We are always winners: Mohamed Salem Jedidi talks data science competitions and being a Zindi ambassador

“I joined Zindi and became an ambassador because I loved the idea that we would have an African platform for data science competition. My main goal was to build and support the African community of data science.”

Mohamed Salem Jedidi is one of Zindi’s first and most accomplished users, and part of our first group of ambassadors. He consistently performs well in Zindi challenges and has won several, including the Traffic Jam challenge, Zindi’s largest prized competition to date. He is currently ranked #2 on Zindi’s leaderboard.

Learn more about Mohamed’s solution to the Traffic Jam challenge

From novice to data science master

This commitment to knowledge and learning has taken Mohamed from a Kaggle novice to one of InstaDeep’s senior data scientists in just a few years. These days he uses machine and deep learning models to build multipurpose AI agents solving problems in a wide range of industries, but in 2017 he was new to machine learning.

Mohamed believes the only way to learn is to practice, so he dived into books, articles, and blogs as well as analysing competitor kernels and notebooks, and tried to transform knowledge into practice. Two months of hard work later, his team was in 16th position — the top 2% of the leaderboard.

Bringing expertise back to Africa

Joining Zindi in 2018 was a chance for Mohamed to start giving back to the community, and he has been a mentor and role model for a whole new generation of data scientists on the platform. He has some great advice for upcoming competitive data scientists and those new to Zindi:

But Mohamed is more than a skilled data science competitor. Since becoming ambassador for Zindi in Tunisia, he has helped to grow a long-standing partnership between Zindi and InstaDeep, and has helped organise exciting events like the AI Hack Tunisia 2019.

Mohamed also enjoys working directly with the team at ZIndi, and provided technical support for our competitions throughout 2020.

In 2021, Mohamed hopes to see data scientists meeting up in person again.

Zindi is a competition platform hosting a community of data scientists dedicated to solving Africa’s toughest challenges through machine learning & AI