendance or absence without legitimate reason and official letterhead proof for the absence will not be awarded the HKU Credits or the Certificate of Completion.
Language Requirements

For Undergraduate/Postgraduate Students ONLY


Students whose first language or teaching medium in the home institution is not English are required to submit one of the following test types to prove your mastery of the English Language:

  • International Baccalaureate Diploma
  • SAT Reasoning Test
  • CET Band 4 and Band 6
  • Others (e.g. a letter of reference from your institution to prove that your English ability is sufficient enough for learning and communication)

If a student’s first language or teaching medium in the home institution is English, please upload a declaration statement for our reference.

Notes for English proficiency documents:
Unless otherwise specified, there are no minimum score requirements for language tests, programme host will determine if the applicants are capable of the programme. Please refer to the programme page to view the specific admission criteria of programme concerned.

Dates & Required Documents

Applying to HKUSI

Applications for the HKU Summer Institute 2023 Summer Programmes will be available on a rolling basis in Mid-December, 2022. All applications must be completed via the HKU Summer Institute Online Application System. Undergraduate/Postgraduate and Secondary School Programmes will be conducted in online or face-to-face mode. Applicants are reminded to carefully review on the requirements of the respective programme webpage before applying.

Students joining HKUSI for face-to-face programmes must follow the HKU's infection control protocols and are responsible for complying with all epidemic prevention policies and regulations formulated by the HKSAR Government.

Important Dates & Deadlines
Admission Process

Application Opens


Mid-December, 2022

Early Bird Application Deadline
  • 5% discount on programme fee
  • This discount cannot be used in conjunction with other discounts

On or before February 28, 2023

Application Deadline


Non-local students: March 31, 2023

Local students: May 31, 2023

To find out the specific requirements and application deadlines of individual programmes, please check the links below:

Undergraduate/Postgraduate Programmes

Secondary School Programmes


Rolling Admission

Your application, together with the materials submitted, will be reviewed once accepted by the system. Admission results will be announced on a rolling basis after February 28, 2023, subject to the decision of the offering units/Faculties/Departments. The earlier you apply, the better your chance of securing a place in the summer programmes.


Application Materials

An applicant should submit a complete application online before the application deadline, please prepare the following documents before you start the online application process:

Supporting Documents

Personal Identification

Supporting Documents
  1. Recent headshot photo of the applicant:
    • Size should not be smaller than 40 mm (W) x 50 mm (H) or 1200 pixel (W) x 1600 pixel (H)
    • Image file type: PDF or JPG

  2. Photocopies of the applicant’s proof of identity:
    For local students
    • Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card
    • Mainland Travel Permit for Hong Kong and Macau Residents (港澳居民來往內地通行証或回鄉咭) (if applicable) for multi-location programme travelling to China
    For non-local students
    • Personal particular page of passport with validity period for at least 6 months
    • Validated study visa (if applicable) Hong Kong Identity Card (if applicable)

Education and Qualification

Supporting Documents
  1. Photocopies of certificates and academic transcripts as specified in the application form:

    • If these are not in English, they must be accompanied by a translation in English
    • The documents must indicate: full name of school, full name of student and grading system/scale (e.g. 7=Excellent; 6=Very Good; 5=Good)

  2. Photocopies of proof of English proficiency:

    • e.g. HKCEE/DSE certificate with English Language subject result or IELTS/TOFEL result slip, etc.; or
    • Declaration Form - if English is the applicant’s first language or teaching medium at home institution.

Additional Supporting Documents

Supporting Documents

Additional documents as required by individual programme(s) e.g. recommendation letter from school principal, personal statement, short essay, additional form.

Visa application

Students are advised to submit the visa application, if needed, as soon as you receive a Notice of Admission from HKU. Please click here for more details about student visa application. For inquiries, please contact us.

Students are also reminded to pay attention to any special arrangements due to COVID. For the most updated information by the HKSAR Government, please visit https://www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/index.html

Academy for the talented – We’re searching for talents and YOU are wanted!

For Secondary School Students ONLY

Want to join the HKU Academy for the Talented family? Students who are currently in Form 2/Grade 8 or above can submit a Talent Search application now! For more details, please visit https://talented.hku.hk/

HKU Academy for the Talented offers Summer Scholarships to the Academy members joining summer programmes offered by the HKU Summer Institute. Members who have successfully received an offer from the summer programmes will receive a scholarship which is equivalent to a 20% discount on the programme fee.


Level of Study Comparison Chart for Secondary School Students:

Hong Kong
Mainland China
UK & IB Level
Junior 1
Year 8
Grade 7
Junior 2
Year 9
Grade 8
Junior 3
Year 10
Grade 9
Senior 1
Year 11
Grade 10
Senior 2
Year 12
Grade 11
Senior 3
Year 13
Grade 12
  1. When uploading the files to our Online Application System, please use the type of supporting document and your full name as the file name. (e.g. Passport LEE Tai Man Harry). The file name must be in English.
  2. Maximum uploading size for each file is 25MB.
  3. Please do not send any original documents to us by post. HKUSI is not responsible for any documents lost in the process.
  4. Application will only be processed after ALL supporting documents and application fees are successfully submitted to the Online Application System before the deadline.
  5. HKU Summer Institute (HKUSI) reserves the right to cancel a programme in the event of insufficient enrolment or any unforeseen circumstances. Programme dates, content, and fee are subject to change without prior notice, students should keep an eye on our website and email notification for programme updates.
Fees & Payment
Estimated Cost
Fee Items

Application Fee

HKD 350 - for the first programme and any subsequent application is HKD 200 per programme.
  • The application fee is a non-refundable and non-transferable one-time fee.
  • Students may enrol in more than one programme as long as it does not cause any schedule conflict.

Programme Fee

HKD 12,800

Accommodation Fee

Coming Soon

Social & Cultural Activities Fee

Coming Soon

*Fees are non-refundable after your acceptance of the offer.
*Payments must be settled online via credit card or ePayment.


Payment Methods - Online credit card payment (Application fee/Programme fee)

Once your application is successful, the online credit card payment will be made available to process payment for your application fee, accommodation fee, and programme fee (if applicable) by the deadline.

  • HKU Summer Institute accepts MasterCard , Visa, Union Pay , WeChat Pay, AlipayHK, Alipay, and FPS.
  • If the credit card information you submit is incomplete or if the credit card payment is unsuccessful, you will not be registered in your course(s). To avoid a delay in the admission process, please make sure your credit card's daily charge limit is sufficient for the total course payment.
  • HKU Summer Institute is not responsible for fluctuations in international exchange rates or interest charges due to the timing of credit card charges or refunds.
  • A small number of programmes may have specific payment requirements for programme fees. If your application is successful you will receive relevant instructions on fee payment.

*Offers will be issued on a rolling basis after February 28, 2023, for details, please refer to the respective programme webpage. The successful application will be notified and asked to confirm acceptance by settling the programme fee within 3 calendar days. We will confirm your place only after you have paid in full.

How to Apply
  • Read the programme information and specific requirements carefully. The programme list can be found in the Undergraduate Programmes and Secondary School Programmes.
  • Ensure that you have fulfilled the Language Requirements of HKU Summer Institute and the Eligibility for the programme(s). 
  • Register and create a personal application account on HKU Summer Institute Online Application System. An acknowledgment will be sent to your registered email address immediately.
  • Complete the online application form and upload all the requried supporting documents.
  • Pay the non-refundable application fee online by MasterCard , Visa , UnionPay , WeChay Pay, AlipayHK, Alipay, or FPS.

* Application will be processed only when ALL supporting documents and application fee are submitted successfully before the deadline.

* Once submitted, amendments to the application are NOT allowed. Please contact us if you want to change your personal particulars after submission. Applicants are strongly advised to check their details carefully before submitting the application. We recommend that you keep records of your submission.

  • Confirm your acceptance of the offer via the Online Application System when you received the notice. This must be done before the acceptance deadline set by the HKU Summer Institute or related Faculties.
  • Follow the below procedures to accept your offer:
    1. Log in to HKU Summer Institute Online Application System.
    2. Click “Accept Offer”. (Some programmes will require your to upload the reply slip, please refer to the admission letter).
    3. Click “OK” to confirm your acceptance. Please click “Upload Reply Slip and Accept Offer” to upload the reply slip for acceptance.
  • Payment of programme fee: Please read the payment instructions carefully to settle the programme fee, accommodation fee (if applicable), and social & cultural activities fee (if applicable) before the deadline.

*Please quote programme code (if applicable), your application number, and your full name in all future correspondence with the HKU Summer Institute. Enquiries without sufficient information will not be entertained.

*Please be reminded that the above information is NOT applicable to the following programme(s):


Below are some of the most frequently asked questions by students, please note that the answers are for your reference only.
Should you have further enquiries, please feel free to contact us at:

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What is the COVID guidance at HKUSI?

HKU has now resumed normal operations, subject only to Covid regulations mandated by the HKSAR Government (https://www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/index.html). This means we no longer require a Vaccine Pass for campus access and we no longer expect close contacts of Covid cases to stay away from work or study.


* Starting from 30 January 2023, the Government will no longer issue isolation orders to infected persons. Students requiring sick leave may apply for leave of absence if necessary.


At the same time, we’ll be requiring everyone to comply with our standard health protocols in all classes, whether lectures, tutorials, labs, studios or anything else – masks on throughout, no eating or drinking at all.

Where should I apply for my Hong Kong Student Visa?

If you do not have the right of abode in Hong Kong, regardless of the length of study, you are required by law to obtain a student visa issued by the Hong Kong Immigration Department. One entry permit is applicable for one programme only, and the cumulative duration of a short-term study should not exceed 180 days within any 12-month period according to the Immigration guidelines. For students currently staying in Hong Kong holding a valid student visa (NOT a dependent visa), please read the guidelines from The Immigration Department (English / Chinese) for taking up an HKU summer/short-term programme.


Students are advised to submit the visa application as soon as you receive a Notice of Admission from HKUSI. Please click here for more details about Student Visa Application. For inquiries, please contact here.


Students are also reminded to pay attention to any special arrangements due to COVID. For the most updated information from the HKSAR Government, please visit https://www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/index.html.

Do I need to arrange my own insurance?

In any case, you are strongly recommended to make your own insurance arrangements throughout the entire period of your studies in Hong Kong. Students will be responsible for their own medical and dental costs during the period of the programme. If you have to travel outside Hong Kong, you should make sure that your existing insurance policy covers your destination. Otherwise, you are advised to buy additional travel insurance before your trip.


Please check with your insurance agent and ensure that the scheme covers travel /flight delays, theft of personal belongings and medical and health cover for an injury or sudden illness abroad for the programme period.

Who is eligible for the HKU Summer Programme?

University students and anyone who meets the entrance requirements of HKU Summer Institute programmes.

Can I apply for more than one programme?

Yes, you may apply for more than one programme as long as the programmes do not have conflicting schedules.

What is the medium of instruction?

Our programmes are instructed in English with exception in a small number of language courses.

What is the communication platform for online programmes?

All online programmes will be conducted primarily via Zoom as the virtual classroom platform. Please ensure that Zoom is accessible in your area before deciding to join our summer programmes as all application fees and programme fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Can I apply for a credit transfer?

The availability of credit transfer arrangements is determined by your home institution. Please confirm with your home university whether HKU credits could be transferred toward your degree.

What should I do if I have forgotten my application number?

When you create the account, the online application system will send you an email with the application number. Please refer to the email you received when you first created your account.

Can I combine my transcripts into a single file to upload?

Yes. You may combine your transcripts to upload as a single file.

How can I know if my online application has been successfully submitted?

Once you have submitted your online application, you will receive an email confirmation. Please read the application instructions carefully and ensure that you have provided all the requested documents.

Is the application fee changeable for each programme applied?

The application fee is a non-refundable and non-transferable one-time fee. Applicants are required to pay the application fee for each programme.

(For latest application fee: Undergraduates/Postgraduates, Secondary School Students).

I am a native English speaker, what should I upload for English proficiency documents?

If your first language is English, please upload a paper with a statement written that your first language is English.

I would like to make amendments to my uploaded documents. Can I revise the files that have already been uploaded to the Online Document Upload System?

You cannot make amendments to your application once it has been submitted, but you can upload the document anew. Please indicate “revised” in the file name if you would like to upload a new version of supporting documents.

Can I cancel my application or withdraw from the programme? Will there be a programme fee refund?

Yes. You can cancel your application through your registration account by clicking “Cancel” beside the column. However, both the programme fee and application fee are non-refundable.

Will there be any interviews?

Depending on the programme you have registered for, there may or may not be an interview. Please refer to the programme webpage for detail

Will I receive a certificate once I complete the programme?

Students of non-credit bearing programmes will receive a certificate, while students of credit-bearing programmes can apply a transcript stated with number of credits upon completion. Link to apply for transcript: http://www.ase.hku.hk/asoffice/.

I just received the admission offer from HKU Summer Institute. How can I confirm my offer?

Please proceed to your online account to accept the offer before the acceptance deadline. Click here for detailed instruction.

What are the rules and regulations for zoom class sessions? (For Online Programmes ONLY)

Please ensure that Zoom is accessible in your area and be punctual for the classes.

You must be in a quiet environment and limit any noise distractions during live in the Zoom classroom. If you are not speaking, please make sure your microphone is muted to avoid looping echoes.


  1. You must have your webcam on to show your face clearly during live in the Zoom classroom.
  2. The audio and video material, text, images and other content of the online summer programme are properties of the University. You are not allowed to record, reproduce, or republish the video, links, login or any other content. You are also not allowed to modify the video or any other content, including but not limited to, adding any advertisement or other material or by interfering with the viewing of any content. A breach of these regulations may lead to legal action.
  3. Please be respectful to others. You are solely responsible for your comments, actions, profiles and/or other content in relation to the online summer programmes, including but not limited to posting/submitting online or before, during or after live in the Zoom classroom.
  4. The University reserves the right to ask you to leave the Zoom classroom and/or terminate your student status from the programme anytime.